Bees are perhaps the best symbol for our ecosystem. They are essential for the pollination of countless agricultural and horticultural crops, of plants and flowers, and they make delicious honey. But worldwide, and also in the Netherlands, the bee population is declining in numbers and in species. Two of the main causes are the lack of biodiversity and the frequent use of pesticides in large-scale agriculture.
Organic farming is a good alternative. But how sustainable is that: there are many more kilometers of land used, is that really efficient? A good summary of various arguments can be found in this article of Milieu Centraal. We are convinced of the usefulness of organic agriculture for the preservation of the ecosystem, and because the indirect social costs of the current ‘regular’ food system are enormous. You can find clear illustrations of this in this report from ABN Amro, where a comparative calculation per hectare is made from cauliflower, and another example of chickens can be found on the website of Sustainable Food Trust. Many more product examples have been examined by True Price.
For your own health, you may question what the influence is from the use of pesticides and preventive antibiotics in regular agriculture and livestock farming. There is no clear conclusion so far, but organic food is definitely more natural than regular food. In contrast to many other quality marks, the term ‘organic’ is also legally protected and controlled by the independent supervisor Skal.