The Organic Industry needs your voice – now more than ever ….

The Organic Industry needs your voice – now more than ever ….

We are writing to you as constituents, businesses and producers that are involved in the organic industry across Australia.  We ask you to support the future of our country’s clean and green reputation, and the urgency in preserving our ecosystems and local food security.  The organic industry provides a model for the rest of agriculture, that is localised, transparent and without the additional dependency or high externality costs of conventional agriculture.  Our industry needs your support – and we look forward to adding your voice to our charter.

For too long Organics had been thought of as a niche market or component of Agriculture, but if one takes a world view instead of looking at the microcosm of Australia, we have entities such as the EU wanting to transition 25% of their Agriculture to Organics by 2030 via The Green Deal and Farm to Fork initiatives

Organic and regenerative farming systems can:

  • provide a neutral or positive environmental impact with added benefit of providing co-benefits to the environment and humanity
  • help to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts that are already proven by scientific publications
  • reverse the loss of biodiversity via organic standard provisions and verified by academia indicating 30% more biodiversity on organic farms
  • ensure food security, nutrition and public health, making sure that everyone has access to sufficient, safe, nutritious, sustainable food production systems that have been vetted by good science.
  • preserve affordability of food while generating fairer economic returns, fostering competitiveness of the international supply sector and promoting fair trade

In so doing Organics addresses triple bottom line objectives including:-
Organic Farming enables and accelerates the transition to a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system.  Government investment is required to address deficiencies in advisory services, financial instruments and more importantly participatory research and farmer led innovation are needed instrumentally as they can help resolve tensions, develop and test solutions, overcome barriers and uncover new market opportunities.

Background

  • Value of the organic sector in Australia $3.65B(AU) and worldwide over $88B(AU)
  • Urgency of climate change and the direct impact on agriculture sector
  • Importance of biodiversity value and enhancement on private land
  • Synergy across different sectors including energy, agriculture, health
  • Rewarding land stewardship through ecosystem management outcomes
  • Pioneering industry and independent of Government (historically)
  • Established Net-Zero pathway for agriculture and business to transition

Key Requests from the Organic & Biodynamic Industry to the Federal Government:-

  • One single National Organic & Biodynamic Standard owned by Industry, with the full support of the Federal Government (regulated by State Government)
  • Endorse domestic regulation in Australia. Knowing it’s direct impact and barrier on domestic and international trade entrants and international equivalency markets
  • Improve the integrity and traceability of the organic supply chain domestically and for all imported goods (and reduce the level of fraud and risk to existing businesses)
  • Rewarding producers for their ecological stewardship together with a simple mechanism to ascertain and transition carbon footprint beyond Net-Zero in agriculture and business
  • Ascertaining a biodiversity value on farmland and conversation area (private & public land)
  • State recognised Government bodies that support the growth of organic agriculture 
  • Facilitate a Sensitive Site register provided by State Governments as part of ‘right to farm’
  • Endorse a roadmap in climate resilience, adaptation and long term business resilience planning for regional communities & local economies.   
  • Invest in Research & Development for key biological outcomes across the agriculture sector
  • Provide regular and rigorous data capture through ABARES with tailored organic data for on-farm production, business, supply and export.

The time is now….

Agriculture in Australia is at a crossroads.  Producers are attempting to increase their yields with reducing on-farm profitability while managing higher climate risk exposure than ever before.  We need to capture premium markets (like organics) and empower producers with better business profitability and diversified income streams.   Our Country needs best in class producers that are resilient against natural disasters and rewarded with better crops, profitable and diversified businesses,  healthier and improved natural ecosystems.  We need to review the existing farming model that reflects a more sustainable and resilient farming infrastructure that invests in the next generation of producers, better markets with full consideration of the impact on the environment.

