Organic agriculture is a form of producing foods that respects the natural life cycle. It minimizes the human impact on the environment and operates as naturally as possible in accordance with certain guiding objectives and principles including the following:

  • Crops are rotated so that resources of the land are used efficiently
  • The use of chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics and other substances is severely restricted
  • The use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is prohibited
  • Local resources are utilised, such as manure as a fertiliser and feeds are produced on the farm
  • Species of plants and animals resistant to illnesses and adapted to the local environment are used
  • Livestock is reared on a free range basis, in the open air and fed with organic feed
  • Animal rearing practices are adapted to the different species

Organic farming is part of an extensive supply chain that also includes the preparation of feeds, distribution and retail. Each link in the chain has a purpose that benefits the production of organic food in terms of:

  • Consumer confidence and what the label guarantees
  • Protection of the environment
  • Food quality
  • Animal welfare

Important principles for the processing of organic products include the:

  • Strict restriction of which additives and processing aids can be used
  • Strict restriction of chemically synthesised inputs
  • Prohibition of the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

While organic farming seeks to keep agriculture in touch with its traditional roots and works in harmony with nature, organic processing reflects a myriad of tastes and the culinary preferences of modern consumers.

The EU has developed general standards for organic production, processing, distribution, labelling and controls thereof.