Organic Agriculture – International Inspection and Certification

Jörg Rosenkranz

The roots of organic agriculture developed from differing systems of thought, philosophies of life and agro-political motivations. One thing they all have in common is the desire to form a holistic method of production. capable of generating healthy food, while limiting any damaging effects on the natural eco-system. Organic Agriculture Production not only excludes the use of synthetic agents, it is a system based on biodiversity, improvement of soil fertility an0 sustainability with a minimum of external inputs.

Development of a fertile soil is of first priority towards achieving sustainability Green manure and the management and preservation of organic matter are key issues for success. Beside the use of organic manure and compost, the cultivation of legumes can improve fertility by symbiotic nitrogen fixation.

For pest management in organic farms, preventive measures have absolute priority. The main approach is not to question how to eradicate a pest or disease, but how to prevent it. An elaborate cropping system shall assure that pathogens and pests remain in a natural balance with their native antagonists. The central question therefore remains what the underlying causes for pests are. In some cases pests can also be tolerated to a certain limit. A diversification of the agro eco-system is one of the basic requirements in organic agriculture.

Organic farming also excludes the use of Genetic Modified Organisms (GMO) on all steps of production and processing. (seed, microorganisms in soil conditioners, livestock, ingredients, processing aids…).
Organic Stock farming is a land related activity that also addresses the natural needs and welfare of the species.

The number of livestock kept on a particular farm or region is dependent upon the amount of fodder available, or the size of crop area used to grow fodder on the site itself. The standards list maximum numbers of animals per ha and minimum space for animals indoors and outdoors as well as excludes non-appropriate raising of animals in cages. Concerning the feeding it applies to fundamentally use organically produced feeding stuffs. Feed is intended to ensure quality production rather than maximizing production. while meeting the nutritional requirements of the livestock at various stages of their development.