Resources » What is Organic Food?

Food that has been grown without the routine use of agricultural chemicals such as: fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, growth regulators, or colour / flavour enhanchers.

It is also food that has been processed from organic produce, without synthetic additives like: stabilisers, emulsifiers, antioxidants, preservatives, colourants, etc.

What is Certification?

One of the biggest differences between conventional and organic food production is the equirement for certification. Organic certifiers represent the consumer, and provide the guarantee that the producer has complied with a detailed set of strict standards and rules.

We purchase in order of priority:

  • Certified Organic
  • Certified Organic in Transition
  • Uncertified Organic - this means produce is grown using organic methods, but has not been audited by a certifying body.

Within New Zealand there are several ways of labelling certified organic products, including Bio-Gro label, Certenz label (Agriquality), Demeter label (Biodynamic agriculture), OrganicFarmNZ label.

We sell produce with the following certifications:

  • BIO-GRO - ww.bio-gro.co.nz - New Zealand - was founded in 1983 and is internationally recognised. The Bio-Gro logo can only be used by fully certified producers and it takes 3 years for growers to achieve this status.
  • DEMETER - www.biodynamic.org.nz - is a worldwide certification system for products from biodynamic agriculture. In New Zealand the Demeter trademark was registered in 1984. A comprehensive verification process insures strict compliance with the international Demeter production and processing standards. Motivated by Rudolf Steiner's spiritual foundations for the renewal of agriculture and Goethe's conception of nature, Demeter farmers view their farms as individually unique living organisms. An integral part of biodynamic agriculture, are the Biodynamic Preparations, made directly on the farms and applied in small amounts; like classical homeopathy. For decades, biodynamic research has investigated the effects of planetary events on agricultural crops. To observe and understand the cosmic dimension in plant and animal life is a daily challenge to the Demeter farmer.
  • AgriQuality - www.agriquality.co.nz - New Zealand - provides an organic certification service to organic producers and processors through its certification business CERTENZ. Internationally recognised.
  • OrganicFarmNZ - www.soil-health.org.nz - This new NZ label has been set up by the Soil and Health Association of NZ with funding from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. OrganicFarmNZ will enable small-scale organic growers to sell their product on the local market while giving consumers confidence that the food they buy is of the same standard as that produced under the Bio-Gro, Demeter and Certenz labels. There are different local certifying bodies under this scheme, for example:
  • FNO - www.farnorthorganics.orcon.net.nz - Far North Organic growers & producers. 
  • CCOF - California Certified Organic Farmers, Founded in 1973.
  • NASAA - The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia, formed in 1986.

Here is a list of Overseas certifications you find on other products we sell:

BFA - Biological Farmers Association - Australia
BIOAGRICERT -Italian organic certification 
BIOLOGICO - Italian organic certification 
BOLICERT - Bolivia 
COFA – California Organic Foods Act 1950 
ECO/BIOAGRI - Brazil 
ECOCERT - France 
ECOCERT ITALIA - Italy 
FVO - Farm Verified Organic - USA 
IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements - Global 
IMO - Switzerland 
MAFF - Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food - UK 
OCIA - Organic Crop Improvement Association - USA 
OFA - Organic Federation of Australia 
OPAM - Organic Producers of Manitoba - Canada 
QAI - Quality Assurance International - Global 
SKAL-EKO - International Inspection & Certification Organisation - Global 
TIMOR ORGANIC - Government of East Timor / NASAA aligned.

with thanks to Piko  Wholefoods  www.pikowholefoods.co.nz  for permission to print article.



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