Organic farming is an agricultural method aimed at producing food with natural substances and processes. It generally involves shorter supply chains and provides opportunities for small farmers, thanks to the strengthening of the new provisions introduced by Regulation 2018/848 on organic production. This regulation aims to modernise the sector and harmonise standards, providing a stable regulatory framework.
- Organically farmed land has about 30% more biodiversity than conventionally farmed land.
- Organic farming is beneficial for pollinators.
- Organic farmers cannot use synthetic fertilisers and can only use a limited range of chemical pesticides.
- The use of GMOs and ionising radiation is prohibited, and the use of antibiotics is severely restricted.
The area devoted to organic farming has increased by almost 66% in the last 10 years. It now accounts for 8.5% of the EU’s total “utilised agricultural area”. The share of agricultural land devoted to organic farming varies from a minimum of 0.5 % to a maximum of more than 25 % – it is crucial that each Member State develops its national organic farming strategy as soon as possible, based on a comprehensive analysis of the sector and including actions, incentives, clear deadlines and national targets.
The organic production action plan will contribute significantly to the achievement of other targets in the Biodiversity Strategy and the Farm to Fork Strategy, such as the pesticide reduction target and the nutrient surplus reduction target, while helping to drive the EU towards its zero-pollution ambition for a non-toxic environment. In this context, the work of SmartProtect and partners can fit well into the overall goals of pesticide reduction.