The Ecological Surveys Footprint questionnaire calculates the land and ocean area necessary to sustain your consumption of food, goods, services. Accommodation, and energy and assimilate your waste. Your ecological footprint is express in global hectares (gha). Its footprint is divide into four consumption categories: carbon, food, accommodation, goods, and services.

The world average per inhabitant is 23.47 global hectares. Yet there are only 15.71 global renewable hectares available per person. This means that we exceed Earth’s biological capacity by almost 50%.

The current situation is unsustainable since we consume more natural resources than those produced by the planet since 20% of the world’s population consumes 80% of the resources.

The questionnaire that we present to you below aims to find out the average ecological footprint of the homes of the students of our school as an indicator of the global impact that our lifestyles produce on the environment.

From Colegio Alonai, we invite you to participate in our Ecological Footprint test and propose a challenge: help us reduce it year after year.

The questionnaire is anonymous. The answers must be as honest as possible to know the starting point and evaluate our progress in successive years. You only have to fill out one test per family.

1. What IS Ecological Surveys organic Farming?

It is an agricultural system that, through the use of conservative techniques and improvers of the soil and the ecosystem, manages to obtain the food of the highest nutritional and sensory quality, respecting the environment, without the use of artificial biochemical products and thus achieving economically and ecologically sustainable agroecosystems.

  1. IS IT POSSIBLE TO PRODUCE WITHOUT THE USE OF CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS?

Yes, Ecological Agriculture bases the fertility of the soil on organic contributions through manure, compost, crop residues, introducing legumes in the rotation, green manures, etc. Usually, the organic gifts will provide the necessary macro and micronutrients for the crops, although if necessary, the use of mineral fertilizers authorized for use in Organic Agriculture can be resorted to. Farm manure, chicken manure, liquid excrement, etc., are not allowed if they come from intensive farming.

3. HOW ARE WEEDS AND CROP DISEASES CONTROLLED? Ecological Surveys

Pest control in Organic Agriculture is based on preventive methods, promoting the proper development of plants and, therefore, their natural resistance to pests and diseases. The first step in preventing pests and diseases will thus be to achieve a healthy, fertile soil capable of remaining productive over time. Then, appropriate techniques such as non-aggressive tillage, organic inputs, green manures, and rotations will be adequately necessary. And crop associations, increased biodiversity, abandonment of synthetic chemical products, etc.

4. ARE THERE SUBSTITUTE PRODUCTS FOR AGROCHEMICALS THAT CAN BE USED? Ecological Surveys

Although prevention will always be the finest tool in pest control, there is a wide range of phytosanitary products authorized in Organic Farming that we can use if a pest reaches levels that could compromise production. In the case of herbaceous crops, the possible problems that could appear with weeds are successfully solved with a correct crop rotation.

5. IS ORGANIC PRODUCTION PROFITABLE? Ecological Surveys

Yes, for some productions, such as cereals, the profitability of Organic Farming lies in the savings in production costs, together with the agri-environmental aid received by organic producers and the possibility of obtaining a higher price for the product. In the market. For other productions. As is the case of horticultural crops, although it is true that production costs may increase due to the increase in labor, these are compensate by the premium price that the products reach in the food market.

However, Ecological. In the case of livestock, difficulties may appear when marketing products on the organic market. Much will depend on the transformation structure available (slaughterhouse, cutting room, packaging…) and the marketing channel. moreover, It must be taken into account that the conversion to organic livestock would be relatively simple for specific extensive livestock farms. importantly The exact production costs could be maintaine, and the change would not have to lead to a decrease in production. This would have the advantage of accessing both conventional and organic markets.

6. ARE THERE GOOD MARKETING POSSIBILITIES FOR THESE PRODUCTS? Ecological Surveys

Yes, it is becoming easier to find certified organic products at the usual points of sale where consumers go. Organic food consumption increases progressively since consumers demand more and more healthy and higher quality food. Given the growing social awareness of environmental issues, it is also valued that the production system is respectful of the environment. In the case of cereals, the market is found fundamentally in organic farms, feed mills, and flour mills.

