organic farming and organic products
Organic farming was born in the 20's with the British man A. Howard creating the Indore method of organic waste compost, and seeing the benefits of using organic fertilizers compared to mineral fertilizers. But it was Rudolf Steiner, around the same time, who created the foundation of biodynamic agriculture.
Later, Lord Northbourne in Britain, and Dr. Müller in Switzerland, started Biological-Organic Agriculture. This ecological agriculture was based on the use of organic fertilizers, containing a perfect state of humus soil, limiting cultivation labour and considering the land as an "wholly organic, alive and dynamic". It was then Rush who ratified the method in a scientific and economic manner.
The 70s highlights the spreading of Fukuoka Japanese Natural Agriculture, with the works "The revolution of a straw". They also highlight the Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren who developed the Permaculture, designing ecosystems to remain permanently.
Every day there is a greater demand for agricultural products and foodstuffs produced organically. This phenomenon has created a new market for agricultural products. These organic products are sold in the market at a higher price. This farming involves: varied cultivation practices, limited use of fertilizers, no use of any poorly soluble chemical substances, and also no use of synthetic chemicals. This type of agriculture is a less intensive use of the land (protecting the environment and maintaining rural areas). Some states have developed regulations and controls governing the use and common rules on production, labeling and control, to protect organic farming, giving much more transparency in production and processing, and thus giving more credibility to organic products. It is therefore highly desirable that these ecological products bear the information of the type of organic production used, and the ingredients.
This chart shows the increase in land used for organic farming.
Organic farming has many prohibitions in the matter of using fertilizers or pesticides. This happens to have the least negative impact to the environment (eg. waste). There are controls at all stages of production and marketing. Virtually everything is under control, and must meet minimum conditions, at least.
Organic food consumers should be given assurances that they are buying organic products, and that all the rules of control have been followed. If the product is labeled referring to organic production methods must have followed all the rules of organic farming.
Organic farming can be applied to the following products:
- unprocessed agricultural products and unprocessed animal products.
- processed agricultural crop and livestock products intended for human consumption prepared essentially from one or more ingredients of plant and / or animal origin.
- animal feed, compound feed and raw materials for animal feed not collected at the first point.
Labeling laws and control of these products should always be carried out, otherwise it will not be organic production or an organic product.
Emblem ensuring that the product is environmentally friendly.
Any product that carries a reference to the organic method on its label (advertising material or commercial documents), must have been obtained in accordance with the rules of organic production or farming. In addition to the terms or derivatives or diminutives of bio, eco etc., written alone or in combination with other terms shall be deemed references to organic production throughout the Community and in all languages, unless they do not apply to agricultural products in food or feed, or that they have no connection with the method of production. The Danish word for ecological is økologisk, German: ökologisch, biologisch, in Greek βιολογικο in Spanish: ecológico, in French: biologique, in Italian, organic, in Dutch: biologisch, in Portuguese: biological, in Finnish: luonnonmukainen, and Swedish: ekologisk.
For products approved for the fertilizer and soil improvement, are:
- Manure product made with animal dung and vegetable matter.
- Dried and dehydrated poultry manure.
- Composted animal excrements, including poultry manure and compost, that which comes from intensive farming is prohibited.
- Liquid animal excrement (urine, manure, etc.) should be used after a controlled fermentation or appropriate dilution. This is also prohibited if it comes from intensive farming.
- Composted or fermented household waste, this product is derived from household waste separated from the origin, and must undergo a process of composting or to anaerobic fermentation to produce biogas.
Pesticides that are not prohibited are those obtained from vegetable and animal substances:
- Azadirachtin extracted from Azadiracta indica : azadirachtin is an insecticide derived from the neem tree, usually used in greenhouses and ornamentals. Extracts of neem oil is squeezed from the seeds of the tree, and it's this that contains azadirachtin. This ingredient has insecticidal properties, fungicides and bactericides, as well as regulating the insect growth.
- Nicitiana tabacum: this insecticide is derived from tabaco plants, and is toxic simply when it comes into contact with the insect. It acts against the subtropical fruit trees and tropical plants. It also serves as a fungicide, miticide and inhibitor of germination.
- Pyrethrins extracted from Chrysanthemum: the pyrethrins are extracted from the oleoresin of chrysanthemum flowers, Chrysantemum cineriaefolium. It's an insecticide consisting of Quassia amara and Rotenone repellent extracted from Derris spp, Terphrosia spp and Lonchocarpus spp.
The raw materials allowed in organic feed are:
> Raw vegetable materials:
- Cereals, grains, their products and byproducts. You can include the following substances: oat flakes, hulls and bran, barley grains; rice bran, millet grains, beans and rye, sorghum, wheat grain, bran, gluten feed, gluten and germ; buckwheat grain, triticale as grains, bran, middlings and gluten, malt sprouts, residue from brewers.
