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Szymon Grzanka

on 22 October 2013

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What is organic farming?
Organic certification and standards
(International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, IFOAM 2009)

Anon. (n.d.). organics_can_feed_world.pdf. [Online]. Available at: http://www.organicvalley.coop/fileadmin/pdf/organics_can_feed_world.pdf [Accessed: 13 October 2013].

Badgley, C., Moghtader, J., Quintero, E., Zakem, E., Chappell, M. J., Avilés-Vázquez, K., Samulon, A. and Perfecto, I. (2007). Organic agriculture and the global food supply. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 22 (02), p.86–108. [Online]. Available at: doi:10.1017/S1742170507001640.

Connor, D. J. (2008). Organic agriculture cannot feed the world. Field Crops Research, 106 (2), p.187–190. [Online]. Available at: doi:10.1016/j.fcr.2007.11.010 [Accessed: 13 October 2013].

Crossfield, P. (n.d.). Organic Versus Conventional Food: UK Report Flawed. Civil Eats. [Online]. Available at: http://civileats.com/2009/07/30/organic-versus-conventional-food-uk-report-flawed/ [Accessed: 13 October 2013].

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
FAO (1997) The State of The Wolrds Plants Genetic Resources For Food and Agriculture, Food Agriculturial Organisation Of The United Nation. Rome

Food and Agriculturial Organization, Food Safety & Quality as AFffected by Organic Farming, Report of the 22nd regional conference for Europe , Portugal, 24-28 July 2000.

Hole.A G, Perkins A.J., Wilson,J.D., Alexander,I.H., Grice,P.V., Evans,A.D., (2005) Does Organic Farming Benefit Biodiversity? Biological Conversation, 122,113-130.

Johnston, R. (2008). The great organic myths. The Independent, 1 May, London (UK), United Kingdom. [Online].

Available at: http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uwl.ac.uk/docview/311474242 [Accessed: 13 October 2013].

Kirchmann, H. and Bergström, L. (2008). Organic Crop Production - Ambitions and Limitations: Ambitions and Limitations. Springer.

Leifeld, J. (2012). How sustainable is organic farming? Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 150, p.121–122. [Online]. Available at: doi:10.1016/j.agee.2012.01.020 [Accessed: 13 October 2013].

Mintel. (n.d.). Organic Food and Drink - UK - September 2012. [Online]. Available at: http://academic.mintel.com/display/590386/?highlight=true [Accessed: 1 October 2013].

OECD. (2003). Organic Agriculture: Sustainability, Markets and Policies. OECD Publishing.
Pretty, 2006. http:// www.rimisp.org/getdoc.php?docid=6440

Seufert, V., Ramankutty, N. and Foley, J. A. (2012). Comparing the yields of organic and conventional agriculture. Nature May 10, 2012, 485 (7397), p.229–232. [Online]. Available at: doi:10.1038/nature11069 [Accessed: 13 October 2013].

Smith-Spangler, C., Brandeau, M. L., Hunter, G. E., Bavinger, J. C., Pearson, M., Eschbach, P. J., Sundaram, V., Hau Liu, Schirmer, P., Stave, C., Olkin, I. and Bravata, D. M. (2012). Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives? Annals of Internal Medicine, 157 (5), p.348–366. [Accessed: 13 October 2013].

Soil Association (2006). Organic Market Research Report 2006, Executive Summary, Soil Association Bristol.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2013)

