Increased utilisation of renewable resources: dilemmas for organic agriculture


Minimising outputs of waste and pollution by recycling and efficient utilisation of renewable resources is of common interest for organic agriculture and the concepts of circular and bioeconomy. However, in practice, many efforts to increase recycling of various biological materials in organic agriculture are hampered because standards for certified organic production and processing tend to prefer natural products while avoiding processing and especially chemical processes. This creates several dilemmas and weakens the position of organic agriculture as a spear head in the development of a better resource utilisation which will reduce environmental impacts from food production. Based on practical examples derived from projects aimed at better utilisation of residual materials in various food chains, this paper presents some of these dilemmas. Our aim is to initiate a discussion among organic agriculture stakeholders about the regulations for organic production, how they restrict recycling and a better utilisation of valuable resources, and how this can be overcome.

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Correspondence to Anne-Kristin Løes.

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Løes, AK., Adler, S. Increased utilisation of renewable resources: dilemmas for organic agriculture. Org. Agr. 9, 459–469 (2019).

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  • Natural substance
  • Innovative food and feed products
  • Processing
  • Recycled fertilisers
  • Regulations