The Principles of Organic Production According to The Soil Association
Organic is a ‘whole system’ approach to farming and food production. It recognises the close interrelationships between all parts of the production system from the soil to the consumer.
• To produce food of high quality in sufficient quantity.
• To work within natural systems and cycles throughout all levels from the soil to plants and animals.
• To maintain the long-term fertility and biological activity of soils.
• To treat livestock ethically, meeting their physiological and behavioral needs.
• To respect regional, environmental, climatic and geographic differences and (appropriate) practices that have evolved in response to them.
• To foster biodiversity and protect sensitive habitats and landscape features.
• To maximise use of renewable resources and recycling.
• To minimise pollution and waste.
Food processing principles
• To minimise processing, consistent with the food in question. To maximise information for the consumer on processing methods and ingredients.
• To provide a fair and adequate quality of life, work satisfaction and working environment.
• To develop ecologically responsible production, processing and distribution chains, emphasizing local systems.
From these principles the practices that form the foundations of organic farming have been established:
• encouraging biological cycles involving micro-organisms, soil fauna, plants and animals
• sustainable crop rotations
• recycling of nutrients using composted manure and vegetable waste
• cultivation techniques that enhance and protect the soil and its life avoiding soluble mineral fertilizers; avoiding agrochemical pesticides, and
• animal husbandry which meets their physiological, behavioral and health needs.