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Climate Change and Organic Farming

Its easy to look at the affects of transport and consumption of energy from fossil fuels as the leading causes of human-made climate change.  Climate change demands action from all stake-holders whether they are individuals, businesses or governments.  Reducing our fossil fuel based energy consumption is one action we can take.  There are others and a successful reversal of the effects of climate change will require wide-ranging mitigating activities.

The beneficial link between climate change and organic farming may not be clear like the use of fossil fuels but IFOAM’s EU advocacy climate change report from 2016 makes some important points.

Of the report entitled “Organic Farming, Climate Change Mitigation and Beyond”  lead author Adrian Muller of FiBL Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, IFOAMS’s research partner,  said “Our research shows that a progressive conversion to 50% of EU land under organic farming by 2030 would offer a mitigation potential of 23% of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions through increased soil carbon sequestration and reduced application of mineral fertilisers.

“It would moreover reduce energy use for the production of synthetic fertilisers, equivalent to a further reduction of 9% of agricultural emissions, and would provide many other environmental and animal welfare benefits, as well as successful adaptation strategies to cope with the impacts of climate change.”

For clarification the Soil Association in its blog “The Government Must Prioritise Climate Friendly Farming” says “Organic farms generally emit fewer greenhouse gases, use less energy and store greater amounts of carbon in soil per hectare than non-organic farms.

“In addition, organic agriculture also delivers a range of other essential benefits – providing healthy, fertile soils, better resilience against extreme weather and resistance to pests, better animal welfare, more wildlife on farms, and greater sovereignty and security for farmers.”

If we are to achieve IFOAM/FiBL’s ambitious targets consumers must demonstrate that there is growing demand for organic produce and a decline in demand for non-organic produce.  Persuading farmers to forego their subsidies for conventional farming will only happen as a result of this and a restructuring of farming subsidies to encourage organic climate friendly farming.

Indigo Wholefoods has been committed to providing a wide range of foods from organic farming including our fruit and veg range since I opened the shop.  Our fruit and veg is loose and unlike the organic fruit and veg in supermarkets it is not packed in single use plastics.

If you’re not yet convinced to go organic then consider these facts from the Soil Association:

Fewer Pesticides – Almost 300 pesticides can be routinely used in non-organic farming and are often present in non-organic food.

No Artificial Colours and Preservatives – Hydrogenated fats and controversial artificial food colours are banned under organic standards.

Better for Wildlife – Organic farms are havens for wildlife and provide homes for bees, birds and butterflies – there is up to 50% more wildlife on organic farms!

Better for the Planet – No system of farming does more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and protect natural resources.

It’s Nutritionally Different – Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition found significant differences between organic and non-organic farming.

I am committed to providing a wide-range of products at Indigo Wholefoods that are tasty, healthy and sustainable, organic food will always be a significant part of that range.

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