Organic farming is a holistic approach to food production. It makes use of crop rotation, environmental management and good animal husbandry to control pests and diseases. Processed organic foods use organically produced ingredients, which must make up at least 95% of the food. A limited number of additives are used in organic food production.
Key aspects are:
• Restricted use of artificial fertilisers or pesticides
• Emphasis on animal welfare and prevention of ill health
• Emphasis on soil health by applying manure, compost and crop rotation
• Restricted use of additives
• No use of GM crops
All food sold as organic must be produced according to European laws on organic production. These state that organic food must come from growers, processors and importers approved by organic certification bodies, which are registered by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), or a similar organisation in the European Union.
Organic certification bodies appoint Inspectors to maintain standards, e.g. they’ll check land has been farmed organically for the conversion period (normally two years) before food is sold as organic.
Labels must indicate the organic certification body, and its code number, that the processor or packer is registered with. The name or logo of the certification body may also be shown on the label.
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