The next challenge of organic farming, according to many authors, is to overcome the horizon of a method of agricultural production towards a wider agroecological perspective whose main objective is to change the dominant agri-food system. In parallel with the discussion on the future of organic farming, in the European Union (EU), the more intensive systems of organic production in protected conditions have been the object of debate among the main actors of organic farming in the Member States (MS).
The introduction of common measures for greenhouse production in the new European regulation on organic production represents the first important step in the implementation of more resilient cropping systems in protected conditions.
A new research paper has the ambition of describing the evolution of the scientific and technical debate on organic greenhouse production in Europe over the last decade, and aims to show how the new regulation on organic farming has partially embedded some of the conclusions of the multi-actor discussion on the main production issues in protected conditions.
Although some encouraging results have been reported in the scientific literature for the Mediterranean countries, knowledge gaps on the economic, social, ethical and environmental sustainability of organic greenhouse production still exist and researches on cropping system redesign for the individuation of innovative cropping systems at different latitudes and climatic condition are needed, the study concludes. In order to move towards an agroecological approach, organic greenhouse producers should and can participate to a new agri-food system in which the complete redesign of the cropping system is associated with a deep change in processing, logistics and transport for the implementation of short food chain, in a framework of increased consumer awareness on food quality production and environmental sustainability.