Organic farming differs from so-called conventional farming because it is based on an integrated and sustainable use of natural resources and the rural ecosystem. A characteristic difference consists in the fact that the use of synthetic chemical substances for the growth and protection of plants (fertilizers) and animals (rearing feed) is prohibited. While respecting the principles of sustainability, organic farming constitutes an integrated management system for agricultural undertakings and food production. Organic farming combines best environmental practices, a high degree of biodiversity, the conservation of natural resources, the application of high standards to animal welfare and production that satisfy the preferences of certain consumers for products produced using natural substances and processes.
The application/investment opportunities appeared concern both organic crops and standardization and trade in organic products of plant and animal origin; from cultivation to packaging, to consumers’ cupboards.
Studies have shown that:
The institutional framework governing organic farming is particularly developed and aims at consumer protection through product control and certification procedures. Organic product certification is compulsory, while as of 1st July 2010, it has become compulsory to place the EU logo on pre-packed food.
From time to time, various development programmes subsidize organic farming activities (e.g. “Agri-environment Grants” under the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013). For further information on organic farming issues, interested parties can consult the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, AGROCERT (Organisation for Certification & Inspection of Agricultural Products) and organisations accredited for the certification of organic crops.