"Organic", "ecological" or "biological" products are obtained from an agricultural system whose objective is to produce healthy and abundant supply of food, taking care of the environment and preserving natural resources.

The demand of consumers for organic products is increasing in the world, more farmers grow organically, more land is certified organic, and 178 countries report organic farming activities. The world organic food market reached more than 72 billion euros in 2016. The United States is the leading market with 38,900 million euros, followed by Germany (9,500 million euros), France (6,700 million euros) and China (5.9 billion euros).

Argentina has 3.1 million hectares of certified organic production and ranks 2nd in the world ranking behind Australia (Figure 1). The ten countries with the largest organic agricultural areas represent 74% of the world's organic agricultural land.

ten countries with lagest areas of OAF

Figure 1. Ten countries with the largest areas of organic agricultural land.

In Argentina there are official regulations for organic products: Law 25.127, with different decrees and resolutions that regulates organic production and its control system.

SENASA (National Health Service and Food Quality) is the competent authority in the control of compliance with official regulations on the entire production-commercial process. In addition, it enables certifying entities to control operators (producers, processors and marketers). SENASA controls the certifying entities through audits and inspections to the operators. This provides transparency, ensures quality and complies with the international requirements. There are 4 certifying bodies authorized by 2017.

Since 1996 in Argentina the area under organic production has been increasing with certain fluctuations according to the years. Animal production occupies 2,814,069 ha and of these 95% are in Patagonia (Figure 2). The largest volume of organic production, according to official statistics, is exported (99%), but 1% goes to the domestic market, which is continuously increasing.

South america argentina 2

Figure 2. Argentina. Location.

The most important destination of the production is United States, surpassing 50% of the total exported. Then, the main destination is the European Union, of which Switzerland stands out as the most important buyer, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Poland and Sweden. There are other destinations to be highlighted, such as Japan, Canada, Ecuador, Russia, Brazil, Angola, Algeria, Costa Rica, Colombia, Bolivia, Australia, Chile, China and Korea.

Among the most important productions, it can be mentioned cereals and oilseeds, such as wheat, soybeans (very required in organic form because they are not transgenic or have been cultivated without synthetic products), rice, sorghum, corn, chia, flax, barley, sunflower, peanut, oats and rapeseed.

Fruits include apples and pears as the most important horticultural crop export, citrus fruits are destined for the domestic market.

As for vegetables, the occupied hectares are scarce and the export products are mainly garlic and squash. This activity is mainly intended for sale in the domestic market, where more than 50 varieties of vegetables are distributed throughout the year in various types of commercial channels.

Animal production has not evolved in last years. Sheep production takes place in Patagonia with “dirty wool” and “top wool” products, as well as meat. There are other productions of organic animals, which are llamas, goats, guanacos and bees for honey production.

Among the industrialized products, it can be mentioned wines, soybean and wheat flours, olive oils, sunflower, and rapeseed, applesauce and pulp, dried apple, frozen strawberries, fruit juices, tea, yerba mate, among others (Figure 3).

argentina fig 3

Figure 3. Organic labeled exported products: Wine, yerba mate and apples

Domestic market grows permanently in vegetables, fruits, cereals and oilseeds and flours of various types, jams, tea, yerba mate, wines, mushrooms, aromatic herbs, sugar cane, olives, oils, juices, dry fruit, baked goods made with organic flours, cheeses, honey, etc.

Requirements for the certification of organic production are high, and for small producers are not easy to meet, that is why small groups of farmers are promoting other forms of "participatory" type certification where the control system is facilitated and cheaper and they can access this quality guarantee with a lower cost and ease.

Among the existing organizations in Argentina linked to organic production it can be mentioned the Argentine Movement for Organic Production "MAPO", created in 1995 is the most important organic Non-Governmental Organization of the country registered as a civil society without profit. It brings together all entities, people, companies or NGOs, which are related in some way to organic production, or establish contacts and agreements with small related organizations. Its associated are producers, certifiers, researchers, scientists, technicians, educators, entrepreneurs and organic marketers. This organization aims to promote organic production, disseminate and demonstrate to the community the benefits of the production system and organic food, ensuring the quality and transparency of organic markets and express themselves in defense of the organic movement and its members.

Universities do research in different topics related to organic production and also there are extension programs that give advice and trainings to farmers, families and people in general. In this regard, greater financing will be needed in the future to strengthen the sector.


SENASA. National Service of agrifood health and quality. 2016. Situation of organic production in Argentina during 2016. 43 p.

Willer, H. and J. Lernoud. 2017. Organic Agriculture worldwide 2017: current statistics. Research Institute of organic agriculture (FiBL). 38p.


Prof. Maria Claudia Dussi
Director of the Study group in Sustainable Agroecosystems, Department of Agricultural Sciences, Comahue National University, Cinco Saltos, Argentina.
Board of the LatinAmerican Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA).
Orcid number: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5673-4316
Scopus Author ID: 6507881395
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Istanbul, in Turkey hosted the 30th International Horticulture Congress (12-16 August 2018) under the auspices of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) which provided an excellent platform for scientists, students, consultants, engineers, extension agents, growers, industry, trade and consumer organizations, policymakers and other professionals having an interest in horticulture.

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The goal of OFSP is to learn from the organic food system as a living laboratory for sustainable food systems. The Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Programme of the United Nations’ 10-Year Framework on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) has endorsed the Organic Food System Programme (OFSP) as one of its eight  Core Initiatives. Organic food systems are posed as a model for sustainability and can serve as living laboratories for continued learning and improvement, integrating science and research with real-world examples.

