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About SD

January 2003

Announcement of a new publication

Organic agricultural environment and food security

The term "organic agriculture" refers to a process that uses methods respectful of the environment from the production stages through handling and processing. Organic production is not merely concerned with the final product which reaches the consumer.

One of the main sources of general principles and requirements applied to organic agriculture at the international level is the Codex Alimentarius Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labelling and Marketing of Organically Produced Foods. According to Codex: "Organic agriculture is a holistic production management system which promotes and enhances ecosystem health, including biological cycles and soil biological activity. Organic agriculture is based on minimising the use of external inputs, avoiding the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Organic agriculture practices cannot insure that products are completely free of residues, due to general environmental pollution. However, methods are used to minimize pollution of air, soil and water. Organic food handlers, processors and retailers adhere to standards to maintain the integrity of organic agriculture products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.

(Also available in Spanish)

Click here to view the full publication.



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