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Can organic tomatoes be grown in heated greenhouses?

Currently, to obtain the Organic designation, a tomato must have been grown in the soil, without synthetic pesticides and must not have been grown in a heated greenhouse. The famous heated greenhouses that allow vegetables to be grown out of season are not accepted to obtain the organic label.

Several representatives of fruit and vegetable producers would like to see the designation "organic" granted to tomatoes grown under heated greenhouses. They argue that if they heat their greenhouses, they do not use pesticides.

For organic professionals, this would be illogical: the national organic federation, the FNAB and the Synabio, which brings together agri-food companies in the sector, believe that growing organic tomatoes in heated greenhouses would be a total aberration since they believe that in organic agriculture, we must respect the rhythm of the seasons.

They also point out that a tomato produced in France under heated glasshouses is responsible for 4 times more greenhouse gases than a tomato imported from Spain and 8 times more than a tomato produced in France during the season.

If the green light were given for tomatoes grown under heated glasshouses to have the organic label, this would set a precedent for all other greenhouse crops. The European Commission must take a decision, but it will be based on what the National Committee for Organic Agriculture has just postponed its decision until 19 July.

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