Monday, October 15, 2012

What is Organic Farming in Europe?

Organic farming is the form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotationgreen manurecompost and biological pest control. Organic farming uses fertilizers and pesticides but excludes or strictly limits the use of manufactured (synthetic) fertilizers,pesticides (which include herbicidesinsecticides and fungicides), plant growth regulators such as hormones, livestock antibiotics,food additivesgenetically modified organisms,[1] human sewage sludge, and nanomaterials.[2]
Organic agricultural methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced by many nations, based in large part on the standards set by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), an international umbrella organization for organic farming organizations established in 1972.[3] IFOAM defines the overarching goal of organic farming as:
"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 a good quality of life for all involved..."
Since 1990, the market for organic products has grown from next to nothing statistically, reaching $55 billion in 2009 according to Organic Monitor ( This demand has driven a similar increase in organically managed farmland which has grown over the past decade at a compounding rate of 8.9% per annum.[5] Approximately 37,000,000 hectares (91,000,000 acres) worldwide are now farmed organically, representing approximately 0.9 percent of total world farmland (2009) (see Willer/Kilcher 2011).