Skip to content
Organic farming - What is it?

Organic farming - what is it actually?

What is organic farming? If you're looking for the answer to this question, you've come to the right place! The way in which we produce our food contributes significantly to the biggest environmental problems of our time with. Energy and water consumption, feed cultivation, greenhouse gas emissions... the list of challenges facing agriculture is endless - and a rethink is inevitable.

In this article, I would like to tell you everything you need to know about organic farming - from the definition, measures and distinguishing features, advantages and disadvantages, to the future of this environmentally friendly agricultural method.

  1. Definition
  2. Measures
  3. Advantages
  4. Disadvantages
  5. Recognition features
  6. Future

What is organic farming?

Organic farming (also known as sustainable organic farming, biological farming or ecological farming) describes a Farming economy in harmony with nature. Its aim is to produce high-quality food by means of a closed material cycle, i.e. the preferential use of our own, non-harmful ingredients, natural resources. Organic farming has been regulated by law at EU level since 1991 - the farms concerned are inspected annually.

Organic farming measures

Does the definition of organic farming make sense? Then I would like to introduce you to some of its characteristics and measures to make the principle even more tangible and understandable:

  • Feed and nutrients come from our own farm
  • The number of livestock is linked to the available land area
  • Antibiotics are only used when absolutely necessary
  • No chemical pesticides are used
  • Beneficial insects (e.g. ladybugs or parasitic wasps) are used to control pests
  • Less susceptible food varieties are preferred
  • Particular emphasis is placed on a varied, targeted crop rotation
  • Food is not irradiated during production
  • Genetically modified organisms are not used
  • Weeds are controlled mechanically
  • No mineral nitrogen fertilizers are used (green manure is used instead)
  • Organized humus management for the preservation of soil fertility

Notice: Many farmers also develop technically and use these digital Agricultural software from 365FarmNet, in order to reconcile economic efficiency and environmental protection.

Advantages and disadvantages of organic farming

Products from organic farming

Organic farming has an incredible number of benefits for nature, for wildlife and for us humans. But there are also reasons why not every farmer farms organically. Here I would like to give you a clear overview of the most important advantages and disadvantages.


  • Climate protection: Compared to conventional agriculture, organic farming has a great energy balance and counteracts the climate change against. This is due not least to the fact that we do not use chemical fertilizers and pesticides, reduce the use of concentrated feed and generally farm in harmony with nature.
  • Species protection: The preference for native, resistant plant species - and the avoidance of pesticides and chemical fertilizers - promotes wild animal and plant species. Organic farming is particularly effective against the decline in insects, for example. How you can Stop insect mortality you can find out in the detailed, linked article.
  • Soil Conservation: Organic farming preserves soil fertility and promotes soil structure. This prevents the Soil erosion and exposure to pollutants.
  • Animal welfare: The animals on the farms enjoy more space and daylight and are fed a more natural diet. In addition, for example, cows are not dehorned and pigs' tails are not docked. (less Cruelty to animals)
  • Consumer protection: Organically produced food is healthier because it is richer in vitamins and contains less or no residues such as nitrates, pesticides and medicines or colorants and flavorings. This also prevents the development of intolerances and multi-resistance. The certified organic seal offers additional security.

This list could go on and on. For example, not using chemicals also promotes the health of the farmers themselves. Local organic farming also supports the regional economy.


  • Faster perishability: Without the use of preservatives, organic products tend to spoil a little faster. Plants without pesticides are also more susceptible to disease in the field.
  • Greater space requirement: It makes sense for organic farming to require more farm space per animal - the space required for growing plants is also somewhat higher.
  • Strict requirements: Farmers must fulfill certain, strictly controlled requirements in order to continue producing in accordance with organic farming standards.
  • Lower cost effectiveness: At least in the short term, organic farming is more cost-intensive for the farmer. In the long term, however, he benefits above all from the high soil fertility of his fields.

How to recognize products from organic farming?

Certifications and seals for products from organic farming

We now know that the benefits of products from organic farming outweigh the disadvantages for people, animals and the environment. But how can I support this form of agriculture? The answer is provided by the following seals and food certifications:

  • EU organic logo and organic seal: Throughout Europe, this well-known seal is awarded to organic products and foodstuffs that have been produced in accordance with the principles of organic farming. 
  • Demeter seal: Demeter is the most sustainable way of growing food, which ensures long-term soil fertility and produces the most natural and valuable food for us humans. 
  • Bioland seal: Criteria for organic products go even further than those of the EC Organic Regulation. 
  • Naturland seal: The Naturland criteria are extremely strict. For example, animal transportation may only take a maximum of 8 hours. In addition, at least half of the feed must come from the farm itself. 
  • Non-GMO label: Plant-based foods must not contain any ingredients or additives from genetically modified plants. 

Terms such as "from the region" or "sustainable" are not protected by law! So you need to take a closer look.

Notice: Incidentally, organic farming creates further opportunities for you as a consumer. For example, you can solidarity agriculture also support farmers directly for growing food for you.

The future of organic farming is bright

Organic farming field work and animal husbandry

Organic farming is also the future in agriculture. The figures confirm this: demand for organic products, for example, rose by 9.7% between 2018 and 2019.₁ Ultimately, it is not just farmers and consumers who benefit - but all life on this planet.

Here are some more further articlesthat can make your diet even more environmentally friendly:

Do you have any questions or suggestions about this article on organic farming? Then please write me a comment.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: In the Knowledge blog I will explain many more Technical terms from the field of sustainability. For example, learn now what Speciesism means.

₁ Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture: Strengthening organic farming - Strategy for the future of organic farming, available at [15.01.2021].

Coffee box Suggestions for improvement Newsletter

* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *