The term "organic" refers to the type of agriculture used to produce food that's respectful of the earth. And as far as it goes, we should all be in agreement.
But what is meant specifically by organic farming?
Regulation (EC) no. 834/2007 defines it as follows:
"Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production that combines best environmental practices, a high level of biodiversity, the preservation of natural resources, the application of high animal welfare standards and a production method in line with the preference of certain consumers for products produced using natural substances and processes. The organic production method thus plays a dual societal role, where it on the one hand provides for a specific market responding to a consumer demand for organic products, and on the other hand delivers public goods contributing to the protection of the environment and animal welfare, as well as to rural development."
A description that broadens the field and introduces different aspects. Shall we take a closer look?
Organic production requires:
- soil fertilisation with natural fertilisers (e.g. manure);
- no artificial chemical products (e.g. herbicides, fertilisers, fungicides, pesticides);
- a ban on the use of OMGs (genetically modified organisms);
- a ban on the use of artificial colourants and additives;
- animal nutrition with organic feeds, and therefore without the use of antibiotics;
A further point: this type of agriculture also safeguards the people who work on the land, because farmers are not in contact with substances that are harmful to their health, as well as the health of consumers.
So why choose organic?
There are many reasons.
Organic products are higher in nutrition and do not contain harmful substances. Organic farming helps to safeguard the health of all and protect the environment. It increases biodiversity. It encourages sustainability, preserves natural resources and safeguards animal welfare. It contributes to high-quality work for farmers; and in doing so it also facilitates greater social equity.
Organic agriculture is a farsighted and intelligent way of thinking about our development model.