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The Warsaw Voice » Other » June 3, 2009
Agricultural Market Agency
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Organic Farming Campaign
June 3, 2009   
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The Agricultural Market Agency (ARR) administers a Common Agricultural Policy mechanism for supporting promotion and information campaigns on the markets for selected agricultural products in Poland.

Under this mechanism, the ARR, together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development, is carrying out a three-year nationwide information campaign called Rolnictwo Ekologiczne (Organic Farming).

The campaign is financed by the European Union and the Polish government. Through a diverse range of activities, the organizers aim to reach organic food producers, processing plants, salespeople, caterers, farmers and consumers with information on organic farming methods and thebenefits of organic farming. Consumers find out how to recognize organic products and how the quality of these products is guaranteed. One of the goals of the campaign is to tell consumers about the system of certification in organic farming and to promote the Rolnictwo Ekologiczne logo and products marked with this logo.

The Rolnictwo Ekologiczne campaign also aims to encourage individual producers and processing businesses to switch to organic production methods.

Natural methods
Organic farming is a system of farming based on sustainable plant and animal production with the use of natural methods.

Organic farms are located in areas free from pollution and care about the quality of the environment and biological diversity. Organic farmers are not allowed to use any pesticides or fertilizers, seed dressings, artificial concentrates, genetically modified organisms, industrial feed, or ionizing radiation.

The methods of growing crops and breeding animals in organic farming involve:
- applying proper crop rotation methods with the use of structural plants and plants that increase organic matter content in the soil
- using natural fertilizers and feed
- using adequate sowable and seedling material
- breeding livestock in a way that meets the needs of individual species.

Organic methods of production are a guarantee that food from certified farms is of the highest quality.

Organic food
Organic food is produced without any artificial fertilizers or pesticides, and with due attention paid to maintaining soil fertility and biological diversity.
The term "organic food" does not mean the same as "health food". The former term refers to officially certified food, while the latter is just a name invented for marketing purposes.

Rolnictwo Ekologiczne
The Rolnictwo Ekologiczne protected logo placed on the packaging is a visible sign for consumers that a specific product is organic.

On one hand, the Rolnictwo Ekologiczne logo helps producers protect their own interests and obligates them to market only top-quality products, and on the other it allows consumers to make conscious choices, with the guarantee that they are buying original organic products whose quality and origin they can always be sure of.

The logo placed on a product means that:
- at least 95 percent of the product's ingredients were produced using organic methods
- the product meets the requirements of the official certification system.

Certification
Organic food producers who want to place the Rolnictwo Ekologiczne Community logo on their products need to obtain a certificate of conformity. In Poland, the system of certification in organic farming is regulated by the April 20, 2004 law on organic farming (Dziennik Ustaw journal of laws 2004, No. 93, item 898).

The system comprises both government and private entities:
- the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (www.minrol.gov.pl), which authorizes specific bodies to conduct inspections and issue and revoke certificates
- the Agricultural and Food Quality Inspection (www.ijhar-s.gov.pl), which supervises certifying bodies, accepts applications from producers launching organic farming, authorizes producers to import organic farming products from third countries not on the European Commission list, inspects organic farming products from third countries (including border inspections), gathers and stores
information on producers and makes it available to interested part
- certifying bodies accredited by the Polish Center for Accreditation (www.pca.gov.pl) in compliance with the EN 45011:2000 "General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems" standard.

The list of authorized certifying bodies and detailed information on the Rolnictwo Ekologiczne campaign are available from the website:
www.rolnictwoekologiczne.org.pl

Consumer surveys in the campaign's second year show that activities undertaken during this time have increased the public's familiarity with organic products and awareness of the differences between products that are marked with the Rolnictwo Ekologiczne logo and those that are not.

ARR Telephone Information Desk +48 22 661 72 72
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