WHAT IS BIOLOGICAL AGRICULTURE?
Organic farming is a method of production (plant, animal and processed products) defined and regulated at Community level that allows to promote the protection of natural
resources, promoting ecological balance and biodiversity conservation.
In organic farming it is forbidden to use synthetic chemicals (fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and pesticides in general) and the defense of crops is first and foremost done by selecting species resistant to diseases and intervening with appropriate cultivation techniques. . In organic farming natural fertilizers are used (composted organic substances, sovereigns, manure).
The organic farming method is applied, in a regulated manner, in all phases of the agri-food chain: from the farm that produces the wheat, to the mill that turns it into flour, up to the baker who produces and sells bread, guaranteeing to the final consumer the control in all the phases of the process.
The benefits it assures are passed on to all the actors in the supply chain, from the farmer who operated by reducing the risks for the environment and his health, to the transformer who gave the product added value, up to the consumer who bought a healthy and environmentally friendly product.
In our country, the organic market is booming: we are the world's leading producer and processing company (63,156 units) and ranked first in Europe - third in the world - for cultivated areas (7.88% of the surface area) Agricultural Useful).
What is organic farming?
"Organic farming is a method of agricultural production that does not allow the use of synthetic chemicals at any stage of the production process".
What must a company do to start its activity in Organic Agriculture?
"The company that intends to enter the organic production system, must choose an CB, among those authorized by MIPAF, and communicate its intention to undertake the certification process.This communication is made through a form called" Notification of Activities ". The module includes all the data and information on the company and the crops needed to allow a first check-up by the technician appointed by the CB. Based on this the technician makes a first visit, during which he draws up a Inspection report, which must be signed by the company owner and the technician The report is delivered to the Certification Commission, which decides on the admission to the control system, on any obligations for the company and on the duration of the conversion period "
What are the differences between Organic Farming and other sustainable
production methods in agriculture?
"In recent years we hear talk of respect for the environment, sustainable agriculture, environmentally friendly, ecological, natural, guided, biological and integrated, organic, organic and biodynamic farming.The integrated struggle is" a system of control that uses all the factors and techniques available to keep populations of parasitic organisms below a density that can become economically harmful, giving priority to the intervention of natural factors of limitation such as parasitoids and predators (biological struggle) and to the concept intervention threshold (guided struggle) Integrated agriculture is "the agricultural production method in which all production technologies are aimed at reducing the environmental impact, at achieving an economically valid and controlled product, at a substantial 'consumed energy' In the margins of these definitions, it is necessary to clarify that agriculture in tegrata, the guided struggle, the integrated struggle and the biological struggle, are all production methods or techniques that admit, in various forms and according to different quantities and methods, the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. In this sense, the methods and techniques mentioned have nothing to do with the organic and biodynamic production method, which does not allow the use of chemical products in any way. "
Who controls the organic farms?
"The control of the organic production method in Italy is entrusted to private bodies, authorized by MIPAF following the accreditation process completed by SINCERT The bodies currently authorized to control (CB) are 15, plus 4 authorized to operate in the province of Bolzano are organizations composed of technicians specifically prepared for control operations in AB, who must possess a preliminary education and must also pass a special course to be admitted to the exercise of control activities. 'OdC manages the control and certification process must be defined and approved in advance by the accrediting body (SINCERT) and also communicated to the company before the start of the control and certification process. "
But if I can not use chemicals, how can I feed plants or fight pests?
"From the technical point of view it is essential to know that the problems of nutritional nature (fertilization and competition with weeds) and antiparasitic (plant pathogens and animal parasites) must be addressed primarily through preventive actions, intervening to increase the presence of natural antagonists and useful microorganisms of the soil, in order to restore and maintain a high level of biodiversity.This technical clarification is necessary to underline the fact that the application of the organic production method does not only mean replacing a chemical fertilizer with one of origin organic, or a synthetic pesticide with another with a similar action, but of vegetable nature In truth, as the conventional farmer invests in technical means and support equipment (fertilizers of all kinds and nature, pesticides, herbicides, plant growth regulators, machines and equipment for distribution tion), the organic farmer must use his financial means to:
- the multiplication, diffusion and maintenance of organisms useful for agriculture, especially those living in the soil (in this case it is used to say that organic farming must provide for "breeding" the micro-organisms of the soil, according to a care and attention similar to that dedicated to livestock in livestock farms);
- search for and use plant varieties or animal breeds originating in the area, or in any case as resistant as possible to adversity and adapted to the local climate;
- adopt agronomic systems aimed at preventing or decreasing the spread of pests and maintaining a high level of fertility (especially physical and biological) in the soil;
- adopt effective systems of continuous monitoring and natural control of pest populations, finalized and functional to a type of preventive fight. "
How much does the Organic cost?
"The exact amount related to the cost of organic certification can only be identified thanks to a fairly complex calculation, which takes into account many factors and is not limited to the amount of certification.Another cost also affects the time required to complete the registers and the constant commitment to research of technical means or to the prevention and monitoring of pests However, generally the cost of the organic is identified with the amount that the CB requests for certification.There are no fixed amounts, but much depends on the CB and how the company is structured (breadth, crops, processing) The cost can vary from a few hundred euros, for companies of lesser extent, without processing and with crops that are easy to control , up to several thousand euros when the aforementioned parameters become more and more consistent and complex and considerably complicate the activity of the technician."
Who should I contact
to purchase the technical means allowed in AB?
"With regard to the means for fertilization and the struggle, the machines and other means related to specific crops or cultural operations, there are specialized shops that are gearing up to offer a complete range of products.The spread in the territory starts to be quite widespread. , thanks to the development of the sector and the progress in terms of research and production of specific technical means for the AB Some problems still exist for propagation materials: seeds, tubers, bulbs and seedlings, in this case very often there are no nursery companies or seed companies present in a widespread manner throughout the territory and the organic producer is left to report the fact to the CB.
In the case of obvious unavailability of propagation material with organic certification, it is possible to obtain an exception to the use of conventional seeds or seedlings; nevertheless this remains a problem and a not indifferent constraint for the development of the sector. "
As a producer, how can I defend myself from GMOs and how can I
know if GMOs enter my production cycle?
"Indeed, the problem of the penetration of GMOs within the organic supply chain exists and should not be underestimated, as demonstrated by the data and research carried out in the past by the CB, research institutes, public bodies and bodies responsible for the prevention and repression of Fraud and sophistication phenomena Despite constant and widespread control, a few dishonest producers are enough to pollute even a large number of products, especially when agricultural products deriving from GM raw materials enter rather complex agri-food chains, with different processing stages, transformation and packaging The general rule to protect oneself from GMOs is to be always on the alert: the agricultural producer must pay attention to propagation materials (especially seeds), which must be purchased from certified companies and certified in their own right. as well as illegal) rely on games of dubious origin enza, even and especially if offered at a very convenient price. Converters or trainers have less chance of defense: to be sure they must always ask for an analysis of the agricultural raw materials they buy (something that is not always possible or appreciated by the supplier). "