CAAE Association, with the current situation in which the sector of organic production and after a deep reflection on the issues affecting us at present and the future proposals that may arise for the industry, to spearhead this document as a basis for reflection and debate to generate proposals and commitments for the development of organic agriculture.
Organic agriculture has become the activity of a few visionaries to become an important sector in the context of national food production. The number of hectares devoted to such production exceeds 700,000 and employs more than 17,500 traders, producers and processors. EI value of marketed production has experienced a growth media in the last 3 Aryans of almost 40 million euros annually, reaching past 2004 at 250 million euros.
Despite these, good figures should be stressed that the importance of organic agriculture beyond the framework of agricultural production as an economic activity and social benefits to a broader level, which is not adequately quantified. Current agriculture systems show an alarming and unsustainable grade that may no longer responding to the demands of the population for a long time, precisely because they have depleted and destroyed the sources that sustain their own activities.
Organic Agriculture as a sustainable agricultural system is no longer an option to become a social necessity.
Today's society faces a number of problems that require an urgent and durable response. These problems have arisen as a result of depletion of resources, given the mistaken conception of the systems and productivity of the last century as a result of the company to acquire some level of increased development in which the needs have changed.
Food insecurity, pollution of water resources, destruction of natural environments, the depopulation of rural areas are part of the problems that must be given an immediate and effective response. This response should not be a temporary solution, but should lead to durable solutions to prevent a recurrence of these problems. Organic agriculture is a necessary and effective.
The food scandals that have occurred in Europe (mad cow disease, dioxin in chicken
presence of pesticides in vegetables, etc.), in recent years, have sensitized the public about the need to ensure a safe food. Concern for health is a feature of developed societies and this concern has been heightened with food safety.
Society is demanding safe food and quality. This demand is not being adequately answered at the level that would be desirable for the food industry. Although controls have been increased and has created a policy aimed at minimizing risks, there is a latent insecurity that can create problems by periodic episodes of food scandals. This insecurity does not stem solely from latent defects in the control systems, from the employment in the production of substances that do not have an immediate effect, given its cumulative nature, show their perverse effects in the medium and long term.
The Organic Agriculture is still the only system of agricultural production capable of responding to this problem. Organic food is quality, safety and proven and therefore respond to a social demand that must be addressed as a priority because it concerns the health of consumers.
Along with food, another major social concern of our time is respect for the environment. We are starting to suffer the pernicious effects of a development model that has forgotten to conserve the resources that are provided. Climate Change, we are experiencing the first effects, is something that affects us all, in controlling this phenomenon is going survival on this planet. The commitment of central government and autonomous to combat global warming by signing the Kyoto Protocol and the adoption of the measures advocated by it, should not remain merely signed, but that commitment must permeate all of society with the attitude necessary for compliance. Organic Agriculture in compliance with the premises that should guide to dealing with climate change and an example is the contribution that Canada made to the Kyoto Protocol. This put the country has 450,000 hectares under cultivation as an ecological resource in the fight against global warming. However, in Spain, there is no reference to organic production in the measures outlined by the Ministry of Environment as the focal point of activities in Spain with reference to compliance with the Protocol. With this perspective, our country will have complications to achieve compliance, the organic energy savings and improved energy efficiency that has no other system.
The current situation has led the indiscriminate use of resources such as soil and water. For the soil, people have generated problems of exhaustion due to lack of proper management of it through rotations or inputs of organic matter. This depletion has led to ever more inputs of chemical fertilizer in this way, contaminating aquifers and reservoirs.
Pollution of water resources not only fertilizers produced by the use of herbicides and pesticides is causing these effects, which are sometimes found long distances from where the pollution has occurred.
Fauna of our countryside has suffered also by the abuse of herbicides and pesticides in agriculture, the hunters of our people are aware of this, wildlife hunting, as part of the food chain in our fields, has declined alarmingly.