The importance of Organic Farming

In recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about organic farming being more sustainable, and the recent USDA and European regulations will see an increasing rise and shift towards organic farming, so the question is what does it actually imply?

Organic farming is an agricultural method that aims to produce food by avoiding the use of pesticides and fostering natural processes. In turn, this type of farming is more environmentally friendly as it includes a series of variables:

  • responsible use of energy and natural resources;
  • maintaining biodiversity;
  • preservation of regional ecosystems;
  • enhancement of soil fertility;
  • maintaining water quality;
  • protection of animals.

The European Union’s regulations on organic farming provide a clear structure and defined system of controls and checks aimed at the production of organic goods throughout the entire EU.[1] This protects customers from fraudulent practices and assures that there is a guaranteed Organic production through the certification process. It also assures an equal marketplace for producers, distributors, and marketers.

These sets of ‘rules’ that the EU controls, follow a predetermined strategy for farmers to follow. Since organic farming is part of a larger supply chain that includes food processing, distribution, and retail sectors, the following checks are applied.[2]

  • Each EU country appoints ‘control bodies or authorities’ to inspect operators in the organic food chain. Producers, distributors, and marketers of organic products must register with their local control body before they are allowed to market their food as organic.
  • After they have been inspected and checked, they will be awarded a certificate to confirm that their products meet organic standards.
  • All operators are checked at least once a year to make sure that they are continuing to follow the rules.
  • Imported organic food is also subject to control procedures to guarantee that they have also The organic logo gives a coherent visual identity to EU-produced organic products sold in the EU. This makes it easier for EU-based consumers to identify organic products and helps farmers to market them across all EU countries.

This entire system is given authority through the European Organic Certification which is embodied in the logo itself: a green leaf with the white European stars. This logo may only be applied to products that were checked and approved by a control agency or body. Meaning they have met strict conditions on how they are produced, transported, and stored.[3] In this way, both producers and consumers are equally protected.

In 2022 and beyond, we will see an increase in these farming methods due to a whole series of new laws, including the Green Deal[4] which the EU is aiming to put into practice to promote these methods further in the entire EU, aiming to avoid climate change and promote safer agricultural practices in general.

[1] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32018R0848

[2] https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/farming/organic-farming/controls_en

[3] https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/farming/organic-farming/organics-glance_en

[4] https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal/

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