I Like Organic & The SOS Fund Q&A

Our new initiative I LIKE ORGANIC makes saving soils very easy: just like us here and reclaim 500 square meters of endangered soil! 
We, the Save Our Soils partners have launched the Save Our Soils Fund that will help growers save soils. Your (Facebook) like releases € 5 from this fund, enough to save 500 sqm of fertile soil. Like us and help growers save our soils! If you want to know exactly how that works, check the Q&A below.
For all information about the Save Our Soils Fund, see also: WWW.SAVEOURSOILSFUND.ORG.
If I “Like” the campaign page, am I obliged to pay € 5 into the Save Our Soils Fund?
No. By “liking” the campaign page you are releasing € 5 from the Save our Soils Fund. It’s very simple: 1 Like on Facebook = € 5 = 500 sqm of soil that can be saved! It will cost you nothing.
What is the goal of the “I Like Organic Campaign”?
The two main goals of the non-profit “I Like Organic” campaign are (1) to help farmers around the world save soils and (2) to build awareness of the soil issue as well as the Soilution.
Why is this campaign needed?
According to the United Nations every minute 30 football fields of soil are lost, mostly due to irresponsible, unsustainable farming techniques. This seriously threatens our ability to feed the world. Healthy food starts with healthy soils. Organic growers restore degraded soils, prevent erosion, make soils resistant to droughts and floods, stimulate biodiversity, mitigate climate change by increasing soil organic carbon and enhance pest and disease resistance of crops. 
What is the relationship between the “I Like Organic Campaign” and “Save Our Soils”?
“I Like Organic” is part of the international Save Our Soils campaign. By establishing the Save Our Soils Fund and linking it to a media campaign, we are offering direct practical help to farmers and at the same time building awareness about the soil issue.
What is the Save Our Soils Fund?
The Save Our Soils Fund (SOS Fund) was launched on February 12th 2015 during the Biofach Organic Trade Fair in Nuremberg. With the support of organic pioneering companies and organizations an initial € 200,000 were raised. The initial contributors were Eosta, Soil & More, Triodos Foundation, Lebensbaum, Ambootia and Amfri Farms. The Fund is governed by the Soil & More Foundation.
How will the money be spent?
The objective of the SOS Fund is to support farmers worldwide to save and develop their soils in a healthy, sustainable way. In particular, the SOS Fund will:
  1. Organize workshops and provide practical training for farmers worldwide
  2. Monitor and document existing sustainable soil management practices, review and share them as best practices
  3. Carry out practical research projects on selected topics pertaining to the soil issue
  4. Assess and communicate the socio-economic and true cost benefits of sustainably managed soils.
  5. Liaise with like-minded organizations to promote the importance of soils to a wider audience.
In July 2015 the website www.saveoursoilsfund.org will go online with updated information about the supported projects!
To realize all the planned activities, the SOS Fund requires € 500,000.- for the coming three years. Companies, organisations and individuals who wish to support the fund objectives are invited to make a contribution. Please contact info[at]soilandmorefoundation[dot]org for more information.
How do I know the money will go to “saving soils”?
From July 2015 the website www.saveoursoilsfund.org will provide information about the supported projects. Once enough money from the SOS Fund is released, we will select projects to support and start our activities. The SOS Fund is governed by the non-commercial Soil & More Foundation.
How can I make a donation into the Save Our Soils Fund?
We welcome any individual or organization willing to make a donation into the Save Our Soils fund. The fund is governed by Soil & More Foundation; Please contact info[at]soilandmorefoundation[dot]org for more information. The website www.saveoursoilsfund.org is currently under construction and will go online in July 2015.
Based upon what calculations can you conclude that “by the time you’ve finished reading this heading, 8876 sqm of fertile land has been lost”?
We have based our soil erosion calculation on data provided by FAO among which an article by David Pimentel (2006).  He speaks about 10 million ha of cropland that is being destroyed on an annual basis. We interpret cropland as being agricultural land. 10 million hectares / year = 1142 ha / hour  = 19,03 ha/minute. According to Via Campesina, industrial agriculture uses 70% of all the resources and traditional agriculture 30%. We can therefore conclude that industrial agriculture is responsible for 70% for the “cropland” soil loss. This means that 13,3 ha are lost every minute due to industrial agriculture. That is 2219 sqm per second. Reading a headline properly takes around 4 seconds. This works out to 8876 sqm for reading the headline. The same calculation form was use for our other materials and visuals. So...
  • Every second 2219 sqm is destroyed through industrial agriculture.
  • Every minute 133,140 sqm is destroyed through industrial agriculture.
  • Every hour 7,988.400 sqm is destroyed through industrial agriculture.
In other communications we talk about 30 football/soccer fields per minute. We have chosen this form of communication because it's easier to visualize a football field than a hectare. The size of a FIFA approved soccer/football pitch is 64-75 m x 100-110 m = 6400-8250 sqm = 0,64 - 0,825 ha. Therfore 19,03 ha is equal to 23 to 29,7 football pitches per minute. Since many unofficial fields are smaller, we have rounded the number off to 30 for effective communication. 
Based on which calculation can you conclude that € 5 are equivalent to 500 sqm of saved soil?
The rationale for equating €5 with 500 m2 is as follows: €10 will fund the production of 1 ton of compost. The application of compost protects soils against erosion by stabilizing the soil structure and acting as a form of erosion control. With only 10 tons of compost per hectare, an acceptable level of erosion control can be achieved. A donation of € 5 is therefore sufficient to protect 0.05 ha of valuable soil, which is 500 m2. Moreover, the fine-structured compost components will foster a topsoil rich in organic matter, soil life and a high water holding capacity. This will provide an enduring, long-term erosion control because a rich topsoil is a resistant topsoil!
Actually, the soil loss that is prevented by applying €5 worth of compost is worth more. That is because the cost to undo the damage of soil erosion is much higher than the costs of prevention. FAO - the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations - states that the damage of 1 ton of soil erosion amounts to €20. An estimated 10 tons of arable soil are lost per hectare per year (FAO average), so the damage per hectare is €200. Furthermore, this cost includes water erosion only. Erosion by wind results in even more costly damages! Therefore, a €5 contribution is an investment which not only creates healthy and resistant soils but also helps to avoid much higher costs. 
Is there a limit to the amount of money that can be released by likes?
Yes. So far the the Save Our Soils partners have pledged € 200,000 euro to the Save Our Soils Funds as a maximum. So if the Facebook page reaches the target of 40.000 likes, the campaign will be put on hold. We hope that public awareness will help to raise more awareness and donations for the Save Our Soils Fund.
Where can I apply to the Save Our Soils Fund?
Requests for aforementioned initiatives, advisory services and research projects will be coordinated and decided on by the Board of the Soil & More Foundation.
For further information, please contact info[at]soilandmorefoundation[dot]org.


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