ONE organization (Debio) has the "licence" for everything organic. If an organic product (vegetables for instance) produced in Norway and sold in stores countrywide doesn't have the appropriate Debio sticker, it's NOT "certified organic" and can not be sold/called organic. I must add that Debio cheats a bit as well, they give many farms permits without the farms being 100% organic, just as long as they're well under the Debio umbrella. And under that umbrella, you have to buy THEIR stuff, their labels/bags/packaging etc. You get the drift, I'm sure. On the other hand, many importers of vegetables and fruit claim THEIR products are organic; how am I to know as a consumer? I'd like to know what I eat, and the great satisfaction with growing my own vegetables is that even if I'm not successful (like when I chose the wrong salad that should have been labeled SNAIL FODDER) at least I know it's not bathed with chemicals, tampered with genetically etc and that makes up for any half good result successwise.
Small farmers who sell locally grown produce on a nearby market is a thing of the past, any such (brilliant) ideas is met with rules and regulations and permit applications every way you turn. Life in the Norwegian countryside is a long way from the BBCs 'River Cottage' TV series (which I viewed with joy BTW).
The society today is simply not made for living self-sufficient in many ways
- it's hard to start small on a farm with plans to expand later; Norwegian law says that farms of a certain size has an obligation to "produce", in other words, you can't buy a farm with lots of forest unless you're going into forestry. Many farms of all sizes is empty in Norway today (what a surprise!) because of that kind of regulations.