Does organic really mean, and how do we recognise certified organic produce?

New Zealand has a reputation of being clean and green, but when farms compromise healthy standards for healthy profits, consumers don't always know how pure the foods on their dinner table are. To counter this, certification programs for organic farms and producers set a standard which consumers can trust.

Broadly, organic means that food is produced with environmentally conscious, natural and cruelty free farming methods to output healthier products for consumers. Specifically, organic farms don't use artificial chemicals in fertilisers and pesticides. Crops are not genetically modified and farms rotate crops and pastures to limit pests, disease and nutrient-depletion of soils for increased sustainability.

Organic farming ensures a certain level of comfort and safety for animals. Organically raised herds and flocks are free-range, meaning they have adequate access to outdoor fields. Farmers do not use hormones for faster growth or productivity, and drugs like antibiotics and wormers are limited, which leads to a disease and chemical-free product.
Look for certified organic certification marks in the grocery so you know just how your food got from farm to pantry.

Certified organic

BioGro

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A BioGro certification guarantees that products meet global standards for organic products that are free from animal testing, genetic modification, cruelty and the routine use of synthetic pesticides.


AsureQuality

AsureQuality is a government-owned certification that ensures the safety and quality of food in New Zealand by providing auditing, testing, inspection and certification to organic players in the food, horticulture, wine and land industries.


Demeter

The Demeter accreditation verifies that products have been produced with the standards of biodynamics, a subset of organics that includes allowing animals to live naturally and developing farms as self-contained organisms to limit environmental harm.


OrganicFarmNZ

OrganicFarmNZ is a not-for-profit organisation that certifies local and small organic food suppliers in New Zealand. The OrganicFarmNZ label verifies that products are additive-free, GM-free, cruelty-free and striving to be eco-friendly.

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