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Author: Prof. M. Reza Ardakani, Board Member of ISOFAR, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


iSHS president

The ISHS President (Prof. Roderick A. Drew) and the board members as well as
Congress President (Prof. Yüksel Tüzel) and working groups of the local hosts
acknowledged for their energy, creativity and organizing a wonderful congress.


Istanbul, in Turkey hosted the 30th International Horticulture Congress (12-16 August 2018) under the auspices of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) which provided an excellent platform for scientists, students, consultants, engineers, extension agents, growers,  industry, trade and consumer organizations, policymakers and other professionals having an interest in horticulture.

The impact of input intensive horticultural production elevates concerns for product and environmental safety not only for food but also non-food products. Organic horticulture is accepted as a solution to both well-being of the populations and the environment. ISHS as the main conference organizer and specially Professor Uygun Aksoy (Chair of the Scientific Committee) kindly supported the concepts of Organic Horticulture with considering specific scientific symposium on Organic Horticulture for Wellbeing of the Environment and Population (2nd International symposium); aShort Training Course on Organic Agriculture; a Workshop on Soil and Soilless Organic Production Systems, and a workshop on Agroecology and Education: Socio-ecological Resilience to Climate Change.

Organic systems bring solutions to not only the production chain but provide public services mainly for agro-ecosystems, rural landscapes and rural and urban populations. Agroecology is conceived as a holistic model of global change that includes technical, social, organizational and political dimensions. It favors new learning conditions by abandoning old, compartmentalized models of knowledge in which disciplines often ignore the complex realities of human, agricultural, and natural environments. Learning from action research provides answers to immediate questions and contributes in the long run to the consolidation of a sustainable food system based on local reality knowledge and with students prepared to deal with complex problems in the future. The workshop on soil and soilless organic production systems established a platform to discuss the current state-of art especially in the EU, USA and Canada and exchange experiences in drawbacks and advantages of such systems. The participants agreed that the basic principles of organic should guide the practices rather than commercial interests, and that further research results are required to develop the standards.



The outcomes of the workshop on Agroecology and Education:


  • Consolidate agroecology in higher education towards the formation of solid professionals in the subject.
  • Promote an agroecological network in the International Society of Horticultural Science.
  • Strengthen research and extension projects in agroecology with the methodology Participatory action research (PAR).
  • Join forces for a future symposium on agroecology


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Scientists from 82 countries attended in this congress. Turkey's history as well as agricultural and agro-industrial potential of research activities was introduced to all international participants.


roberto ugas

Prof. Roberto Ugas (Prof. of Agroecology and Organic Agriculture, National La Molina Agricultural University, Lima, Peru) gave an inspiring key note presentation on ”Agroecology and organic agriculture in Latin America” in which he stated the most relevant issues to innovations and agroecological best practices in the world.


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This can be the start of more Agroecology and Organic Horticulture across the ISHS world! All speakers at the Agroecology and Education workshop agreed with Roberto’s pledge for more agroecology science approaches in horticultural science.

Left to right: Prof. M. Reza Ardakani (Iran), Prof. Ulrich Schmutz (United Kingdom), Prof. Beatrix Alsanius (Sweden), Prof. Martine Dorais (Canada), Prof. Uygun Aksoy (Turkey) and Prof. Maria Claudia Dussi (Argentina).


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The relevant commission in ISHS with the title of “Agroecology and Organic Farming Systems” launched to develop and support science in horticultural organic movements in which Prof. Martine Dorais (Protected crops and organic horticulture, Plant science department, Laval University, Quebec, Canada) elected as the Chair and Prof. Maria Claudia Dussi (Agroecology Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Rio Negro, Patagonia, Argentina) became the Vice Chair. Participants of the business meeting on agroecology and organic farming systems are shown in the picture.

Author: OFSP member of the steering committee: Prof. Ewa Rembiałkowska,
Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland,
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., www.sggw.pl

ofsp ofsp logo

OFSP is an international program that combines theory and practical implementation. Ongoing activities include networking, research, training and capacity building, and practical implementation projects. Special events such as workshops, conferences, and round tables happen across the calendar. Outputs include publications, information brochures, websites, scientific papers, recommendations, and audio/visual media.

The OFSP is a programme on taking and further developing the organic food system as a pilot model and living laboratory for sustainable food systems. We use the organic food system as a model to understand drivers of sustainable food consumption and to link this to real-world examples of sustainable production and consumption. It is important to understand that the OFSP will use the organic food system as a kind of window for exploration but not as the exclusive solution. There are many commonalities between healthy (e.g. WHO 2014) and sustainable diets (e.g. FAO 2012); organic agriculture is not necessarily a component of achieving either of these goals, but can contribute to enhancing both and may act as a model to bridge health and sustainability.The OFSP works with proven and innovative diet models and works on food production based on latest knowledge of best practices for regenerative agriculture and nutritional quality. Partners of the OFSP have detailed knowledge of various regional diets such as Mediterranean Diet and New Nordic Diet and are connected to a vast network of organic farming practitioners and research.

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What’s the best way to manage Agroecological Service Crops? Comparing the usual management of ASC as green manure vs the use of roller crimper in a no till system, SoilVeg found that the latter generate an higher overall environment benefit, although with lower yields.


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