Agriculture is the general term for activities related to the cultivation and care of plants and animals for food production. Agriculture is the source of food products, animal feed, textile raw materials, bioenergy, and industrial raw materials.
The agricultural sector is of vital importance for feeding the world population, providing raw materials for textiles, pharmaceuticals, fuel, and other products. It is also economically and socially significant for providing employment, rural development, and the sustainable use of natural resources.
The agricultural sector has seen significant technological advancements over time. Factors such as tractors, irrigation systems, fertilizers, pesticides, and genetic engineering have increased agricultural production efficiency.
Industrialization in the agricultural sector has also brought a range of issues, including climate change, access to water resources, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, food security, and inequality. Moreover, workers in the agricultural sector often face low wages, poor working conditions, and occupational health issues, leading to human rights violations and humanitarian concerns.
The agricultural sector must focus on developing more sustainably, efficiently, and environmentally sensitively in the future. Advanced agricultural technologies, organic farming, and less resource-intensive farming methods should be utilized for this purpose.
The agricultural industry encompasses many different sub-sectors or branches. Here are some of the main sub-sectors of the agricultural industry:
- Crop Production: This branch includes the cultivation of grains (wheat, corn, rice), fruits and vegetables, oilseeds (soybeans, sunflowers), sugarcane, cotton, and other plant-based products.
- Animal Production: Animal production covers the production of meat, milk, eggs, and other products from cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, and other animals.
- Forestry and Afforestation: This branch involves the cultivation of trees, the production of forestry products, and the sustainable management of forests. Wood, lumber, paper, and other forest products are part of this sector.
- Fisheries and Aquaculture: Fisheries include the hunting and farming of freshwater and marine products. Fish, shrimp, oysters, and more fall into this category.
- Agricultural Technologies: The agricultural industry includes the production and development of agricultural equipment, tractors, irrigation systems, seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and other agricultural technologies.
- Food Processing and Manufacturing: The processing, packaging, and storage of agricultural products are part of the food processing and manufacturing sector. This includes canned foods, dairy products, bakery goods, meat processing, and more.
- Agricultural Services: This category encompasses agricultural consulting, soil testing, agricultural insurance, and other agricultural services.
- Agricultural Marketing and Distribution: Marketing, distributing, and delivering agricultural products to consumers are part of this sector. Wholesale food distribution, supermarkets, and restaurants also fall into this category.
Certification with the agriculture sector
Certification in the agricultural sector affects many aspects such as quality, safety, environmental sustainability, and market access. Industrialization enables food production to be carried out with increased efficiency through mechanization and technology, which underscores the importance of quality and standards. It can also contribute to the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices to reduce environmental impacts. Agricultural certification verifies that products comply with required standards in terms of quality, safety, and traceability, while also playing a critical role in accessing international markets. These two concepts work together to enhance the quality of agricultural products and ensure consumers’ access to safe food.
Certification services provided by USB Certification include:
- Rainforest Alliance: A certification program that promotes the production and marketing of agricultural products in compliance with environmental and social sustainability standards. It is especially used in the production of coffee, tea, cocoa, and tropical fruits.
- Good Agricultural Practices: Represent an approach aimed at reducing the environmental and social impacts of agriculture. It reduces the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, manages water resources more sustainably, and prioritizes workers’ rights.
- Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Organic: An organic farming certification issued by the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, which verifies the cultivation of organic products without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- North Cyprus Organic: A program that regulates and certifies organic farming practices in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
- BCI (Better Cotton Initiative): A certification program that promotes best practices based on sustainability principles in cotton production. It guides cotton producers on reducing water and chemical usage.
- GRASP (Global Risk Assessment on Social Practice): A certification program that assesses social responsibilities within the food chain. It focuses on factors such as workers’ rights, working conditions, and safety.
- GLOBALG.A.P.: A globally recognized certification system that sets food safety and sustainable agriculture practices for agricultural products. This system guides farmers and producers in achieving environmental, social, and economic sustainability in agricultural practices.
- EU Organic: Refers to the organic farming and product standards and regulations set by the European Union. These standards cover the cultivation, processing, labeling, and certification processes of organic products.