What is Organic Certification?
According to the National Standards for organic and bio dynamic produce, the document on which the whole organic certification system is based:- “Organic means produced in soils of enhanced biological activity, determined by the humus level, crumb structure and feeder root development. The plants are fed through the soil ecosystem and not through soluble fertilisers added to the soil”
No pesticides or herbicides to be used in the processing or cultivation of certified organic produce.
Before organic certification can be obtained, stringent series of checks and audits must be completed. Audits are then conducted on an annual basis.
What is the difference between Organic and Bio dynamic Farming?
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. Soil fertility is a reflection of the management of the soil.
Soil management is for the development of a higher organic matter content in the soil. This can be achieved by procedures such a green manuring (turning plant growth back into the soil to break down). The use of animal manures are important. The standards controlling the certifying bodies in Australia state that all animal manures must be composted. This relates to intensive production and not to grazing animals in a paddock situation. Emphasis is also put on the legume cycle by growing leguminous plants and crop rotation. Certified organic certified fertilisers are permitted.
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 the suggestions came into practice and developed into the highly practical soil cultural system of bio dynamics.
The basic principle is that a farm is looked upon as a living entity with only a minimum of inputs from outside. This is the real point when we speak of sustainability. 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 cow manure, quartz crystal or herbs and go through an exacting composting process. One preparation called ‘500’ is used for soil and root development, while another ‘501’ will assist the plant to absorb light. Other preparations assist in the breakdown and quality of the compost heap.
Both organic and bio dynamic systems are practised 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 organic?
- Look for the certification logo on the package. As well as the logo, it will show the certification number of the manufacturer or packer.
- If the retailer is not certified, any certified organic products that are repacked from bulk into smaller packs will lose its organic certification. Consequently, Four Leaf Milling cannot be held responsible for our products sold in this manner. The only way to ensure a product is certified is check the packet for the logo and number of the producer.
Further information www.austorganic.com