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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » November 29, 2012
Polska… tastes good!
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Organic Food Guarantees Good Flavor
November 29, 2012   
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A nationwide campaign by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development called “Organic Food as a Guarantee of Delicious Taste” kicked off in October. It aims to promote the European Union certified organic food logo, the Euro Leaf.

The campaign’s “ambassadors” are Magdalena Kumorek, a well-known film and TV actress, and Artur Partyka, a former high jumper and three-time Olympic athlete. The pair will promote organic farming in all the activities planned in the campaign, including appearances in promotional films.

Other activities include short feature programs recorded at organic farms, starring culinary expert Grzegorz Łapanowski, who explores the secrets of organic production as well as cooking tasty dishes and preserves from the produce. These programs are broadcast regularly on Facebook, YouTube and on the campaign’s blog, where diet and nutrition expert Rafał Hornberger shares his knowledge and experience related to organic food and a green lifestyle. In addition, the campaign will include publications on organic farming in the nationwide press.

Organic farming is a unique form of agriculture and food production. Food is produced using natural methods, without fertilizers and artificial pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones or genetically modified organisms. Thanks to the exclusion of pesticides, this kind of farming does not pollute the soil or water, reduces the leaching of nutrients from the soil, is conducive to biodiversity, requires little energy and guarantees produce of high quality.

The task of organic farming is not just to produce food of high quality in a sustainable environment but also to protect and maintain the quality of the natural environment in which farming takes place as well as ensuring the well-being of animals.

The dual nature of organic farming is often highlighted. First and foremost, it is a system with a positive impact on the environment, contributing to the achievement of a wide range of agri-environmental benefits. On the other hand, organic farming responds to the changing structure of market demand. Consumers have started looking for organic products, wanting to buy them and usually willing to pay a higher price for them. According to this approach, the organic farming system is a market system. Organic production targets a group of consumers—growing with every year—who seek goods of the highest quality, produced in special conditions and contributing to significantly reducing the negative impact on the environment.

Thanks to the commitment of different groups and financial support from government coffers as well as the European Union, Poland’s organic farming sector has developed substantially. Joining the EU in 2004, Poland had just under 4,000 certified organic farms, while today they number more than 24,000. The surface area used for organic farming has grown significantly, too, currently accounting for about 3 percent of total cultivated land in Poland.

It is also worth noting that apart from certified organic farms, Poland also has a great many small farms that don’t practice intensive agriculture. This also affects the quality of Polish food in a positive way. Despite such great production capacity, organic produce is purchased by just 5 percent of Poles, while the eco-farming logo is familiar to one in 10 people.

Organic farming is supported from European funds. Under the Rural development Plan for 2004-2006, due to its positive impact on our environment, organic farming received support from agri-environmental programs. In the Rural Development Plan for 2007-2013, the focus shifted to support for market activity, while the agri-environmental aspect was modified.

The RDP for 2007-2013 includes two measures aimed at supporting organic farming: the participation of farmers in food quality initiatives and information/promotion activities. There are also activities to improve the competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sectors. Aid under these measures stems from the assumption that supporting the eco-farming sector can be a way of achieving a competitive edge on the market.
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