no substantial difference in nutritional content between organic and conventional food.(Cross field 2009)
The expansion of modern, resource-intensive agriculture has multiplied yields of the world's major crops – wheat, rice, and maize – by a factor of 2.6–3.6 over the last fifty years.(Leifeld, 2012)
A kilo of organic beef releases 12% more green house gases and causes double the amount of nutrient pollution and more acid rain (Johnston 2008)
Organic food needs more fossil fuels for ploughing- one hectare of land produces more than 2.5 times the amount of potatoes than an organic one.(Johnston 2008)
Organic farming also uses pesticides!! The organic pesticide rotenone is highly toxic to humans(Johnston 2008)
Less than 1 percent of organic food sold in the UK is organic.(Johnston 2008)
No link between eating organic foods and better health (Smith-Spangler et al., 2012)
This would lead widespread deforestation and biodiversity loss, and thus undermining the environmental benefits of organic practices (Seufert, 2012)
organic farming takes too much time (OECD, 2003)
organic farming needs increased amounts of human labour which requires management skills.(OECD, 2003)
The cost of organic farming is higher, especially in terms of labour and mechanisation and the cost of certification (OECD, 2003)
The profits from the premium price of organic foods are mostly taken by the retatiler not the farmer. (OECD, 2003)
Up 40- 50 % crop yield reduction when compared to conventional farming methods. (Kirchmann and Bergström, 2008)
A forty per cent reduction in crop yields would require 67% more land to produce the same amount of food. (Kirchmann and Bergström, 2008)
The only way to stop global hunger is the use of pesticides in developing countries. (Connor, 2008)
‘…a productive 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’

(International Federation of Organic
Agriculture Movements, IFOAM 2009)

Yield: 286 conversions in 57 countries, average yield increase 64%, Pretty (2006)

Energy: Approx 10 calories of fossil fuel energy = 1 calorie of food energy
ON average organic crops use 25% less energy although some are more (organic leeks 58%) as found by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Greenhouse gas emissions/ climate change. Increase in carbon fixing bacteria in soil. Change of pasture land to save the cow and their gas emissions.

Water use lower : Organic farming leads to ‘mineralization’ of the soil – fixing of minerals in soils vital physically and chemically for holding water in the soil.

Localization: Organic farming was born out of encouraging localized produce for local people. So logical that with increase in organic farming comes a reduction of food miles….
Soil Association (2006). Organic Market Research Report 2006, Executive Summary, Soil Association Bristol.
Pesticides:Only four active ingredients permitted for use of organic crops; Copper fungicides, Sulfur, Rene tone, Soft soap, Herbicides are prohibited,
Ecosystem impact: English Nature and RSPB (2005) concluded bio diversity is enhanced at every level of the food chain under organic management practices. From soil to large mammals.
Hole.A G, Perkins A.J., Wilson,J.D., Alexander,I.H., Grice,P.V., Evans,A.D., (2005) Does Organic Farming Benefit Biodiversity? Biological Conversation, 122,113-130.

Nutritional Benefits: FAO found in organic food‘, lower levels of of pesticides and veterinary drug residues’ than non organic’ Food and Agricultural Organization, Food Safety & Quality as Affected by Organic Farming, Report of the 22nd regional conference for Europe , Portugal, 24-28 July 2000.

Seed saving: It is estimated by the UN FAO 75% of genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost over last 100 years.
FAO (1997) The State of The Worlds Plants Genetic Resources For Food and Agriculture, Food Agricultural Organization Of The United Nation. Rome

Job Creation: According 2006 report by the University of Essex, organic farming within in the UK provides 32% more jobs per farm than comparable non-organic farms.
Majority (81%) labor in organic farming itself is due to labor intensive processes involved in organic processes. Meaning potential job creation.
(Ecologist 2008)

Organic food production within the EU is strictly regulated
Farm must be registered with an approved organic control body
And inspected at least once a year to ensure that you meet the EU-wide standards
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the authority responsible for organic farming regulations in the UK
The word ‘organic’ is defined in law. EU rules apply to the organic production and to the labelling and control of organic products
Farm will not be fully certified until it will complet a conversion period, which normally lasts at least two years
During the first 12 months of the conversion period, you must sell all your crops as non-organic. Those you harvest after the first 12 months of the conversion period may be marketed under the label - ‘produced under conversion to organic farming’
You do not need to convert the whole farm to organic production all at once
Each or all of the following activities require registration with an approved CB:

producing or processing organic food or products

importing organic food or products from third countries, ie those outside the EU (with named exceptions) - for more information, see the guide on importing organic produce

producing organic animal feeds

re-labelling organic products at any stage of the distribution chain

Who needs certification?
Thank you for attention.

Organic and in-conversion livestock in England
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