ekologisk produktion gynnar biologisk mÄngfald

What is organic food production?

Organic production excels in three areas: 1. How to manage pests and weeds. 2. How to ensure that plants get enough nutrients. 3. What the animals are fed and how the animals are kept.

Organic food production is about producing food in a long-term and sustainable way. In simple terms, it means using natural resources such as land, energy and water in a way that has the least possible impact on the environment. Organic production should also support biodiversity and safeguard animal welfare.

Organic farming means not using artificial fertilizers or chemical pesticides. The use of genetically modified organisms or irradiation is also prohibited. Furthermore, animal feed must be organic and mostly grown on the farm. It is also important to allow animals to be outdoors and to exercise their natural behaviors. Medicines for animals, such as antibiotics, should be used with great care.

Why is organic good?

Organic production helps to reduce the spread of chemical pesticides in nature, which is important for keeping lakes and rivers healthy. It also provides food free of pesticide and/or drug residues. Organic farming also does not require extensive imports of artificial fertilizers, which in themselves require a large amount of fossil energy to produce.

Organic food production is also important for preserving biodiversity. On and around an organic farm there are many more species of plants, bees and other pollinators. The transition to organic will be particularly important for future generations.

The disadvantages of organic production are that it is less time efficient. Organic farming often results in lower yields because no chemicals are used to control weeds and plant diseases. The strict rules surrounding organic production generally mean that organic produces less food, which makes production more expensive, as do prices in the supermarket. According to the Swedish Board of Agriculture, in the short term Sweden would not be able to produce as much as it does today if only organic farming were available.

Increased demand for organic food, sustainability and transparency throughout the value chain are driving developments in both organic and non-organic production. Consumers’ expectations of producers to respect the environment and human and animal health are expected to grow stronger.

In the EU, a food with an organic label must contain at least 95% organic ingredients and comply with the EU’s organic production rules. They are marked with the eco-leaf!

Swedish Board of Agriculture
National Food Agency

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