Key Considerations:-

  • True cost of ecosystem services in our waterways, agricultural land, biodiversity and food production should be clearly understood and be a driver of change
  • Research and Education on the importance of carbon reduction, repurpose and offset to underpin regional resilience and transition agriculture beyond net-zero
  • Opportunity to strengthen cross sector links between health, education, agriculture & economics 
  •  Structures that underpin the food security of our country ahead of dependency on large scale, low value commodity markets that may be affected by external pressures

References from around the world:-

Your CALL to ACTION:-

Add your name HERE to our growing list of supporters, so a bipartisan voice can advocate for healthy agriculture and business production systems for the long term.

If you would like more information or to be kept up to date please subscribe to our blog HERE

We look forward to speaking with you further about how you can support the organic industry more in your region.

Sincerely in Action

ORICoop Board

https://www.organicinvestmentcooperative.com.au/

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How to ensure your carbon credits are worth the investment

How to ensure your carbon credits are worth the investment

With recent questions over the legitimacy of the Australian carbon offset scheme, it’s never been more important that carbon emissions are offset with legitimate credits and are free of greenwashing.

Unfortunately, few offerings in the market consider the natural environmental variables faced by the landowners generating the credits, and have the data transparency and accuracy required to inspire confidence that the investment is actually achieving its drawdown goal.

But the recently-released Eco-Credit by ORICoop is addressing many of these key issues in the current carbon offset market.

The farmer-owned credits are backed by extensive data collection and have been developed in accordance with the conditions, biodiversity and operations of each farm they’re provided by. Their transparency of data and the ability to directly purchase Eco-Credits from each farm means investors avoid the greenwashing associated with other carbon credit offerings.

ORICoop EO Carolyn Suggate said ‘All farms are assessed as to their suitability for the program, based on their existing farming practices, the area of the farm and the intentions of future management.’

“We don’t want producers to be at risk from any carbon credit program, to overstate their carbon drawdown, or to be exposed by a natural disaster or severe weather event should the carbon levels in their soil or biodiversity decrease,” Ms Suggate said.

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These limits are a key part of the design- providing investor security, and lessening the risk of overstating any values, especially following farming challenges or natural disasters that can negatively impact soil carbon improvement efforts such as the extensive flooding occurring throughout NSW and QLD recently.

“Through a collective of the credits, ORICoop’s specialist advisory committee oversees each of the credit applications and validation reports. This includes assessing the management practices, the land management zones, the footprint of the farm business plus the soil testing and results. For each project we determine suitable buffers that enable producers to bank a portion of their credits – the credits are validated annually, and depending on buffer limits, a portion is liquidated at the producer’s discretion,” Ms Suggate said.

Each Eco-Credit represents 1 tonne of CO2 drawdown, in addition the credits represent measures each local organic producer has undertaken to actively improve soil carbon, water efficiency and biodiversity within their properties and farming practices.

Michael Coleman, Managing Director of Box Forest Consulting, said the costly setup and operating design of the ACCU market may be resulting in poor outcomes for both producers and investors.

“If it turns out that ACCU projects are not delivering contracted reductions, despite high costs of participation, that’s the worst of both worlds. Hopefully the regulator will improve market integrity, and not just by adding more layers of consultant reports,” Mr Coleman said.

“A simpler, more transparent certification process, with low verification costs, can also offer greater integrity. Certification gets done and reported in a way all users understand and accept. Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM) should be designed with that in mind, which is what ORICoop has set out to achieve.”

Iain Smale, of Pangolin & Associates, said the Eco Credit will be popular for investors by providing other options for carbon credits which also offer a local impact, which is especially important given per-capita carbon emissions in Australia are amongst some of the highest in the world.

“With the Eco-Credit, you’re having a bigger environmental impact than just a carbon credit,” he said.

The environmental impact of our producer operations is key for Australian-owned organic dairy processor & manufacturer Paris Creek Farms. Paris Creek Farms’ Marketing & Communications Manager Alex Donovan said they are committed to increasing the sustainability of their operations, actively working with their producers to achieve this with Eco-Credits initially playing a vital part.

