What is organic?

What is Organic?

Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biopersity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.

‘Organic product’ is a labeling term that denotes products produced under the authority of a specific organic standard. The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.

Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water.

Organic food handlers, processors and retailers adhere to standards that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.

What is Organic Certification?

The purpose of organic certification is to ensure that the conventions of organic agricultural systems stipulated by national standards are being practiced not only by growers, but also by all the people who handle and process organic food on its journey to the final consumer. Canada, the United States of America, Japan and the European Union have each established a uniform set of national production methods for growing and processing organic food.

Certification against one of the standards includes annual on-site inspections of farm fields and processing facilities, detailed record keeping and periodic testing of soil and water to ensure that growers and handlers are meeting the standards. If farmers and food processors meet these standards their crops or food products are certified to be organic by the accredited certification body.