Lesson 2: Organic farming: a way to reduce environmental impact

“Organic Agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic Agriculture combines tradition, innovation, and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and good quality of life for all involved.”

IFOAM General Assembly, 2008

The Principles of Health, Ecology, Fairness, and Care are the roots from which organic agriculture grows and develops. They express the contribution that organic agriculture can make to the world, and a vision to improve all agriculture in a global context.

Organic farming is an agricultural method that aims to produce food using natural substances and processes. This means that organic farming tends to have a reduced environmental impact as it encourages:

  • efficient use of energy and natural resources;
  • preservation of biodiversity;
  • preservation of regional ecosystems;
  • enhancement of soil fertility;
  • maintenance of water quality.

Additionally, organic farming rules encourage a high standard of animal welfare and require farmers to meet the specific behavioural needs of animals.

Organic farming may be suggested as a solution to the negative environmental impact of agriculture. Reduced farm inputs and more soil carbon sequestration may alter local GHG budgets favourably.

Sources: European Commission  (https://agriculture.ec.europa.eu/farming/organic-farming/organics-glance_en)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12622-7

What makes organic food “organic”? 

  • No synthetic fertilisers
  • No synthetic pesticides
  • No GMOs
  • Antibiotics as a last resort
  • Better animal welfare

What “organic” doesn’t mean?

  • Locally grown
  • “Green” packaging
  • Higher nutritional value

‘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.

The organic logo can only be used on products that have been certified as organic by an authorised control agency or body. This means that they have fulfilled strict conditions on how they are produced, transported and stored.’

Discover what makes organic food “organic”!