History  - - Farm, Food, Bio, Fertilizer, Organic and Natural Products
History - Farms, Foods, Fertilizers, Organic and Natural Products
History of organic farming
The organic movement began as a reaction of insiders (agricultural scientists and farmers) against the industrialization of agriculture. For some time it remained below the awareness of the food buyer. As the contrasts between organics and the new conventional agriculture grew, so to did public awareness of organic farming. This led to a distinct organic market, and, eventually, a grassroots consumer cause.

Advances in biochemistry, (nitrogen fertilizer) and engineering (the internal combustion engine) in the early 20th century led to profound changes in farming. Research in plant breeding produced hybrid seeds. Fields grew in size and cropping became specialized to make efficient use of machinery and reap the benefits of the so-called “green revolution.

While some indigenous cultures had been farming organically for centuries, organic agriculture began to develop consciously in Central Europe and India in the early twentieth century as a reaction to industrialization. The British botanist, Sir Albert Howard often called “the father of modern organic agriculture” studied traditional farming practices in Bengal, India. He came to regard such practices as superior to modern agricultural science and recorded them in his 1940 book, An Agricultural Testament .

In Germany, Rudolf Steiner's Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture , published in 1924, led to the popularization of biodynamic agriculture, one of the first organic farming systems. In 1939 Lady Eve Balfour, influenced by Sir Howard's work, launched the first scientific, side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional farming in England. Called the Haughley Experiment, it was documented by Lady Balfour in her book, The Living Soil . Its influence led to the formation of the Soil Association, a key international organic advocacy group.

The first use of the term organic farming is usually credited to Lord Northbourne, in his book, Look to the Land (1940), wherein he described a holistic, ecologically balanced approach to farming.

Technological advances during World War II spurred on post-war innovation in all aspects of agriculture, resulting in such advances as large-scale irrigation, fertilization, and the use of pesticides. Ammonium nitrate, used in munitions, became an abundantly cheap source of nitrogen. DDT, originally developed by the military to control disease-carrying insects among troops, was applied to crops, launching the era of widespread pesticide use.

During the 1950s, sustainable agriculture became a topic of scientific interest, although research focused on developing the new chemical approaches. In the US, J.I. Rodale popularized organic gardening among consumers.

In the 1970s, global movements concerned with the environment championed organic farming. As the distinction between organic and conventional food became clearer, one goal of the organic movement was to encourage consumption of locally grown food, which was promoted through slogans like "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" . In 1972, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), was founded in Versailles, France. IFOAM was dedicated to the diffusion of information on the principles and practices of organic agriculture across national and linguistic boundaries.

In the 1980s, various farming and consumer groups worldwide began pressing for government regulation of organic production. This led to legislation and certification standards being enacted beginning in the 1990s.

Since the early 1990s, the retail market for organic farming in developed economies has grown about 20 per cent annually due to increasing consumer demand. While small independent producers and consumers initially drove the rise of organic farming, increasingly organic market growth has led to the participation of agribusiness interests. As the volume and variety of "organic" products grows, production is increasingly large-scale.
IFOAM International Organic International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM ). - Is an international framework for organic farming is provided by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the international democratic umbrella organization established in 1972. Legislated standards are established at the national level, and vary from country to country. In recent years, many countries have legislated organic production, including the EU nations (1990s), Japan (2001), and the US (2002). Non-governmental national and international associations also have their own production standards. In countries where production is regulated, these agencies must be accredited by the government.

Since 1993 when EU Council Regulation 2092/91 became effective, organic food production has been strictly regulated in the UK. (pdf).

In 2002, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) established production standards, under the National Organic Program (NOP), which regulate the commercially use of the term organic .2 Farmers and food processors must comply with the NOP in order to use the word.
History - It should be noted that "conventional" agriculture, utilizing large amounts of artificial chemical inputs, monocultures, and intensive farming methods, is a recent phenomenon, dating to the Green Revolution of the mid-20th century. Indeed, almost the entire history of agriculture consists of what would be now termed "organic farming".
Rising consumer awareness of "organic" methods began in the 1950s with the promotion of organic gardenin. In the 1960s and 1970s, one effect of a growing grassroots concern with environmental issues was the appearance of more elaborate approaches to organic food, including food-buying coops and dedicated organic producers. In the 1970s and 1980s, private sector organic certification and development of regulations at the governmental level began around the world. In the 1990s, formal organic certification began to be legislated in various countries, and this trend continues to today. During the same period, the organic food market experienced a sustained surge in growth, expanding at around 20% a year (exceeding the rest of the food industry by a factor of at least 10). The first years of the 21st century saw multinational food corporations taking major stakes in the organic market, and this has dramatically increased the variety, availability and falling cost of processed organic food.
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