Marian Blom is widely acknowledged in the EU as the most qualified expert on organic greenhouse standards. She has worked with Americans trying to bring together the EU and American organic movements. She is a Council Member of IFOAM EU and a Regulation Officer for the Dutch organization Bionext. She traveled to the U.S. last November to testify to the NOSB and NOC in Jacksonville about European organic standards which prohibit hydroponics.
She has written that “for an organic farmer, the link with the soil is indeed one of the most important aspects of organic farming. It is what ties the organic sector together, and determines a large part of its production rules. This is true for an arable farmer who has to prevent soil compaction, stimulate soil biodiversity, and promote soil fertility, if he or she wants to achieve good crops. And this is also true for a poultry farmer who has to maintain an attractive outdoor run for his or her poultry, and has to make sure that the chicken manure ends up on organic land. And it is true for a greenhouse grower, who needs to feed the soil that feeds the plants.
“In the high-tech world that greenhouse horticulture has become, people tend to forget that greenhouse growers are subject to this general approach, just as other farmers are. I am convinced that this focus on soil is a true strength of the organic sector. Setting soil and soil quality as the basis of your production system makes you responsible for what you do with this resource. This limitation, as some would call it, leads to innovation. It leads to in-depth knowledge of how the soil works, innovation in machinery, and in water giving strategies. Knowledgeable growers use this shared basis of action to produce sustainable products that consumers all over the world like to buy.”