The origins of this growers' association date back to the 1920s, when the first farmers in Germany and Austria took up and implemented the ideas of the anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). In 1924 the oldest organic farmers' association of today was founded under the name DEMETER. The name goes back to the Greek goddess of earth (grch. Meter = mother), daughter of Kronos and Rheia, who is one of the twelve Olympic deities (Olympioi). Demeter corresponds to the Roman Ceres and is responsible for the fertility and growth of the earth, the grain, the seeds and the seasons or the vegetation cycle.
The name DEMETER, together with the word picture, is a protected trademark under which biodynamically produced products are sold according to anthroposophical rules. Also protected is the precursor Biodyn, which means "in conversion to Demeter". The product range of DEMETER comprises more than 3,500 foodstuffs, cosmetics and fashion articles, which are sold mainly in organic and health food shops. DEMETER is the only organic association with a worldwide distribution in more than 30 countries with approximately 3,500 farms. Analogous to the EU organic regulation, there has been a "DEMETER organic wine" (previously "wine from DEMETER grapes") since 2009. The rules and methods of the production forms Biodynamic Viticulture and Bioenergetic Viticulture are also the basis of the DEMETER guidelines for the management of vineyards and the production of organic wine. These not only meet the requirements of the EU Organic Regulation, but even exceed them by far. This includes the use of biodynamic preparations as well as the complete renunciation of pesticides and chemical plant protection agents. There are also significantly lower limits for sulphur (sulphites) in wine.