Principles of Organic Agriculture

Organic Agriculture is based on:

  • The principle of health
  • The principle of ecology
  • The principle of fairness
  • The principle of care

These Principles are the roots from which organic agriculture grows and develops. They express the contribution that organic agriculture can make to the world, and a vision to improve all agriculture in a global context. Agriculture is one of humankind’s most basic activities because all people need to nourish themselves daily. History, culture and community values are embedded in agriculture. The Principles apply to agriculture in the broadest sense, including the way people tend soils, water, plants and animals in order to produce, prepare and distribute food and other goods. They concern the way people interact with living landscapes, relate to one another and shape the legacy of future generations.

“Principles of Organic Agriculture”, which text was adopted by the IFOAM General assembly in Adelaide in 2005

The principle of health

Organic Agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal, human and planet as one and indivisible.

The principle of ecology

Organic Agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.

The principle of fairness

Organic Agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.

The principle of care

Organic Agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.

DEFINITIONS reg. CE n. 834/2007

Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production that combines best environmental practices, a high level of biodiversity, the preservation of natural resources, the application of high animal welfare standards and a production method in line with the preference of certain consumers for products produced using natural substances and processes.
The organic production method thus plays a dual societal role, where it on the one hand provides for a specific market responding to a consumer demand for organic products, and on the other hand delivers public goods contributing to the protection of the environment and animal welfare, as well as to rural development.

Organic agriculture is a production 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.

Characteristics of organic farming

  • Exclusion of chemical and synthetic products which radically alter the environment and have a negative influence on the wholesomeness of the products obtained
  • Use of suitable agronomic techiques, resistant plants and predator insects against parasites
  • Increase and maintenance of natural fertilizers for the soil using non destructive work techniques
  • Adoption of rotating crop techniques and of green manure ploughing
  • Use of natural fertilizers, to reduce the consumption of non renewable resources
  • Abstinence from the use of radiation to increase the conservation of products and their ingredients
  • Choice of variety, seeds and suitable farming products according to the lie of the land, the kind of the soil, the climate of a specific species areas which can be excellent for certain species
  • Guarancy for life of animals according to specific needs of the single species, bearing in mind, therefore, their health and a limited use of antibiotics
  • Harvesting or picking products when ripe
  • Certification of the production process and a guarancy of respect for the legislative laws and any single intervention during the different stages of production
  • Use of natural tecniques and natural additives for the preparation and transformation of foodstuff.

The aims of Organic Agriculture

  • Production of a vast variety of top quality food
  • Safeguard of systems and natural cycles, with maintenance and improvement of soil fertilizers, of water purity, of plants and animals and the balance between them
  • Maintenance and enrichment of organic diversities
  • Guarancy of a responsable use of power and natural resourses such as water, land, organic matter and air
  • Rigorous respect of criteria regarding the health of animals and specific behavior needs depending on the species
  • Exclusion of products coming from GMO’s during any stage of production or transformation
  • Safeguard of the landscape
  • Promotion of responsible, ecologic and balanced social systems of production and selling