||I have recently purchased a property which has been managed under organic systems. Can I automatically assume the Certification?
No, a change of land ownership affects the legal bounds of the certified operation.
Unless a new owner is already certified, they will need to undertake a precertification period of one year as a minimum before Certification can be established. An exception is possible, however, where the former owner has arranged and undertaken an acceptable period of hand-over with the new landholder.
Can I have part of my farm property certified?
Certification of your whole property is not immediately necessary. If you want/need to trial part of your farm under organic systems you can do this. You will need to provide a basic outline to NASAA in relation to how you will manage this, and maintain segregation of organic production and products.
Whilst NASAA supports part certification where the intent is to convert entire opertions to organic over time, we do not support the practice of parallel production.
Can I process both organic and conventional foods?
Yes, many processors who have undertaken to have their premises certified organic, have continued to produce both conventional lines and added organic lines to their product range. Processing organic product requires some restrictions. For example, organic processing can generally only be carried out as the first production run after a clean down. This would generally be in the morning, the night after a clean down. Processors need to ensure that products are segregated to ensure that there is no risk of contamination through contact with conventional products or ingredients.
Do I require additional certification to utilise third party processing operations for value-adding activities?
From time to time, an existing NASAA operator may want or need to use the services of a third-party operation in order to value-add to their raw product, or to apply some process to it. In almost all cases, the third party operator should become separately certified by NASAA.
If the third-party, however, does not wish to be separately certified, NASAA has provision for the additional license to be placed in the name of the NASAA operator, with the third party listed as a Sublicensee. The process of certification is the same, the only difference being that the responsibility falls on the NASAA operator to ensure third-party compliance with Standards.
As this option is binding only to the NASAA Operator, the Sublicensee may find it in their interest to become certified to enable the provision of services to other certified operations.
In a processing operation, does certification provide a measure of compliance with food safety standards?
Organic food is just as vulnerable to a food safety scare as conventional food. There is often a misperception that organic production systems equate to quality assurance systems, or a food safety system. This is not the case, and it is essential that food producers and processors ensure food safety through recognised systems such as HAACP, SQF or ISO.
I'm not sure that I am ready to enter Certification at this point in time, but I'd like to keep up-to-date with information. What can I do?
Talk to the NASAA staff.
Let us help you locate producers and/or organic groups in your local area.
Join as a NASAA Member!
By joining as a member you will receive all the latest information from NASAA, including the relevant Standards for your operation, ensuring you will be well-prepared when making the journey into Certification.
Find out more about Membership.
||"The use of organic nutrients is expanding due to the growing understanding of the importance of healthy bacterial populations in soil, and the need to reverse damage caused by overuse of chemical fertilisers."
Robert Read, Marine Solutions WA