Organic vs. Conventional Agriculture

Uploaded by GatewayEurope on 02.08.2011

European Union
European Commission, DG "Agriculture and Rural Development"
Strategma Agency
CAP for Youths
The difference between biological and conventional animal husbandry is often mentioned, but rarely explained.
Students from several vocational schools of agriculture in Bulgaria took up the task to "go the whole hog" about it.
They were first shown an animated video on the matter, produced by the European Commission.
They were then divided in two groups with the task to highlight the main characteristics of organic and conventional animal farms
Teamwork was quite intense.
At the end the students produced panel displays of the characteristics of conventional and organic farms.
The first thing pointed out by proponents of conventional animal farming was the low price of its products
a great advantage to consumers.
The following was also highlighted:
Non-organic fodder feeding; use of food additives, meat and bone meal,
colourings, taste enhancers; removal of nails, beaks and bills, tails, tusks, horns.
Why is this done?
Enclosed animals' instincts need to be suppressed. These instincts are displayed in free-range growing.
When enclosed, animals get destructive and start poking at each other with their horns.
There is limited space for movement and rest; accelerated growth; use of antibiotics.
And what's the purpose of the Common Agricultural Policy for animal husbandry?
it aims to support the income of agricultural producers
They have to find new development opportunities by offering better-quality and better-priced products on the global market
Farmers have to observe particular environmental protection standards, food safety standards, phytosanitary regulations and humane treatment of animals.
The policy includes various activities in the area of producing honey, eggs, poultry products, dairy products, pork, beef, lamb and goats meat.
And what about organic animal husbandry?
The use of antibiotics, drugs and so on is forbidden. Animals have to be grown as close as possible to their natural environment.
When taken out to grass, these, shall we call them animals, defecate freely thus dunging the land.
They go to grass, they have their own space, they can go where they want
They are well adjusted to the environment in which they are grown.
There are no chemicals, everything is pure.
That's right! According to research, there is a 10-15% increase in the organic product market every year
The European Union supports the development of biological agriculture in various ways.
First of all, it sets the rules of organic farming by means of its legislation.
Apart from that, the packaging of organic products in the EU bears a special logo.
The logo mark provides a guarantee of food origin and quality and
is compulsory for all organic products produced or imported in the EU.
There is also a special European action plan for organic food and organic produce
What's the point of this action plan?
It helps the spreading of more information on organic agriculture,
the improvement of production standards and the boosting of consumption.
What would, after all, be the choice of the Bulgarian Member of the European Parliament Maria Nedelcheva
organic or conventional produce?
To be honest, the question to me is not what type of produce I favour, but rather what could develop best in Bulgaria.
That is to say, I wouldn't like to have to choose between one or the other
but to find a way to combine the two and identify the advantages and the disadvantages for Bulgaria
As regards conventional agriculture, we must consider some difficulties.
On the EU market our products have to face the competition of the products of old member states,
which have benefitted from European solidarity for over 30 years and have modernized their agriculture.
So it's very difficult at times for us to compete with these advanced agricultures.
That is why one of the major causes I uphold in the European Parliament is the cause of better justice and higher financial resources,
so that our agriculture might modernize and positively impact productivity and competitiveness.
As to organic farming, there are very positive attitudes to this type of produce in the European Union.
I believe that Bulgaria could position itself well on that market, because unlike other countries, part of our territory
has preserved its favourable original characteristics that constitute an advantage in terms of market positioning.
At the same time we have to be aware of the difficulties our farmers face in this area,
which once again brings us to the point that this type of produce must be given priority and provided with the necessary financial resources.
By means of the rules and development conditions established by it, the Common Agricultural Policy is a unique prerequisite
for the introduction of modern, humane and environmentally friendly practices in animal husbandry -in both conventional and organic agriculture.
And which one would you choose?