Organic fruits and vegetables: Spirits warm up around heated greenhouses

Farmers were alarmed Wednesday by a desire of some producers of organic fruit and vegetables to “industrialize” the industry by heating greenhouse crops. False lawsuits, retort those concerned, who claim to simply want to respond to the galloping consumer demand.

“No to the industrialization of bio! No organic tomato in winter,” exclaimed the National Federation of Organic Farmers (FNAB), in a petition launched with the Nicolas Hulot Foundation (FNH), Greenpeace and Climate Action Network , supported by sixty cooks, starred or not.

The object of their anger, the development of “large-scale projects of organic vegetables produced under heated greenhouse”, which are emerging, particularly in Brittany and the Pays de la Loire, which would lead to the production of fruits and vegetables out season, explained the FNAB to AFP.

Organic farmers had not previously used this practice, or very marginally, according to the FNAB, which feared “to find on the stalls of the French organic tomato in the middle of March.A taste aberration, agronomic and environmental! “, according to his petition.

– Regulatory blur –

The FNAB intends to convince the Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume to “fight against the industrialization of organic by limiting the use of heating greenhouses to the production of plants and frost preservation”, before the next national committee of organic agriculture, scheduled for July 11, to decide on this issue, a decision already postponed twice.

For its part, the interprofession of fruit and vegetables (Interfel) “is absolutely not favorable to a system of greenhouses heated in organic farming all year round.It simply reminds that the European regulation authorizes the heating of greenhouses” in agriculture biological.

“However, she is not opposed to a possible evolution of this reading guide, in respect of the community framework,” she adds in a statement.

“We are in favor of rules that are equivalent in all countries, we must not achieve a de facto disappearance of national production by constraints that would effectively make us no longer competitive,” he said. AFP the president of Interfel, Laurent Grandin.

“We have the + historical, in the development of organic, who have done a remarkable job and created the conditions of a market,” says Mr. Grandin, for whom there is on their part “a fear that new actors who use different means may be disrupting this market “.

The defenders of the heated greenhouses defended their positions in tight ranks, during the permanent assembly of chambers of agriculture (APCA).

– Carbon balance pointed by the finger –

Among them, Georges Guézenoc, organic farmer in northern Finistère, spoke of “a completely deficit market”, showing the proportion of organic products imported in long circuit in 2017. According to the agency bio, 78% of tomatoes, 70% of cucumbers and 69% of the zucchini on French stalls came from abroad.

Beyond an explosion of volumes, the FNAB points, it, the pollution generated by the heating of greenhouses. Based on a study by Ademe, a tomato produced under a heated greenhouse would emit, with 2.2 kilograms of CO2 per kilo for one kilogram of tomatoes, 7 times more greenhouse gas than a tomato produced in France. in season and almost 4 times more than a tomato imported from Spain.

This argument was disputed by some producers present Wednesday at the APCA.

“It is out of the question that we produce strawberries and tomatoes at Christmas, we respect the cycle of life”, threw Jacques Rouchaussé, president of vegetables of France.

“The consumer wants products from France, help the organic producer to develop, do not shoot us in the foot to allow organic Spanish to come in. The Spanish bio, when you have it in store, it is packed in plastic, I do not know if it's so organic, but you have to think about it, “he concluded.

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