Organic farming is agriculture makes healthy food, healthy soils, healthy plants, and healthy environments a priority, along with crop productivity. Organic farmers use biological fertilizer inputs and management practices such as cover cropping and crop rotation to improve soil quality and build organic soil matter. By increasing the amount of organic matter in the soil, organic farmers enhance the soil’s ability to absorb water, reducing the impacts of drought and flooding. Improving soil organic matter also helps it to absorb and store carbon and other nutrients need to grow healthy crops, which, in turn, are better able to resist insects and diseases.
Organic production systems do not use genetically modified (GM) seed, synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Some of the essential characteristics of organic systems include design and implementation of an organic system plan that describes the practices used in producing crops and livestock products; a detailed record keeping system that tracks all products from the field to point of sale; and maintenance of buffer zones to prevent inadvertent contamination by synthetic farm chemicals from adjacent conventional fields.
Chemicals you may be familiar with such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on (and in) the food we eat. Organic food is often fresher because it doesn't contain preservatives that make it last longer. But navigating the maze of organic food labels, benefits, and claims can be confusing. The question many customers ask is, is organic food really better for you and how can I be sure it is organic?
Let's look at the labelling of Organic
This is a minefield really and very confusing for most customers here in Australia as Organic means something different to Certified Organic. The term Organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. While the regulations vary from country to country, in the U.S., organic crops must be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Weeds must be controlled naturally, the soils are treated with natural fertilizers and insects must be treated with naturally derived pesticides.
Here is Australia the labelling is a little different, Organic essentially means the same, however in a blended product you only need to have 1 organic ingredient and the product can be claimed to be organic. Certified Organic means that all the ingredients in that product are organic.
In Australia, there are seven organics certification companies that have been approved by AQIS:
- Australian Certified Organic(ACO)
- National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia(NASAA)
- AUS-QUAL Limited(Aus-Qual)
- Bio-Dynamic Research Institute(Demeter)
- Organic Food Chain(OFC)
- Safe Food Production Queensland(SFPQ)
- Tasmanian Organic-dynamic Producers(TOP)
- Southern Cross
Organic GF Oats in Australia
GK Gluten Free Foods are currently acquiring a certification number from Australian Certified Organic or ACO. Our growers in WA are certified with Southern Cross Organics.
Here in Australia we are discovering the same, that customers are seeking the organic oats alternative to support their choice to reduce the chemicals in their daily food choices.