Organic farming is a production method defined and regulated at a European level by two specific Rules: no. 834 of 2007 and no. 889 of 2008.
The respect of these rules is guaranteed by controls and inspections carried out in the agricultural holdings by Inspection Bodies recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Organic agricultural holdings do not use either chemical synthetic substances (fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, insecticide) or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
Cultivations are mainly defended through prevention techniques, selecting species that are resistant to illnesses and using appropriate cultivation methods. Among them, crop rotation: the alternation of different cultivated species on the same soil hinders the development of parasites. Moreover, the nourishing substances are used in a more rational and less intensive way.
Organic agricultural holdings plant and maintain hedges which not only diversify the landscape, but welcome the natural predators of the parasites and represent physical barriers against eventual pollution coming from outside. Organic farming uses natural fertilizers like manure and other organic substances. Moreover, green manuring is practiced: plants like clover or mustard are mixed with the soil.
In case of need, vegetable, animal, or mineral natural substances are used to defend cultivations: however, these substances must be explicitly mentioned in the European rules.
Organic struggle techniques are also used: they consist of releasing useful insects (bred in special "biofactories") living on the insects damaging the cultivations. Organic farming reduces the use of chemical products, promotes the conservation and improvement of soil fertility, promotes the maintenance of the agricultural ecosystem biodiversity. For this reason, its practice is not only allowed, but also promoted within protected areas.
Organic farming is not only a production method respecting the health of man and the environment, but also a model of sustainable development aiming at the safeguard of local communities.