How do I know that what I am buying is really Organic?
“Certified Organic” means the food was grown, harvested, stored and transported without the use of synthetic chemical, irradiation or fumigants. Genetically Modified Organisms are banned under Organic certification. All certified producers will be able to demonstrate their certification.
What is Organic certification?
Organic certification is a quality control standard that growers, processors, wholesalers and retailers follow to ensure what you buy is truly Organic. Holders of Organic certification are audited annually by their certifying bodies and may be subjected to spot checks.
Genuine Organic Foods – how can you be sure?
How can you be sure a product labelled as organic is truly produced using organic methods?
Easy – look for Certified organic on the label. If there is no certification then the product may not be genuine.
- Organic certification assures customers they are buying genuine organic products
- There is a National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Production. This also covers processing and manufactured products
- Australian government (AQIS) administers the organic regulations. Seven organisations are currently accredited to inspect/audit and certify under this programme.
- The organic certifier inspects each organic operator every year to check for compliant organic methods and records.
What is organic certification?
Organic certification is simply a system to confirm that the way a product is grown is truly organic.
There are many different ways to do organic farming, but all of them have common underlying principles, such as not using synthetic chemicals and fertilisers, treating the soil as a living resource, and protecting the environment.
The common principles of all organic farming systems, together with other details, have been written into a set of organic standards, so all growers work to the same rules and consumers have a way to be sure a product is truly organically grown.
Organic certification also covers the way a product is stored, transported, processed, packaged or any other operation - to ensure there is no contamination or mixing before being purchased by the consumer.
Modern organic farming is a whole farm management system where natural biology and balanced soil fertility give sustainable yields without the use of synthetic chemicals or forced growth.
Organic farming is more than just not using synthetic chemicals. It involves:
- The whole farm – a system that looks after water, soil, biodiversity and the environment.
- Avoidance of forced growth (to maximise yield) – instead aims for optimal growth to produce healthy food.
- Sustainable yields, year after year - without degrading the farmland or the environment for future generations.
It takes 3 years for a farm to achieve full organic certification.
This reflects the time it takes to establish an active biological farming system where:
- Synthetic chemical fertilisers are replaced with biological management of soils using techniques such as composted manures and natural nutrition.
- Synthetic pesticides and herbicides are replaced by new management techniques where biological balance is achieved
- Potential off-farm contamination issues are addressed
- Record keeping is established to verify activities