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Whole systems approach to organic pest management

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Organic crop production often raises passions on both sides of the debate. On the one hand, its most enthusiastic proponents see it as a potential panacea for some of the key problems facing the world. On the other, its key detractors see it at best as a distracting 'niche market' or an inefficient system of food production – or even as a source of infection for non-organic crops. Yet there is much confusion amongst consumers (and often journalists) about organic principles and standards – and what organic really means. Put simply, organic farming is an agricultural system that seeks to provide fresh, tasty and authentic food whilst respecting natural life-cycle systems. While it is fair to say that many non-organic farmers share these aims, the organic regulations are currently the most stringent guarantee to consumers as to how their food has been produced. The Soil Association introduced the first organic standards in 1973, long before the term 'organic' became legally defined under EU and UK law in 1992. The organic standards are a balance between the organic aims (or principles) and the practical realities that businesses face. The Soil Association's organic standards are reviewed continuously as new information and techniques become available to ensure that its rules are at the forefront of organic production – and that consumers' expectations are met.
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Keywords: BIODIVERSITY; HOLISTIC; ORGANIC; PEST MANAGEMENT; POSITIVE HEALTH; SUSTAINABLE; SYSTEMS APPROACH

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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