What is organic food?Organic food is produced naturally, notusing pesticides and chemicalfertilizers. They aren’t modifiedgenetically.
What is organic farming?It is a type of agriculture which doesn’t usechemical products and produces organicfood.
Labels• The EU organic logo and those of EU Member States are used to supplement the labelling and increase the visibility of organic food and drink for consumers.• So, consumers buying products bearing the EU logo can be confident that:at least 95% of the products ingredients of agricultural origin have been organically produced;the product complies with the rules of the official inspection scheme; the product has come directly from the producer or preparer in a sealed package; the product bears the name of the producer, the preparer or vendor and the name or code of the inspection body• The placement of the EU logo is mandatory from 1 July 2010 for pre-packaged food. It remains voluntary for imported products after this date. From 1 July 2010, where the Community logo is used, an indication of the place where the agricultural raw materials were farmed should accompany it. It should be indicated that the raw materials originate from EU Agriculture, non-EU Agriculture or EU/non-EU Agriculture. If all raw materials have been farmed in only one country, the name of this specific country, in or outside the EU, can be indicated instead.• More information
ORGANIC FARMING EU• The new organic logo of the European Union is often named “Euro-leaf”. It symbolizes the marriage of Europe (the stars derived from the European flag) and Nature (the stylized leaf and the green colour).
Organic farming: why is it good?Because:• Its products are delicious, healthy and nutritious.• Organic farming contributes to rural development.• It conserves and improves our rich heritage of the country and landscape.• It protects the environment.
• These products are produced without pesticides and chemical products, they use organic fertilizer.• Farmers don’t use genetically adapted organisms.• They don’t breed animals artificially• Animal’s welfare is respected.• Additives are limited.• It is strictly regulated by European laws. Organic fertilizer
ORGANIC FARMING IN GERMANY• We visited a farm in Germany and ate delicous products.• We learnt that farmers have the same problems all over Europe.• The weather is a big problem. We talked about black ice and how it affects production. A whole plot wouldn’t grow because the plants were burnt after having been frozen due to the ice.The climate change has contributed to too many disasters. We saw that the land was too dry in April when it shouldn’t have been.
Farmers in the Basque CountryIn the Basque country farmers aredisappearing (average age is older),getting land is an issue and intensificationof farming has increased. However, in theBasque Country the situation (the crisis) isso bad now that people are starting toreturn to the land, young people want togrow food and more women are starting tobecome producers.
The strategic lines of action of EHNE to deal with these increasing problems:• Training – not only technical but political – the aim is to change the model not reproduce it• Awareness raising – work with a range of people – not just farmers but social movements, feminist groups, immigrants, schools etc. - through talks/debates/workshops/local festivals etc.• Alliances – also important to form alliances – e.g. with local groups mentioned above, but also international such as Via Campesina.• Access to markets and consumption:• making sure that the projects they work on are transformative and have an impact/effect. He talked about accumulated knowledge – for example challenging some of the regulations stopping small farmers processing food on site (as they always have done) - working with an individual farmer to show that it is possible/safe and then using that knowledge and example to support other farmers to challenge these regulations.• Creating local infrastructure so that big companies dont come and buy up all the produce (e.g. of president buying up all the milk for brie) and take all of the profit out of the area. Work collectively and with the local (not global) market.• Sschool dinners – if the schools or local authorities block the proposal of local & organic food, go direct to the parents – they care more about the health of their children.• Links with small local businesses (independent shops and restaurants)• Campaigns against big supermarkets• Transparent markets – showing very clearly how much you are paying the producers. They did a price comparison (shopping basket), and found that what cost 20 euros direct to the producer, cost 50 in a small shop and 60 in a supermarket.Read the article
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