Organic and Biodynamic Produce in Australia - a Growing Consumer Demand 🍇
Organic and biodynamic farming are very similar, they are both grown without chemicals and GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Using specified guidelines and slightly different principles, they add vitality and nourishment to the plant, soil and livestock. In contrast, traditional farming typically deteriorates the soil; the products contain substances used to protect plants against pests including herbicides to kill weeds, fungicides to get rid of diseases and insecticides to kill bugs. Animals get treated on regular basis with chemical products to prevent diseases and in many cases growth hormones are administered to speed up meat-production for the market.
What do you prefer? The choice is ours - the consumer!
There are certain criteria producers must comply with to be “organic certified”. For example, the use of chemicals must be minimal and rational. Farmers must also try to recycle and rely on biological cycles in the farming system where possible. A guiding principle is to emulate natural processes. Biodynamic production takes this a step further. It is a holistic, ecological and ethical approach to farming - rooted in the work of philosopher and scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner, whose 1924 lectures to farmers opened a new way to integrate scientific understanding with a recognition of spirit in nature.
There is a common misconception among consumers that organics are a new trend or something reserved for left-wing hippies, greenies or the well-to-do. What people forget is that organic farming is actually the traditional way of farming. Industrial or conventional farming became the new norm for industrialised countries after the “green revolution” of the 1950s and 60s. This period saw the development of new seed varieties and mass use of artificial fertilisers, pesticides and irrigation to produce higher yields to satisfy consumer demand and increase farming industry profit; it turned out to be especially profitable for the manufacturers of pesticides and fertilisers such as Bayer and Monsanto.
For example: Monsanto; in 2015 the company made nearly $4.76 billion in sales and $1.9 billion in gross profits from herbicide products, mostly Roundup.
"Monsanto will no longer be a company name. The acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio." The deal was set in motion in September 2016, when Bayer agreed to pay $66 billion for Monsanto amid a global shakeup fueled by sluggish crop prices. Jun 4, 2018 (https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/06/04/monsanto-bayer-name/668418002/)
This will likely reduce transparency still further when it comes to industrial farming inputs. In addition, the newly-formed corporation will have market dominance -- and political influence -- on an almost unprecedented scale.
Unfortunately - compared to European countries such as Germany - as stated by Australian Government Department: “...there is no mandatory requirement for certification of organic product sold domestically in Australia. Many organic businesses however choose to be certified by an organic certification body to underpin truth in labelling requirements and promote consumer confidence.”
Regardless, when it comes to everyday shopping, we have a powerful choice to make: do we opt for products known to be better for the environment, as well as our overall health. I for one would rather choose certified organic products wherever possible instead of those produced using industrial farming methods.
The certified organic industry is worth over $1.7 billion to the Australian economy and is growing rapidly every year due to consumer demand, trust and value in labelled certified organic products. ‘Australian Certified Organic works towards the future’, comments Paul Stadhams, CEO of Australian Organic. ‘We focus on organic, sustainable farming practices, land regeneration and biodiversity protection. The ACO Standard strictly prohibits the use of synthetic agricultural chemicals. These toxins, such as pesticides, fungicides and herbicides could be potentially dangerous for the environment. Instead ACO supports farming systems and management techniques, for example crop rotation and companion planting, which are beneficial for native flora and fauna and have a great impact on maintaining a healthy and fertile soil.’ He continuous: ‘Also, we are very concerned with animal welfare. Australian Certified Organic concentrates on the process as a whole - from farm to plate!’
Choosing organic certified products is not only good for your health and the environment, it also supports organic farmers, producers and processors, who are doing the right thing for the environment as well as being part of building a sustainable future for all Australians.
What is ‘Organic Certified’ ?
Check out our Enviroblog publications related to the topic:
Australian Government - Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, 2019 (viewed 15.02.2019)
Local Farm Produce, 2019 (viewed 15.02.2019)