- Oil seeds, oil fruits, their products and byproducts. This category includes only: rape seed, hulls, soya bean as bean, toasted and cake, sunflower seed as seeds and cake, cotton seed as seed and cake, linseed seedcake; sesame seed cake, palm kernel cake, pumpkin seed cake, olives, olive pulp, vegetable oils (physical extraction)
- Leguminous seeds, products and byproducts. This category includes: chickpeas as seeds, middlings and bran; ervil seeds, vetch as seeds submitted to heat treatment, middlings and bran, peas as seeds, middlings and bran, beans as seeds, middlings and bran, and beans in seeds and bran, vetches as seeds, middlings and bran and lupine seeds, middlings and bran.
- Tuber roots, their products and byproducts. In category includes sugar beet pulp, potato, sweet potato as tuber, potato pulp (by-product of starch), potato starch, potato protein and manioc.
- Other seeds and fruits, their products and byproducts. In this category include: carob, carob pods and meals, pumpkins, citrus pulp, apple, quince, pears, peaches, figs, grapes and pulps, chestnuts, walnut cake, hazelnut cake; cocoa peeling and cake; acorns.
- Forages and roughage. This category includes: alfalfa meal, alfalfa, clover, clover meal, grass (obtained from forage plants), grass meal, hay, silage, straw of cereals and root vegetables.
- Other plants, their products and byproducts. This category includes only: molasses, seaweed meal (obtained by drying and crushing seaweed and washing it to reduce iodine content), plant powders and extracts, vegetable protein extracts (for babies), aromatic spices and herbs.
> Raw materials of animal origin:
- Milk and dairy products. This category includes: raw milk, milk powder, skimmed milk, skimmed milk powder, buttermilk, buttermilk powder, whey, whey powder, whey powder low in sugar, whey protein powder (with physical treatments), casein powder and lactose powder, curd and sour milk (sour)
- Fish, other marine animals, their products and byproducts. Includes only: fish, fish oil and cod liver oil (not refined); autolysates, proteolysates hydrolysates and fish, molluscs and crustaceans acquired by an enzyme, to form soluble or insoluble (only young) fish meal.
- Eggs and egg products for feeding poultry, mainly acquired on the same farm.
> Raw mineral materials, which include the following substances:
- Sodium: unrefined crude rock salt, sodium sulfate, sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride.
- Potassium: Potassium chloride.
- Calcium: lithotamnium and maerl, shells of aquatic animals (including cuttlefish bones), calcium carbonate, calcium lactate, calcium gluconate.
- Phosphorus: defluorado dicalcium phosphate, defluorado monocalcium phosphate, monosodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, calcium magnesium and sodium phosphate.
- Magnesium: Magnesium oxide (anhydrous magnesium), magnesium sulfate, magnesium chloride, magnesium carbonate, magnesium phosphate.
- Sulfur: sodium sulfate.
All organic products made through organic farming, must pass through a minimum level of control:
- The first thing operators must do is to describe the unit, premises or activity. Then they must establish the measures to be taken to fulfill the requirements. And the precautionary measures to minimize the risk of contamination by unauthorized substances or products and cleaning measures to be implemented in storage areas and the entire production area in general.
- If any changes are made in the description, or local, in the activity, or something related to the organic product they must be notified immediately.
- The entity that has the control must perform at least once a year a complete control of the operators. They can also make random unannounced visits. They may also take samples to look for products that are not allowed, or to detect contamination.
- These premises must keep records of the existence, amount and nature of their products, buyers to which they have been selling the product, and financial records for better control of the entity, to identify and verify them better.
- Packaging and transport of these products must be carried out in appropriate packages, closed containers or vehicles and in such a way that the seal cannot be broken and the products themselves can not be manipulated.
The packaging and transport of organic olive oil has to be done in appropriate packages, so that they can not be handled later.
Furthermore, these products must carry a label on which can be read:
- the name and address of the operator (in the case of being different, the owner or seller of the product must be put)
- product name, description and reference to the type of organic method used.
- the name and / or the code number of the agency or authority of control which depends on the operator.
- and if applicable, the lot identification mark according to the marking system agreed by the inspection body.
Furthermore, this logo informs us that the product is environmentally friendly.
It is not necessary to close packaging, containers or vehicles when transportation is made between a producer and another operator and both are subject to the control system; if the products are accompanied by a document giving information, and if the body of control, the operator sender and recipient have been informed of the corresponding transport operations and have given their consent.
-In the storage of products identification of lots must be ensured, and mixing or contamination by illegal substances must be prevented.
- If an operator suspects that a product does not meet all requirements, he must initiate procedures to withdraw the organic farming or production reference that the product has. In the event that the product qualifies, all procedures would be cancelled. The operator has the duty to cooperate with the agency in resolving the suspicion.
- The operator must stop access to all premises and all parts of the unit, in order to inspect and supervise the accounts and documents.
- If the operator and his subcontractors are inspected, must have consent of the operator (on behalf of its subcontractors), so that entities can exchange information on the inspection.