In agriculture, sustainable agriculture is defined as the production of high-quality agricultural products through the use of farming methods and practices that respect the environment and conserve natural resources in the long term.
Sustainable practices encompass Organic Farming and Integrated Production. Today we are going to talk about the little-known Integrated Production.
Integrated production means the system of environmentally sustainable agricultural production and marketing of foodstuffs, materials or food elements consisting of a set of techniques that ensure the conservation and improvement of soil fertility and biodiversity by means of biological, chemical and technical methods that make environmental protection compatible with agricultural profitability and social demands.
Unlike Organic Farming, Integrated Production allows the use of chemical fertilisation or pest control techniques as long as environmental, biodiversity and food safety are ensured, thus guaranteeing a sustainable development of rural areas and landscape environments.
It is therefore a question of obtaining primary products through rational agriculture, using environmentally friendly methods that guarantee food security and the profitability of farms. Integrated Production operators, as well as organic operators, are subject to annual audits and reviews by authorised control bodies or inspection bodies which ensure compliance with farming standards and practices.
It is an agriculture halfway between modern conventional agriculture, which seeks to maximise yields, and organic agriculture, which is characterised by the absence of chemicals and the use of organic products
It is an agriculture that not only concentrates on chemicals, but also encompasses the social environment, the natural landscape and the biodiversity that characterises it.
Product-specific technical standards define the mandatory, prohibited and recommended agricultural practices for each product.