“With bio-dynamic and organic practices, we’re already using one of the most sustainable and regenerative methods of farming in the world, but we are striving to be even more sustainable. Our ultimate goal is to have our farmers generating their own Eco-Credits,” Ms Donovan said.

Ms Suggate said there are many ways the agriculture sector is transitioning beyond net-zero, and that collaboration to improve trust, legitimacy and the urgency for improving how sustainably we produce food is vital, especially after considering the ‘business as usual’ impact on the environment and the urgency of our changing climate as seen recently by some of the worst floods in history.

“We need science to be well funded to enable technology to be more accessible and trusted across the industry. This includes the measurement capability, satellite data, plus legitimate footprint data for farms across all commodities,” Ms Suggate said.

“In the meantime, our organic farming ORICoop members are dedicated to measuring and validating their soil tests and farm footprint. As their credits are validated, these producers form part of the organic farming ecosystem that invests into best practice, research and sustainability programs through a legitimate farmer-led carbon credit based on international guidelines,” she said.

“That includes soil carbon and biodiversity, rewarding producers for sustainable land stewardship practices, while offering these credits to businesses looking to offset their carbon footprint with legitimate credits that are traceable back to each farm that has generated them.”

If your business is committed to achieving net-zero, offset your carbon emissions directly with credits you can trust – register here now.

Is this the new normal – ORICoop Flood Response …

It was the weather forecast we didn’t want to hear.  More rain.  Alot of it – measured in metres..  More incessant weather.  Already rain-soaked pasture and farmland.  Exhausted communities that have faced bushfires, previous floods and now the 2022 devastating floods.

My farming grandfather always told me he set aside a shed full of hay for that ‘bad year’ to share with a farmer in need, or to get his farm through a difficult patch.  He had a flood plan farming on a floodplain.  He also had a bushfire plan (as his upper area had bushland surrounding), he also transitioned and diversified his dairy farm to include other enterprises when the dairy sector failed.  This was in 1960.  Now in 2022 there has never been more pressure in farming to be resilient against every natural disaster, each year.  We are ready.

ORICoop is an Organic Farmers Cooperative.  We have organic and biodynamic producers across the country that connect and care about other like minded producers.  We have done this before.  We will do it again.  In 2019 we raised over $100,000 in cash and grants, we more than trebled these funds through physical donations of hay, fodder and biological inputs, in-kind support and many generous supporters to bushfire affected producers, exceeding $500,000 of support directly to producers.  This included fodder donations that went from a certified organic or biodynamic farm – to organic producers in need.  Some may not have stayed in business if we hadn’t of been there.


It is seriously overwhelming.  Tonight it has been detailed that 2,000 of 3,500 homes in Lismore may be uninhabitable.  What does that mean for these communities?  For these families.  For local producers.   And what about the landholders who are yet to reclaim their land – or wait for the flood waters to recede as their crops are under 3m of flood water.  Some have lost their entire herd.  Or have nowhere to house them while the land recovers?  There is much to do….. We are ready….

We know it’s a long road back.  However we have these producers’ backs.  We are a Producers Cooperative.  We have other producers that know what natural disasters look like.  They have been there before.  Sometimes it’s a phone call.  Reaching out to ask ‘R U ok’?  How can we help?   What do you need?

  • For flood affected Organic Producers – you can register for help HERE
  • For donors, businesses or supporters – you can DONATE here
  • For those keen to help – either in person or remotely – you can REGISTER here

** For existing organic or biodynamic producers interested to donate fodder, agistment, seeds or other farm related generosity –contact us directly HERE


We call on the Federal and State Government to support these communities, producers and businesses in their journey back.  How can Australia better support these at-risk communities for the long term.  To distribute the risk from consumers and business – and to empower producers to transition to climate resilient farming systems.  These communities cannot carry this burden on their own.  We believe it is a national responsibility – to carry the burden of natural disasters.  To build a pool of resources and people that can help when it’s needed.  And fast.   We all need to understand the call of the new normal.  Sadly this is not as it has been.   

