Organic agriculture has been shown to have numerous positive benefits, a new study commissioned by the French Ministry of Agriculture has found.
Biodiversity, air and water quality, soil fertility, climate and human health are all areas that are thought to benefit from organic agriculture. But quantifiable data to back these claims up are sometimes lacking, so the French Minister of Agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll, tasked the Technical Institute of Organic Agriculture (ITAB) and the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) with completing an exhaustive objective analysis of scientific studies in order to find quantifiable proof of the benefits of organic agriculture.
The conclusions reached by the study confirm that there are real advantages to practicing organic agriculture for the environment and for human and animal health. The primary benefits come from the lack of negative impacts by using synthetic chemical products in organic agriculture. The study also showed a large number of positive benefits linked to the use of a large number of agro-ecological practices.
These initial findings were announced by the Ministry of Agriculture earlier this month, a complete report will be released during a meeting Nov. 25th.
Organic agriculture is undergoing a rapid increase in production and consumption in France. The organic food market increased at an historic level this year, 20% over 2015 levels. In addition, more than 65% of French people eat organic food products on a regular basis, an increase of 20% over two years. The French National Institute of Agronomic Research also conducted a study recently to get more information on who uses organic food products on a regular basis. The research found that women eat organic products slightly more than men, organic food product consumers generally have a higher level of education and are more likely to be vegetarian or vegan than the broader population.