Are you anti-organic? Read on!

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The organic trend is a strong one at the moment, and we are delighted to see it! As a State-owned company with substantial responsibilities, however, it is important that we are critical and analytical, and that applies equally to organic labelling. Which is why we drew up some anti-organic questions and put them to Lena Rogeman, who heads the Sustainable Supply Chain unit at Systembolaget.

Are pesticides and artificial fertilizers really hazardous?

“They can be for the people working on the land, yes. For these people, organic cultivation means a marked improvement in both their working and living environments. And organic cultivation is equally important for the environment – pesticides and artificial fertilisers affect biological diversity in the cultivation areas and can result in over-fertilization.”

But surely there isn’t any pesticide residue in the finished drinks?

“No, that’s true: the levels of pesticide in the finished drinks are very low, even from conventional cultivation. And it should be remembered that the actual alcohol is far more harmful than any pesticide residues.”

Doesn’t organic cultivation use more land? So doesn’t that mean there’s less land on which to grow food?

“That’s a good question, and a difficult one, and it’s being discussed in many quarters. It’s important that we increase the productivity of organic cultivation. But organic cultivation is a way of ensuring that you don’t introduce artificial chemicals into agriculture – chemicals that can disrupt the eco-cycle in which every cultivation operates.”

Aren’t there some farmers who cultivate organically but who can’t afford to reorganise their production so that it meets the requirements for certification? How do you feel about that?

“It’s true that there are farmers who always, or mostly, cultivate their crops organically. But as a consumer, you want to know that a statement is accurate and third party-checked certification is required as a guarantee of that. For us, it’s a question of credibility.”

Find out more!

Find out more about Systembolaget’s organic products work and about what is required for a wine or beer to be organically labelled here.