7. HOW ARE ORGANIC FOODS IDENTIFIED? Ecological Surveys

These foods are identified in the markets with a label granted to organic operators when they have passed the controls established by the certifying body. Therefore, if they do not carry it, even if the advertising says they are ecological, they cannot be considered as they lack the guarantee certificate and maybe a fraud for consumers.

8. WHAT LEGISLATION REGULATES ORGANIC AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK? Ecological Surveys

Organic production is regulated by “Regulation (CE) 834/2007 of the Council, of June 28, 2007, on display and labeling of organic products. Which repeals Regulation (EEC) 2092/91, supplemented by Regulation (CE) 889/2008 that expands and develops it in some aspects, these being applicable and mandatory for all member countries. This Regulation establishes, among other precepts, the obligation to submit farmers, importers of third parties countries, and processors that wish to market Organic Farming products to a control system to ensure that they respect manufacturing standards and do not use techniques that are incompatible with this agricultural modality, such as fertilizing the land with chemical fertilizers, treatments with chemically synthesized pesticides, etc.

9. WHO CERTIFIES ECOLOGICAL PRODUCTION? Ecological Surveys

The Council of Ecological Agriculture of Castilla y León (CAECyL) had certified ecological production in the Community since 1995, when the competencies in matters of Ecological Agriculture were transferred from the Central Administration to the Autonomous Communities. As the competent body, it exercises the control functions established in the Regulations above and those of ensuring their compliance with the territorial scope of the Autonomous Community of Castilla y León.

According to order AYG/452/2013, of Meanwhile May 29, which approves the Regulatory Regulation for Organic Agricultural Production and its indication on agricultural and food products:

Moreover, The Competent Authority in Castilla y León is the Agricultural Technological Institute of Castile and León (ITACyL). According to this order, the control and certification of Organic Agriculture may be carry out by:

  • The Council of Ecological Agriculture of Castilla y León as Control Authority.
  • One or more Control Bodies that act as product certification bodies following the criteria established in Regulation 834/2007 and previously registered in the Register of Control Bodies for Agrifood Products of Castilla y León for the scope of Organic Agriculture.

10. WHAT SHOULD A PROFESSIONAL OR COMPANY DO TO OBTAIN THE Ecological Surveys CERTIFICATION OF ITS PRODUCTS?

as a result The first step is to contact the corresponding authorize control body for the certification of organic production in Castilla y León to register the farm with the crops, animals, and the facilities where they will be produce and process. Organic food.

moreover The holder must fill out the application forms and provide the documentation that will allow the facilities or plots that make up the production unit intend to be register to be identifie and the activity carry out there.

Once this documentation has delivere and the registration fee has paid, a technician from the certification body visits the plots/facilities. Where the integrity of the registration request and the conditions for following the regulations are verified. Suppose it can be demonstrated that the entire process is correct. Once the corresponding conversion period has elapsed, the Certification Commission will grant the production certificate depending on the type of crop and the animal species in question. Ecological.

11. WHAT IS IT, AND HOW LONG IS THE CONVERSION PERIOD? Ecological Surveys

Meanwhile The conversion is the period that must elapse to be able to market the food obtaine, referring to the organic production method. This period begins with registering the data in the corresponding certifying body. At which time the operator formalizes the commitments to have its production certified. The end of this period occurs once the time indicated in the Regulation has elapse, depending on the type of crop. Species, and origin of the animals and the previous management of the plots.

In arable crops, for example, this period lasts three years. In livestock, the conversion period is between 6 weeks for poultry intend for egg production, up to 12 months for horses and cattle for meat production, going through 6 months in the case of pigs, goats, sheep, and dairy cattle. From the beginning of the conversion period and during its course, the operator must put into practice all the requirements of organic agriculture and livestock. However, he will not be able to market his products as organic until the end of that period, and he obtains the certificate of conformity.

12. IS THERE AID FOR ORGANIC PRODUCTION? Ecological Surveys

Therefore Yes, Organic Farming is consider one of the agri-environmental measure that are part of the Rural Development Program of Castilla y León 2014-2020, a document that carries out the provisions contain in the Community Regulations for aid to rural development through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to initiate commitments in the 2014/2015 or 2015 agricultural campaign.

