There is « Bio » and « Bio ».

The « marked » organic products bloom in our daily life. You can find them in small local shops with a varied public, in baskets obtained by buying groups, as well as on supermarket shelves. 

This disparity, beyond the ingenuous bliss that would see in this colonization of organic a mark of radical change, poses above all the question of its definition: what is an organic product?definition: what is an organic product?

Because, as the authors say: « What do farmers who sell their organic products at fair prices on open-air markets or in Amap (Associations for the maintenance of peasant agriculture) have in common with a supermarket chain that sells organic products imported from the other side of the world, with a catastrophic carbon footprint and sold at five to ten times their purchase price? « Indeed, what is the relevance and meaning of the social project of organic agriculture and the consumption of organic products in supermarkets? Where one represents a real social project, the other reveals a new commercial niche to exploit. Where one is the bearer of change, the other is only continuity. 

However, organic farming is nothing new and this age is all the more relevant because of the evolution and the deepening of the exploitation of nature and mankind that the current era is witnessing. it is necessary to remember « that before the industrial revolution, all the agricultures of the world were organic, in the sense that they did not resort to fertilizers nor to synthetic pesticides nor to allopathic veterinary drugs nor to transgenic plants and animals ». Whether it is biodynamic agriculture, organic agriculture or Fukuka’s natural agriculture, « the founders of bio are clearly opponents (…) They represent, each in their own way, a permanent current of intellectual resistance to dominant ways of thinking ». It breaks with the indifference between bio-business and organic for a fairer, healthier and more united society. 

And the investigation is relentless, going from Colombia with its palm oil certified « paramilitary » and « organic » by Ecocert -, the intensive French poultry farms where a new European regulation of organic agriculture allows to import 50% of its food, and the tomatoes, strawberries and others from Almería, certified « under greenhouse » and « fruits of the exploitation of Moroccan, Polish, Romanian workers ».… where the only difference with the non-organic is the inputs certified … organic; also dissecting these new large areas exclusively organic, stopping in Morocco, Israel and Palestine, to conclude with a chapter with an evocative title: « another bio for another world ».

For it is a double challenge that we face, far from the aseptic supermarkets displaying their organic products: « tochange agriculture in order to change society, or to have to change society in order to change agriculture ».


The Bio
between business and social project, Philippe Baqué (ed.), Editions Agone, Marseille, 2012

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