‘Organic’ is often assumed to mean not using pesticides and chemical fertilizers. It’s not unusual to hear comments like: ‘I don’t use pesticides and therefore I’m organic’ or ‘I don’t need anyone to certify me’ or even, ‘organic is a joke’. Let’s try and clarify.
‘Organic’ is not just a symbol printed on a label. When we undergo regular inspections and controls, we give ourselves and others the knowledge and reassurance that we’re operating in the correct way. Being organic means not forcing nature. For example: manure is allowed, but applying it in excess forces things in a way that will produce an imbalance in the plant’s normal development, making it more sensitive to attack by pathogens. Being organic is not only about respecting a more or less rigorous protocol (for example, we operate according to a Swiss protocol whose parameters are more restrictive than Italian and European ones); it’s also an ethical lifestyle choice that we must embody in every action and not only when we enter the vineyard or the cellar or when an inspection is due. It means, for example, not wasting a precious resource such as water, using electrical appliances and lighting mindfully, managing waste properly and sustainably. In other words, we must understand that we are nature. Defending nature means defending ourselves, caring for nature’s wellbeing means caring for ourselves.