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What is organic farming?

Put simply, organic farming is an agricultural system that seeks to provide you, the consumer, with fresh, tasty and authentic food while respecting natural life-cycle systems.

To achieve this, organic farming relies on a number of objectives and principles, as well as common practices designed to minimize the human impact on the environment, while ensuring the agricultural system operates as naturally as possible.

To achieve this, organic farming relies on a number of objectives and principles, as well as common practices designed to minimise the human impact on the environment, while ensuring the agricultural system operates as naturally as possible.

Typical organic farming practices include:

  • Wide crop rotation as a prerequisite for an efficient use of on-site resources
  • Very strict limits on chemical synthetic pesticide and synthetic fertiliser use, livestock antibiotics, food additives and processing aids and other inputs
  • Absolute prohibition of the use of genetically modified organisms
  • Taking advantage of on-site resources, such as livestock manure for fertiliser or feed produced on the farm
  • Choosing plant and animal species that are resistant to disease and adapted to local conditions
  • Raising livestock in free-range, open-air systems and providing them with organic feed
  • Using animal husbandry practices appropriate to different livestock species

But organic farming is also part of a larger supply chain, which encompasses food processing, distribution and retailing sectors and, ultimately, you. So every time you buy an organic apple from your local supermarket, or choose an organic wine from the menu at your favorite restaurant, you can be sure they were produced according to strict rules aimed at respecting the environment and animals.

A farmer's taking care of his sheep

For organic farmers a fertile soil and respect for the environment Choose translations of the previous link  are of crucial importance for humans and animals Choose translations of the previous link . Organic farmers respect the environment through:

  • Responsible use of energy and natural resources
  • Maintenance of biodiversity
  • Maintenance of regional ecological balances
  • Enhancement of soil fertility
  • Maintenance of water quality

Organic farmers respect animals through:

  • Promoting animal health and welfare
  • Meeting the specific behavioural needs of animals
  • Responsible use of energy and natural resources
  • Maintenance of biodiversity
  • Maintenance of regional ecological balances
  • Enhancement of soil fertility
  • Maintenance of water quality

Organic farmers respect animals through:

  • Promoting animal health and welfare
  • Meeting the specific behavioural needs of animals
Selection of organic food

Organic processors and, by extension, marketers and food distributors, will have the same goals as organic farmers - namely the provision of fresh and authentic processed food designed to respect nature and its systems.

Important principles for the processing of organic products include the:

  • Strict restriction of which additives and processing aids can be used
  • Strict restriction of chemically synthesised inputs
  • Prohibition of the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

While organic farming seeks to keep agriculture in touch with its traditional roots and works in harmony with nature, organic processing reflects a myriad of tastes and the culinary preferences of modern consumers.

So, along with the range of highly delicious fruits, vegetables and meats, modern organic products can, and do, include:

  • Baby food
  • Wine made from organic grapes
  • Beer
  • Yoghurt
  • Cakes
  • Pastries
  • Bread
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Biscuits
  • Cold meats
  • Fruit juices
  • Tinned fruits and vegetables
  • Prepared meals
  • Coffee
  • Tea

In fact, because organic farmers tend to select lesser-known plant and livestock varieties with greater resistance to pests and diseases and better adaptability to local and seasonal conditions, the organic processing sector arguably has an even larger range of products at its disposal.

A farmer's family at the market

As organic produce comes in a wide variety of forms, the distribution of organic products to consumers occurs through a similarly diverse range of ways. Typical distribution channels through which consumers like you might encounter organic produce include:

  • Local and specialised organic markets
  • Specialised organic shops in rural or metropolitan areas
  • Roadside stalls in rural areas
  • Directly from the farm where the food was produced
  • Delivered to your door or a collection point through web-based home delivery and/or box scheme