The Importance of Organic and Alternative Farming Practices
We partner with farmers who adopt organic, biodynamic, regenerative, syntropic, and other sustainable farming practices. We do not irradiate food or buy food containing irradiated ingredients and we do not stock chocolate or coffee that does not display a Fair Trade logo unless it is Certified Organic or is Australian grown / deemed to be from fair trade by another third party certifier.
Currently, our Santos Organics Care Check stipulates that all produce we sell in our stores is Australian certified organic or certified biodynamic, with the exception of a few specific certified organic items from nearby countries, such as kiwi fruit from New Zealand or coconuts from Thailand, when they are not available within Australia. With our shelf products and ingredients, we also support organic and biodynamic farming or production methods, also certified by Australian or International certification bodies.
What about alternative farming practices?
Recently, alternative farming practices such as regenerative, syntropic or sustainable farming have gained momentum as more farmers have adopted these practices and we are learning more about the benefits of these methods to the health of our environment and fertility of the soil.
These approaches differ from certified organic or biodynamic farming and we support our local farmers who adopt these alternative farming practices.
Organic farming focuses on growing and nurturing plants without the use of synthetic fertilisers, pesticides or genetically modified products and certified organic farming additionally requires farmers and producers to adhere to strict certification standards to ensure that farmers and consumers are not exposed to any chemicals or genetically modified organisms.
Similarly, biodynamic farming is regulated under the same standard in Australia as organic farming (Australian Certified Organic) and is a sustainable holistic approach which uses only organic and locally sourced materials and inputs to maintain and improve soil health and conditioning. Biodynamic farming also incorporates some aspects of Steiner and astrological philosophy.
What is regenerative farming?
Regenerative farming focuses on rehabilitating and enhancing the soil and the entire ecosystem by adopting a holistic agricultural approach to cultivate natural soil fertility and health while reducing and reversing the environmental impacts created by humans. It is a specialised farming practice which aims to improve the resources it uses rather than depleting them.
What about syntropic farming?
Like Regenerative farming, syntropic farming is an innovative approach to regenerative agriculture, which enables the grower to create dynamic and economically viable ecosystems that restore degraded soil and revitalise biodiversity. Syntropic farming essentially imitates the natural regeneration of forests and provides a harmonious integration of food production systems.
Australian Sustainable Produce (ASP)
Finally, Australian Sustainable Produce (ASP) is a system which adopts specific techniques and some regenerative agricultural practices to ensure that the soil is healthy and therefore requires much less input from fertilisers or pesticides. Australian Sustainable farming also means that all produce can be traced back to individual fields of production. ASP produce is tested to ensure that it is free of chemical residues and genetically modified organisms.
We love supporting our local farmers
At Santos Organics, we have recently been busy planning and discussing how we can support our local farming community better by recognising these alternative farming practices and localising our supply of produce. In the last 12 months, we have been working with external consultants and local farmers to discuss how an independent certification system may be created and implemented to ensure that we continue to meet the requirements of our Santos Organics Care Check while providing our customers with the freshest and healthiest organically and locally grown produce possible. Watch this space!
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