We are so incredibly proud of the producers that we have supported previously.  Of their courage to keep going.  Of their willingness to accept offers of help.  For the organic producers that have contacted us to donate hay, fodder or agistment.  And the many people that have shared our posts, helped us with marketing, or raised funds in your business.  We thank you.

Sandra – Plateau Organics, NSW, Bushfire Survivor

Help when help was needed.  The right help, compassion, and commitment for those of us who faulted amongst the bushfires

Stephen & Jo-Ellen Whitsed, Corryong, Victoria, Bushfire Survivors

After the devastating 2019 bushfires in Corryong, ORICoop contacted us to offer help.  We needed hay and they organised two Semi Trailer loads of certified organic hay for us which was fantastic.  From that a great friendship has been formed with Carolyn and other ORICoop members and organic producers.

Cooperatives are an old way of doing business.  The old way.  That care about each other.  Look out for each other.  Share the wins.  And the losses.  Be there for your neighbour.  We endeavour to return this to farming.  In everything we do.

Join us today.

Thanks for your support.  And kudos to all those affected.  We send you strength.

ORICoop Board

 

Eco-Credits now available

Eco-Credits now available

The first fully Australian farmer-owned carbon credits, the Eco-Credit, have just been released – with tangible benefits to local farmers, business, communities and the environment.

The Eco-CreditTM scheme was created by the Organic and Regenerative Investment Cooperative (ORICoop), which aims to unite the food value chain and increase the uptake of organic and regenerative practices across Australia by increasing collaboration between farmers, businesses and consumers.

Eco-CreditTM buyers can now offset their existing carbon footprint, with full transparency as to where and how each credit is generated and determine other environmental co-benefits, by visiting https://www.organicinvestmentcooperative.com.au/services/Eco-Credit

Each Eco-CreditTM represents 1 tonne of CO2 positive emission drawdown, validated annually through rigorous testing, and are provided by ORICoop’s organic, net-positive regenerative farmers who run diverse farm businesses including dairy, cropping, livestock and mixed farming systems.

ORICoop EO Carolyn Suggate said that the Eco-CreditTM  concept was developed by ORICoop in conjunction with farmers looking to advance farm system approaches to provide safe, secure and affordable food with a regenerative ecological impact.

‘The scheme links those farmers to external buyers, be that corporate, small business or Mum’s and Dad’s keen to play a role and do their bit in fostering sustainable practices and reducing their own carbon footprints’ Ms Suggate said. To activate carbon drawdown urgently we need all contributors to be empowered to participate.

Victorian farmer Stephen Whitsed is the first ORICoop producer to offer Eco-CreditsTM to the market, and aside from the environmental benefits can see immediate environmental, CSR, and other economic benefits for businesses, producers and local communities.

”It’s an environmentally-friendly credit ​​that rewards organic producers and builds stronger connections between businesses and our on-farm practices that enable carbon benefits to be exchanged. As organic producers we are looking forward to demonstrating our on-farm practices that are increasing carbon drawdown and legitimise better environmental stewardship for the long term,” Mr Whitsed said.

Mr Whitsed said the Eco-Credit process is straightforward for farmers and ‘definitely beneficial’ to his farm and environmental management, and hopes investors will benefit from their transition beyond net-zero and the planetary impact.

“The validation process is through soil testing every year, including GPS points to ensure we soil test in the same place every year. Following that we send the soil samples to a laboratory to be tested, and wait for the results,” he said.

Farmer and organic industry advocate and researcher, Greg Paynter, sees a range of benefits the Eco-Credit scheme will provide, including environmental and ecosystem functioning, farm viability and improved social and mental health outcomes for farmers where stress is alleviated by the additional revenue stream provided by the scheme as a reward for best practice land stewardship.

