Currently The Australian Government Department of Agriculture & Water Resources accredits the following 6 organisations to audit to the National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce:
- AUS-QUAL Pty Ltd – AUSQUAL
- Australian Certified Organic – ACO
- Bio-Dynamic Research Institute – BDRI
- NASAA Certified Organic – NCO
- Organic Food Chain – OFC
- Southern Cross Certified Australia Pty Ltd – SXCA
Warrah’s Biodynamic Farm is ACO certified. Given that Australian Organic Limited (an industry body representing all certifiers and certified operators) is running a campaign this month to raise awareness about the industry in Australia, it seemed a good time to share their great summary of what it means when you see the ACO logo:
FREE RANGE – Livestock must be free to roam to be Certified Organic. This means no caged chickens and no sow stalls.
SYNTHETIC CHEMICAL FREE – The Australian Certified Organic Standard prohibits the use of synthetic agricultural chemicals including pesticides, fungicides and herbicides.
MINIMUM ORGANIC INGREDIENTS – Certified Organic food and drink must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic ingredients.
BETTER FOR NATURE – Certified Organic farming practices are better for the environment; they conserve water, focus on soil quality, are free from synthetic chemicals and pesticides and GMOs, and they promote sustainability.
What ACO certification means for our farming practices here at Warrah Biodynamic Farm
The ACO audit is an annual process where we have an onsite inspection and present a year’s worth of data – including production records, inputs, outputs and the cropping schedule. Also included is our annual organic farm management plan detailing how we do what we do. This ensures traceability, sustainability and ecologically sound practices.
The ACO has a biodynamic arm, so we are certified within that. Apart from the parallels with other organic farms in terms of not using synthetically produced substances and only using inputs from certified organic or biodynamic sources wherever possible, biodynamic aspects are also audited. These include approaching the farm itself as a living organism, and the intensive use of biodynamic preparations. Further detail on this can be found on the Farm page of our website.
Apart from the fruit and vegetables we grown ourselves, our fresh produce is supplemented by a full range of fresh Australian produce that we bring in via two certified organic suppliers. We have a long standing relationship of trust with these suppliers and keep ourselves familiar with their operational practices, their certification and their growers.
The grocery items lining our shelves are also sourced with a tremendous amount of care. We aim to stock a full range of grocery items. We love to offer customers products from local boutique suppliers who we know to be using the best quality certified organic ingredients. Certified organic and Australian are always our preference, however other trustworthy labels found in our shop include USDA, the European Commission’s organic stars and BioGro New Zealand.