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UK: OF&G White Paper addressing the challenges of global food production

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The British Organic certifier OF&G (Organic Famers and Growers) published a White Paper about the Future of Farming. This paper addresses the challenges of global food production.

In an executive summary OF&G explains that organic farming offers real and practical solutions to the huge challenges global agriculture is facing. According to the White Paper new systems, such as Sustainable Intensification (SI) “offers some promising ideas, but fails to address fundamental issues.  Primarily, a system based on increasing intensification of resources by making better use of land, water and biodiversity, suggests that agriculture remains intent on extracting cash value from natural resources rather than protecting them for future generations. In fact, simply producing more food is not going to answer the long terms needs of mankind”.

“What we need is a fundamental change in food and farming policy that supports a high nutrition diet while protecting natural resources and limiting climate change”, says OF&G. “This is where organic food production can lead the way. While other farming systems address some aspects of the sustainability challenge, only food produced using organic principles and practices addresses these many challenges at once. Sustainable food production can be ensured by putting soil at the very heart of agricultural policy that long term.” Other important issues are animal welfare and biodiversity.

Organic is a whole system approach

Given this holistic systems based approach in organic production, the sector has codified the principles and practises that are deemed acceptable in organic production, and these were first set in law in the early 1990s. Organic offers a farming ethos that focuses on local supply, that relies on the minimum of external inputs and that offers high nutritional quality.  It, also, delivers on the broader needs of society in providing a clean and flourishing environment, that helps mitigate climate change, and that doesn’t rely on antibiotics to deliver its welfare outcomes or agrochemicals and fertilisers derived from fossil fuels to ensure food is produced, explains the White Paper.

For the OF&G White Paper in full download here


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