Our Response: Are Organic Foods Beneficial to Consumers and the Food Industry?
We’re obviously passionate about organic farming and food, and are really encouraged when we’re approached by others who are interested in learning more.
While there is a rise in the interest in organics, there is also a lot of mis-information out there.
That’s why we were excited when Chloe, a Year 12 student, recently contacted us for information.
Chloe is studying Food and Hospitality. Her assignment was focusing on the question “Are Organic Foods Beneficial to Consumers and the Food Industry?“.
What a terrific question!
We thought these answers may be of interest to others who have similar questions.
What organic products do you offer?
Border Park Organics produce:
- Wheat and rye for making organic bread flour
- Oats for making rolled oats
- Rye, oats and triticale seed for organic vineyards and orchards to sow as cover crops
- Barley, oats, medic, vetch and rye for sheep and cattle pasture
- Hay for sheep and cattle
- Meat – Beef, lamb, hogget, and mutton
What do you aim to achieve within your business?
We moved into farming to give our children a better place to grow up. Our primary objective is for the business to provide a safe place for our family to do life together and with our local community. There is opportunity for all of our family to be involved in every aspect of production on the farm. The business exists to support and facilitate our family and community.
To sustain this, the business needs to be profitable, which we achieve by producing food for people. Being certified organic puts us in contact with the people who value the food we produce.
Where do you export your products to?
Wheat and rye for human consumption predominantly goes to Laucke Mills in Bridgewater VIC and Strathalbyn SA, or Three Leaf Milling in Tarlee SA. Oats for human consumption go to Whole Grain Milling in Gunnedah NSW.
We are certified by Korea for producing grain for that market.
Grain for livestock feed goes to an Organic dairy farm for milk production.
Seed of various crops goes to the Riverland and Murraylands in SA and the Wimmera and Northern Mallee in VIC.
Wool goes to the Wool market in Melbourne.
Beef and lamb meat is sold direct to customers via our website. Our sheep and cattle are processed in Loxton, SA. Meat is then shipped to customers in SA, NSW and formerly VIC.
Livestock are also sold through stock agents locally.
Why do you believe organic products are beneficial?
We believe organic products are beneficial not only because they tend to have less harmful residual contamination, but also because certified organic operators must comply with the Australian Standard for organic production which stipulates things like animal welfare, ecological land management, quality control and independent assessment and review.
We see organics as a safer way to produce good food both for us and our customers. It is also a less expensive, more sustainable and more profitable way to farm.
Increasing efficiency is a goal shared by many farmers as the cost of farming increases constantly. We maintain a strong focus on continuously improving the way we produce food from our soil. Organic farming provides opportunities for more people to be involved in farming by enterprise layering on the same land base. To work well, organic production requires a diversity of plants and animals. The by-products of one enterprise often promote the wellbeing of another, resulting in more nutrient cycling and less waste. This means farms can produce more, so a farm can potentially support more families than typical conventional farms of the same size. This can potentially reverse the historical trend of people leaving rural areas to crowd into cities.
The greatest challenges we have found in organic farming do not involve weed control or animal health. Our big challenges are:
- Marketing and distribution outside the mainstream
- Finding independent consultants who are more focused on finding resolutions by good management than by selling sponsored products
- Importing or designing and building machinery for organic farming
- Finding people to share in the work and profit of a multi-faceted farm enterprise
- Negotiating the ‘red tape’ of Australia’s sometimes ambiguous Organic Standard
We’ve shared some of our thoughts. We’d love to hear your thoughts, as consumers, on the benefits of organic food. Let us know in the comments below.