“It’s a dividend that doesn’t come from production output, it comes from a different stream, the productive and regenerative capacity of the land,” Mr Paynter said.

“In Australia, we are striving for $100 billion worth of production from agriculture annually, but our understanding of the research that comes out of Canada, a very similar country to Australia, is they produce that amount, but 98% of it goes into the cost of production or services to provide that production, so the net profit or return on investment of effort is not very high,” he said.

“But if you value land stewardship and make it worth something, the production of food or fibre you get from the land is a reward and you do it in a manner of organic and regenerative production systems, that conserves the basis of the production system into the future. There is talk of only 60 harvests left in some places in Europe and the soil will be destroyed, so we need to act with urgency – and what the Eco-CreditTM does is offer an incentive to do something whilst still maintaining a living.”

Fourth generation Western Australian farmer and agroecological farm system advocate Mr David McFall said the Eco-CreditTM project links businesses who want to do better, and rewards practices to adjust to the changing climate that are not seen to be outwardly ‘commercial’, especially natural capital management like tree planting, increasing biodiversity and soil carbon and water works for habitat and land cooling.

“This is one mechanism that is farmer-derived and farmer-led. It ticks the boxes in terms of accessibility and linking people who have capacity with people who want to do things in the landscape,” Mr McFall said.

“It’s a journey we’re doing for very practical reasons, there’s farmers like Stephen Whitsed and myself who want to do better, but the ‘do better’ that’s asked of farmers is not necessarily an upfront conventional outcome. So this mechanism takes the risk out of the investment and becomes a shared journey as it connects people who want to see good done, but are perhaps urban-based or don’t have access to land, develop partnerships with a farmer,” he said.

“Each farmer is motivated at different levels, and the intelligence behind this system is that it’s not just carbon, it’s approaching it from an ecosystems services platform – that’s embracing revegetation, and in time will embrace cleaner water and air, and keeps toxic substances out of our food and agricultural production systems.”

Iain Smale, of Pangolin Associates, feels the release of the Eco-CreditTM will be popular for businesses, providing alternative options for carbon credits. He also expects they will raise awareness of the growing organic and regenerative agricultural industry in Australia working to capture carbon and mitigate the key drivers of climate change, which is especially important given per-capita carbon emissions in Australia are amongst some of the highest in the world.

“With the Eco-CreditTM, you’re having a bigger environmental impact than just a carbon credit,” Mr Smale said.

“Australia as a nation in the developed world has close to the highest per capita emissions. Per person it’s around 23-24 tonnes, NZ is around half that, and a lot of Europe is less than half that. It’s because Australia has two main drivers – we’re heavily reliant on fossil fuel, coal and gas generation and it’s the tyranny of distance – people have a lot of transport miles, including for heavy transport, trains and trucks, and we don’t have any high speed rail, so much of our economy is based on fossil fuel,” he said,

**. To buy Eco-CreditsTM, register HERE

** To follow the Eco-Credit journey of this and other farms click HERE

Eco-Credits is a nationwide scheme open to organic and biodynamic producers.   Other ORICoop farmers will shortly be stating their pledges and looking to develop partnerships with businesses and processors associated with their farm.

A war won or lost by health?

A war won or lost by health?

Have you felt weary the last few weeks?  As a conscious citizen, a local business owner, a producer – it has started to wear even our strong guards down.  When will this end?  How will this end?  And what does this mean for the future of our our families and the economic pain that is felt across the country currently.   To offer hope here are some key actions we can all take.

  • Care for your mental health
  • Connect with your fellow local producers
  • Forge a healthier future for your family
  • Enable organic food to pass the budget test
  • Care more about the environment and your food!

  • This week was RU Ok week.  A week to reflect on our mates, many who are isolated at this time.  Many that may not socialise or connect that much.  For some organic producers it can be isolating being one of only a few in each region.  Even more reason to reach out and make sure they’re  OK.  And if a friend needs a break, if they need a chat, or a hand in their business, offer some of your resources to lend a hand.

