On the threshold of the twenty-first century, the consumption of environmental resources and population growth present challenges that force all of us to reconsider our behavior. The Agenda 21 proposals to network the protection of resources (soil, air, water, genes) with social systems and commerce, accompanied by the concrete demand for sustainable agriculture and rural development, have prompted PHARMAPLANT, too, to reorient its work toward achieving these objectives. Not least because of our daily contact with valuable natural goods, one of our chief concerns is to ensure that we use resources carefully and in a sustainable manner. For this reason we aspire to develop cropping systems that keep endogenous intervention to a minimum. One of our chief goals is to practice consistent "integrated pest management" to minimize or even completely avoid the passage of pesticides into the environment and to lengthen crop rotations to take advantage of the circulation of nutrients. One of our core competencies is the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants and herbs that were previously obtained through collection in the wild, to counteract the risk of progressive genetic erosion and to contribute to the further diversification of agrarian ecologies characterized by monocultures.