is organic certification?"
According to the National Standards
for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce, the document
on which the whole organic certification system is
"Organic means produced in soils
of enhanced biological activity, determined by the
humus level, crumb structure and feeder root development,
such that plants are fed through the soil ecosystem
and not primarily through soluble fertilisers added
to the soil".
No pesticides or herbicides may be
used in the processing or cultivation of certified
Before a grower, processor or retailer
can obtain organic certification, a stringent series
of checks and audits must be completed. Audits are
then conducted on a regular basis thereafter, usually
every 12 months.
All organic certifiers must be approved
by Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service AQIS,
who regularly audits their performance. Approved certifiers
inspect producers and products and issue certificates
for complying products. A list of organic and bio-dynamic
industry organisations accredited by AQIS can be found
Four Leaf Milling Pty Ltd is certified
for grain blending, grain cleaning and grading and
packaging certified product with the Biological Farmers
of Australia Co-op LTD(BFA).
We are also certified with Demeter
(Bio-Dynamic Research Institute) to process grains
and flour from bio-dynamic Demeter certified grains
"What is the difference between
Organic and Bio-dynamic product/products"
The above terminologies relate to
how the plant has been grown, basically it is the
culture of the soil. The growing plant is a reflection
of soil conditions and environmental factors, equally
so, the soil fertility is a reflection of the management
of that soil.
This system is based on natural methods
of soil culture that excludes the use of chemical
fertilisers, e.g. superphosphate, urea, sulphate of
ammonia, etc. Also excluded is the use of any synthesised
chemicals, e.g. pesticides, weedicides, fungicides,
Basic soil management is for the
development of a higher organic matter content within
the soil, which can be achieved by various procedures
such as 'green manuring'. This is turning plant growth
back into the soil for break down. Animal manures
also play a major role in an organic system, particularly
in more intensive soil culture. The use of animal
manures are important but they must be put through
a heat composting process. The standards, which control
the certifying bodies in Australia, state that all
animal manures must be composted. This of course relates
to intensive production and not to grazing animals
in a paddock situation. Considerable emphasis is put
on the legume cycle by growing leguminous plants.
Some commercial fertilisers are permitted
by the Certifying Bodies, such as composted animal
manures and crushed natural rock, the latter being
a source of minerals. Some products derived from the
sea such as kelp or fish residues may also be used.
Nowadays, there is a large range of these products.
There are, of course, management
systems such as rotational grazing of animals and
cultivation techniques in particular rotations to
further enhance this system.
Bio dynamic Production
Bio-dynamic agriculture began in
1924 in Selesia, when a group of farmers were noticing
a decline in agriculture and asked the Austrian philosopher,
Dr Rudolf Steiner, to give his views on agriculture.
These lectures were his suggestions on how to enliven
earth and particularly the plant for healthy production.
The lectures illustrated his depth
in understanding nature and consequently various people
have put these original suggestions into practice,
which has now developed a highly practical soil cultural
The basic principle is that a farm
is looked upon as a living entity with only a minimum
of inputs being bought in from outside. A real point
when we speak of sustainability. When a special need
arises in the mineral balance within the soil, such
products as crushed rock will be brought onto the
property and used in minimal amounts. Other commercial
fertilizers as permitted in organic production are
generally not used. As with the organic system chemical
fertilisers and synthesized chemicals are not permitted.
The bio-dynamic principle suggested
by Dr Steiner is that soil enlivening is carried out
by the use of various "preparations". These
are used in incredibly small amounts some down to
a gram to the acre. The eight preparations are derived
from animal manure, quartz crystal or herbs. They
are specially prepared and go through an exacting
One preparation called "500"
is used for soil and root development while another
called "501" can, in special circumstances,
be used to bring more light into the plant. The other
preparations are used in the compost heap to assist
in the breakdown and develop the quality of the compost.
Animal manures must be composted. Compost making has
a high priority in bio-dynamic production.
Management is so important. The legume
cycle for the natural production of soil nitrogen
is paramount. Rotational grazing of livestock and
cultivation techniques are also very important.
Bio dynamics is a highly organised
system, the aims of enlivening earth is so important
as soils are becoming so chemical contaminated and
impoverished. This fact is of course reflected in
the quality of product/food produced, which is to
maximise the benefits to human health.
Both systems are practiced worldwide
and are a necessity to halt the environmental pollution
and soil degradation that is occurring globally.
"How can I ensure that the product
I am buying is certified organic?"
1. Buy from a certified organic retailer.
Every certified party is allocated a Certification
Number and issued with a Certification Certificate
by the Certifying body, which will usually give an
expiry date or state the period of certification.
2. If a retailer is not certified
in their own right, any certified organic products
that are "down packaged" (such as repacked
in their own packages or sold from bulk "bins"),
loses its organic certification. Consequently, Four
Leaf cannot be held responsible for any products sold
in this manner. The only way for consumers to be sure
that they are buying a certified organic product is
to ensure that the product is packaged and sealed
by the certified party. The name and logo of the Certifying
Body and the certification No must also appear on
3. Of course, a product that does
not carry certification can still be organic - it
just means that the grower or processor has not been
subject to the audits and conditions imposed by the