Moreover Agri-environmental aid is configure as an appropriate support method for farms, which, meeting specific requirements. Contribute to the conservation of the environment without undermining its technical and economic viability.

13. HOW CAN YOU ACCESS AID FOR Ecological Surveys ORGANIC FARMING?

Moreover to access the agri-environmental aid applied to Ecological Agriculture, the holder must sign a contract with the Territorial Service of Agriculture and Livestock of the Junta de Castilla y León, through which he undertakes five years to carry out his exploitation practices of organic production. Once a said contract has sign, it will be possible to request the annual aid through the Single Application. The agri-environmental measure that governs Organic Farming requires specific commitments for organic crops. Among them, it stands out as being in the list of operators Organic Agriculture of Castilla y León (CAECyL) before September 30 before each request for aid and updating the book of the farm that the certifying body will supervise,

14. IS THE AID ALSO RECEIVE DURING THE CONVERSION PERIOD?

Yes, the agri-environmental aid to Organic Agriculture and Livestock begins to be receive from the Meanwhile  beginning of the conversion. Therefore, the requirements and commitments describe in the previous question are.

15. WHAT IS THE AMOUNT OF THE AID?

The unit amounts of aid for organic farming for each type of use will be as follows:

a) Payments for the adoption of organic farming practices and methods.

Dryland herbaceous crops €228/Ha.

Irrigated herbaceous crops €300/Ha.

Outdoor horticultural crops €420/Ha.

Horticultural crops under plastic €600/Ha.

Olive grove €336/Ha.

Vineyard €288/Ha.

Rainfed fruit trees €210/Ha.

Pome fruit trees, irrigated €360/Ha.

Stone fruit trees, irrigated €456/Ha.

Forage areas (permanent pastures) €144/ha

Once the conversion period indicated above for each crop has elapsed, the beneficiary will receive the amounts included in the following section.

b) Payments for the maintenance of practices and methods of Ecological Agriculture.

importantly Dryland herbaceous crops €190/Ha.

Irrigated herbaceous crops €250/Ha.

Outdoor horticultural crops €350/Ha.

Horticultural crops under plastic €500/Ha.

Olive grove €280/Ha.

Vineyard €240/Ha.

Rainfed fruit trees €175/Ha.

Pome fruit trees, irrigated €300/Ha.

Stone fruit trees, irrigated €380/Ha.

Forage surfaces (permanent pastures) €120/ha

16. CAN ONLY PART OF THE HOLDING BE CONVERTE?

Yes. A partial conversion of the farm can be carrie out under the condition of complying with the commitment of the agro-environmental action however that requires not cultivating, in the same year. The same species in ecological and conventional plots within the same farm. In the case of cattle. There may be traditional animals on the farm as long as they are rare in units whose premises and plots are separate from the production units following the rules of the Organic Livestock Regulations, and provide they are of a different species.

17. IS ORGANIC FARMING COMPATIBLE WITH OTHER AGRO-ENVIRONMENTAL AID?

Aid for organic farming is incompatible for the similarly same owner and his farm with any of the environmental and climate aids.

18. IS IT NECESSARY TO USE ORGANIC SEEDS FOR PLANTING?

importantly, the sowing seed will have to organic. However. Authorization may be obtain to use sources that have not obtain through the organic production method if the variety of the species is not register in the Ministry’s database. This database can be consult at:

Moreover If the variety is not register. Conventional seed can be use if it has not chemically treat with products not allow by the Regulation.

In addition, the variety in question must have produce without the use of transgenic organisms or products derive from these organisms.

19. IS IT POSSIBLE TO EMPLOY ANY BREEDS IN ORGANIC LIVESTOCK?

Yes, there are no regulatory limitations regarding using one or another specific livestock breed, although the use of autochthonous species. Better adapted to the environment and less susceptible to disease, is always more recommended.

20. WHERE CAN I FIND EXTRA INFORMATION AND ADVICE?

However the Zamora Provincial Council, from the Area of Agriculture and Livestock. Offers information and technical advice necessary to convert the farm to the organic production model. Considering each specific case’s particularities and making the production unit more profitable.

Review Ecological Surveys.

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