Organic farming is based on internationally accepted principles to do with health, ecology, justice and safety. This type of farming involves the use of local and renewable resources on every farm and the preservation and management of biological diversity and a varied cultural landscape.
The bases of organic farming are the cycles and interactions inherent in nature. For example, no synthetic fertilisers or pesticides are utilised. Regulatory requirements limit how many animals can be kept in a particular area. In Norway, Debio is the organisation responsible for inspecting and approving organic farms and their production.
Political target of 15 per cent organic
The government has set a target by which 15 per cent of food production and consumption will be organic by 2020. Consumers in Norway have poorer access to organic goods than those in many other countries. While the government seeks to improve access to organic goods, they would also like the public sphere to lead the way and take responsibility for choosing environmentally friendly products and products which have been produced to high ethical and social standards. The County Governors must support these efforts.
The County Governor must contribute to the government’s initiatives to promote organic food production by supporting producer networks and developing and monitoring the measures set out in the county action plans. Six counties have played a special role in leading the way in each of their focus areas:
- Corn – Oppland
- Topsoil cultivation – Buskerud
- Milk – Sør-Trøndelag and Nord-Trøndelag
- Vegetables – Vestfold
- Fruit and berries – Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane
- Consumption in commercial kitchens – Oslo and Akershus and Østfold
The County Governors are responsible for developing and following up on the action plans for organic farming in their counties. They must also co-ordinate these initiatives and grant resources for concrete measures within their own counties.