Transparency is one of our Four Operating Principles, and today we’re showing you what we mean.
Being ‘in the loop’ about our certification requirements will hopefully reinforce your confidence in us as we strive to provide you with food that’s grown with integrity.
How Organic Certification of Livestock Works
For any livestock to be labelled as Certified Organic, there are a number of criteria they must fill (but are not limited to):
- Be born on the property (no earlier than the last trimester of a cow’s pregnancy)*
- Remain on certified organic land
- Be fed with certified organic feed, non-GMO their entire lives
- Antibiotics to be administered only if necessary
- Be slaughtered and processed by a certified organic abattoir/butcher
We must abide by all these principles in order for our products to remain classified as Certified Organic.
Why bother with Organic Certification?
Organic certification is a standardised system that is designed to protect the consumer. Seeing the organic certification logo on a product is proof that a producer has followed the required guidelines.
Peace of mind can be assured when the above guidelines are followed. Assurance that the organic food you have purchased has been responsibly enacted by the farmer and then verified by an independent auditor.
Why would an Animal Not be Classified as Certified Organic?
Sometimes not all the above guidelines can be met. The reasons are varied, but may include drought, a disease outbreak or introducing new breeding stock.
The kicker is, that if any of these guidelines are not met 100%, the animal/s involved will not be covered by organic certification.
This does not mean that organic management practices are abandoned, or that the animals are treated any differently to those who are certified. It simply means we can no longer market that animal as certified organic.
We have determined to be transparent in our farming business. This means you are aware of our obligations to our certifying organic body, NASAA, and where we may at times fall short of them.
Being told that an animal, who has been raised organically but is not certified organic, may seem like a small deal to you. It may seem to be ‘finicky’ or ‘over the top’, but we feel obliged to be completely upfront and honest with all our customers when a situation like this occurs.
Our Commitment to our Customers
The reason for sharing this information is for you to attest to our honesty, accuracy and timeliness.
Whenever we intend to market and sell any livestock that are not certified organic, we will always notify you.
Thanks in advance for your understanding.
And if you’ve got any questions at all, please let us know!
We look forward to continuing to serve you and your family organic, pasture-fed meat from the Mallee.
Josh and Peri McIntosh and family
* It is important to note that there is a convincing reason this time frame has been suggested by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources at part of The National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce Ed 3.6 (PDF). The last trimester of a cow’s pregnancy is critical time as “the way she is fed and managed at this time will have a direct effect on … the health of her calf” Alberta Agriculture.