Call for ban on organic greenhouse production out of season

Wed 31/07/2019 by Richard Wilkinson

The National Federation of Organic Agriculture, the Climate Action Network, the Nicolas Hulot Foundation and Greenpeace have launched a petition to the French Minister of Agriculture and Food to more strictly supervise the heating of greenhouses in organic farming and prohibit the production of organic fruits and vegetables out of season.

Organic farming in France continues to expand exponentially. In 2017, 14% of France’s agricultural organisations were engaged in organic farming and accounted for nearly 6.5% total farmed area. These two figures represent a rise of 40% and 50% respectively compared to 2013, according to Agency ORGANIC. However, there are claims that organic farming in France is not as rigorous when conducted in glasshouses – heating a greenhouse using non-renewables does not appear to be very organic. As a result, the National Committee of Organic Agriculture (CNAB) is deliberating whether to ban heating greenhouses for the production of organic fruit and vegetables out of season. So far, the vote has been postponed twice. Organic specifications clearly impose “respect for natural cycles” and “responsible use of energy”. A study found that tomatoes grown in France under a greenhouse produces four times more greenhouse gas than a tomato imported from Spain and eight times more than a tomato produced in France in season.

The petition has already collected 40,000 signatures and is supported by six key players: the fair trade platform France, WECF, Bioconsom, Justice Pesticides, the Ecotable Community and Good for the climate.

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