Their standards have been recognised by the Department of Primary Industries, Canberra; with some certification organisations also recognised by the Australian Government through the Organic Producers Advisory Committee (OPAC), which maintains organic standards to international levels. Products that carry their logos must comply with stringent standards set down by each of the respective organisations and this in turn gives assurance to consumers that they have been produced by sustainable farming methods and without the use of chemicals and pesticides. Organic and Bio-dynamic farms are individually assessed prior to certification being granted. A Statutory Declaration regarding farm management practices may also be required and farm produce is subject to ongoing random residue testing. The fundamental principle of these standards is that the producer uses farming practices that are regenerative to the soil, in harmony with nature and non-polluting to the environment.
ORGANIC farmers utilise many techniques as part of a sound, regenerative farming system. Mulching, composting, crop rotations, green manure and legume crops, rational use of selected manures, vegetable wastes and rock minerals, along with natural biological sprays may all play a part in an organic system. Such methods of production DO NOT permit the use of artificial and synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, while antibiotics and growth hormones ARE NOT permitted in any livestock production.
BIO-DYNAMICS is an agricultural practice based principally on the indications of Austrian scientist Rudolf Steiner. Bio-dynamic farming methods not only protect the soil but actually enhance its qualities, so that plants grow stronger and healthier and are better for people to eat. This advanced method of organic farming is designed, biologically, to activate the life of the soil to the point where plants are fed naturally in a soil with enhanced biological activity. This is determined not only by the humus level, but also by the crumb structure and the important root structure. Biological farming aims to create soil conditions that are suited to feed plants within natures organisation. Bio-dynamic produce is marketed under the international DEMETER trade mark.
NO soluble fertilisers or synthetic chemicals are permitted.
LEVEL A ORGANIC/BIODYNAMIC
Certified Level A Organic/Biodynamic farms have fully converted to the sound, regenerative Organic/Biodynamic farming system, usually over a minimum period of at least three years.
LEVEL B (In Conversion)
The same principles and standards as Level A are being practised, but the farm has not yet reached all the requirements of Level A status.
Past research has shown that organically grown produce has a greater nutritional value because of the better balance of vitamins, minerals and lower moisture content. Apart from the great taste and flavour of organic food, many people’s interest centres on the health benefits of chemical-free food. Whilst some consumers are unable to tolerate any pesticide residues that may be present in conventional produce, other consumers are concerned about the possibility of chemical build-up in their bodies or that of their children. Organic food is particularly suitable for people with allergies and chemical intolerances.
Food Irradiation and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are NOT permitted in Certified Organic production or processing.