What is organic farming?
Organic farming is a system of agricultural production that generates food while impacting the environment as little as possible.
It is a combination of the traditional wisdom of cultivating the land without causing any pollution with scientific knowledge and current technology that allows ecosystem management in the most efficient and comfortable way possible while remaining totally natural.
The result is highest quality, healthy food.
What is required to be considered a product of Organic Farming?
To consider a food as organic, it must have been farmed in compliance with the principles and rules that cover the whole process from production (seed selection, planting, cultivation), through preparation and storage until distribution to the final consumer.
This process is legislated by council regulation (CE) 834/2007 on the production and labeling of organic products (repealing regulation (CEE) 2092/91 on organic farming and its indication on agricultural products and foodstuffs) and for the regulations: R(CE) 889/2008 laying down detailed rules for the application of R(EC) 834/2007 as regards organic production, labeling and control and R(EC) 1235/2008 laying down detailed rules for the application of R(EC) 834/2007 as regards imports of organic products from third world countries.
What principles and rules govern Organic Farming?
Some of the most important principles and norms that govern organic farming are the following:
- Respect for natural crop cycles
- Maintaining and increasing soil fertility
- Preservation and improvement of the health of plants, animals and the biological balance between them
- Contributing to achieving a high degree of biodiversity while preserving nature
- Responsible use of energy and natural resources
- Minimal use of non-renewable resources
- Recycling of waste
- Prohibiting the use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms also called “transgenic”)
- Prohibiting the use of laboratory synthesized chemicals
- Prohibiting the use of ionizing radiation
What are the requirements to be able to market organically farmed products?
In the Valencian Community, in order for a farm to be considered as organic and to market its products under that name, it has had to register with the Organic Farming Committee of the Region of Valencia (CAECV) and to pass the so-called “conversion period”.
This process is an adaptation of the way of cultivating and managing the farm, since the aim is to eliminate any type of toxic residue that may have been used up to that point, and also to progressively increase both soil fertility and the biodiversity of plants and animals, thus restoring the biological balance between living beings that form the ecosystem to resemble nature to the maximum, where human beings must interfere as little as possible.
From the moment the conversion period begins (which can last for months or even years, depending on the type of crop to be produced and the state of degradation in which the farm is sitting at the start) the operation complies with European legislation and the autonomous community to which it belongs for organic production and is subject to strict control (through face-to-face monitoring, soil and food analytics … etc) of the certifying authority, as mentioned in this case, the CAECV.
Once the operation has become organic and obtains its certification, it can market its products as organic and expressly indicate it as such for the consumer to identify.
For this purpose there is European labeling:
From that moment, the farm already considered organic will develop its activity, but will continue to be controlled and analyzed in detail, to ensure that it remains organic over the years. Any breach of the rules of organic production implies a penalty and an impediment to market their products under the seal of “organic.”