Peace, love and certification! New goodies to add to your box

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Hi,Today I got news back from our organic certification body that we have passed our annual organic audit, that was conducted a couple of weeks ago.   It’s always a good feeling to get that annual audit out of the way as it is a time consuming affair and I always feel a bit interrogated when getting asked so many questions by the auditor.  The whole audit lasts about three hours and they go though all our receipts, suppliers organic certificates, seed invoices, inputs that we’ve used in detail to ensure that we are complying with the Australian National Organic Standard.So what exactly is organic certification?Any certified organic product sold in Australia must by law display a certification symbol and number.  When consumers see this symbol they can be sure that the product complies with a set of standards that are enforced on behalf of AQIS by a certifying body such as AusQual.  The organic certification programme was set up in the 1980’s to ensure that what is sold to consumers as certified organic produce is indeed just that.
Certification is maintained by organic producers, processors and marketers through the following means: - Annual audits and spot (unannounced) checks are carried out to ensure full compliance with the strict Organic Standard. - All operators must maintain an OMP (Organic Management Plan) and update it annually. - There must be a clearly auditable trail of all product sold by a certified operator to prevent fraud.Australian farmers require a minimum of three years of organic management before they can hold a certificate stating “Certified Organic”.  At the initial audit a soil sample is taken and sent to a laboratory to ensure there is no risk of residual Organophosphates and/or Organochlorines that could contaminate future organic crops and animals.
There is a transitionary certificate, “In Conversion to Organic”, which can be obtained after 12 months of organic production. Foods bearing either label confirms that those products are being grown organically on farm. The “In Conversion” product is from a farm that has been in the organic certification program and been producing organically for less than 3 years.Why is there a need for organic certification?It can be argued that there is not really a need for organic certification and this could be especially true of developing countries.  For example more than 60% of India’s arable land is under traditional agriculture, where no synthetic inputs are used. However in the global marketplace that we now live, unless the produce is being consumed in the local community and consumers have a trusting relationship with their local farmer, there is nothing to stop a farmer selling any produce and just labelling it organic, thus misleading the consumer.Reasons for organic certification are: - protects consumers against deception and fraud in the marketplace; - protects producers of genuine organic produce against misrepresentation of agricultural produce as being organic; - ensures that all stages of production, processing and marketing are subject to inspection and meet predetermined requirements.Is organic certification necessary?Consumer demand for chemical free and environmentally sound high quality produce is increasing. Organic food and farming is now being more widely recognised as an economically viable option to provide this.  With retail sales of organic food increasing by 15%+ per annum both on a domestic and global scale, the market is growing at a faster rate than any other area of the food & drink industry.  Organic certification is important to ensure that we protect the integrity of the word organic by certifying farmers and food processors alike.  Of course in an ideal world there would be no reason for organic certification as synthetic chemicals would not be used, but until we reach that utopia organic certification really is necessary to ensure integrity. Cheers, Al
New local certified organic products in the shop!Peace Love & Vegetables are now certified organic! And we couldn't wait to add their products in our shop, so we've added pretty much all of them :-)Peace, Love & Vegetables creators Adam and Anya Yarrington make their amazing sauerkrauts (aka Super-kraut) and other healthy, raw, organic creations in their warehouse in the Industrial Estate, just around the corner from us. And even if you're not vegan, their cashew cheese is out of this world: peace, love and vegetables... peace out!PLV products added:
Note these products need to be ordered before Monday 8am in your Custom Box or added to your Seasonal Box. Enjoy!

This week's Seasonal Box

Our most popular Medium Seasonal Box box contains the freshest, local and seasonal produce grown at our farm and our farming partners. Contents vary with seasonality. The likely box contents for this week are:
  • Rocket (bunch)
  • Sweet Potato - Gold (1kg)
  • Mandarin (500g)
  • Carrots (500g)
  • Apples (1kg)
  • Cucumber - Green (500g)
  • Beetroot - Loose (no tops) (500g)
  • Chinese Veg. - Pak Choi (bunch)
  • Rosemary (bunch)
  • Banana - Cavendish (1kg)
Further items can be added to your seasonal box by selecting them from the menu on the left hand side of the screen.

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