     

  • Organic producers are a robust bunch.  Loyal as they come.  Pioneers ahead of their time.  But the pandemic is having a unique and lasting impact on their businesses.  Like many others.  Many Farmers Markets are being closed at short notice.  Border closures have meant that some processing businesses cannot get their regular staff to work so are running on half a workforce.  And many producers that planned their crops this time last year did not envision that this pandemic would extend to what it has.  We need the community to get behind Australian Farmers.  We need your local IGA, your supermarket, your local Cooperative to support Australian Organic Farmers like never before.  Ask your local supermarket to stock local garlic instead of cheap imported garlic?  Encourage your local store to stock locally grown grains, instead of imported flour or oats from Finland (even if they are certified organic!)?  Now is the time to buy Australian.  There are many champion organic producers around the country, and if we don’t support these farmers in this time of need – they may not be here in a year’s time.  Australia has the most certified organic farmland of any country in the world, now over 39 million Hectares.  Yet many retailers and processors are importing organic food that competes with our Australian producers.  Get behind Australian organic dairy, meat, grain and horticulture producers.  Food security has never been more critical than right now in the daily choices we all make.

     

  • A pandemic.  Can it be a war won with health? 
    While we are talking about healthy food and ‘wellness’.  How is your wellness lately?  Is this pandemic a war on medicine, or a war won with better health?  Good food choices?  Better eating habits?  In years gone by families were supported with investment in time, slow food, made with healthy locally grown, seasonal vegetables and fruit.  Many having their own backyard gardens and healthy food.  Access to fresh healthy food in our hospitals can even be a complex task.  We need to act on better community wellness and be the shining light to the next generation in how we connect, appreciate and value our food. 

* Is healthy organic food expensive?  Or is industrial food just too cheap?  

What is the ‘true cost’ of healthy food?  Or the cost of unhealthy food in terms of long term sickness?  Organic food is closer to the ‘true cost’ of food production – the sad part is that the industrial food system has deceived us that industrial food is cheap, bulk and does no harm.  Harm to humans.  Harm to our health.  And harm to the environment in which it’s grown.  Investing into organic food is not about gourmet products.  It’s about avoiding the ‘Dirty Dozen’. It’s about investing in the type of farming that you want to feed your family.  Would you go camping in a cattle feedlot?  Or in the middle of a broccoli patch that is sprayed every few days?  Or eat flour that has been desiccated (sprayed) just days before harvest?  Every time we invest in healthier food, we are investing in a healthier planet, healthier farmers, and ultimately healthier food.

* And what about the environment in which our food is produced?

Have you considered the downstream externality cost of an industrial food system on the environment?  Where food is mass produced in monocrops.  That requires higher levels of toxic sprays due to the increasing pest and disease burden.  Higher levels of artificial nitrogen that over stimulate growth causing further health issues for the plant.  And lacking nutrient density as it’s force fed an unhealthy high ‘N’ diet.  Rather than naturally grown, and naturally fertilised organic food.  And where do all these toxins and artificial inputs end up?  In our water systems?  Have you wondered why we have such extreme levels of blue green algae?  Why the Great Barrier Reef is under such environmental pressure.  We only have one planet and without adjusting our food and farming choices – we are destroying our top soil and our planet quicker than we realise.

Some may say organic farming cannot feed the planet!  Ask the question – just how much land in Australia is wasted?  How much is not fully utilised, or multi-layered to produce more food and give better resilience to farm businesses.  Should Australia be focussed on growing more and more and more.  Or should we be considering growing healthier, more nutrient dense, more regenerative, less environmentally damaging and healthier food for our communities.  What if there is a peak oil limit and access to phosphorus or nitrogen in artificial forms becomes financially unsustainable in the next decade?  Perhaps now is the time to transition our thinking to regenerative farming systems that circulate our agricultural economy, including waste and nutrients and lessen farmers’ dependence on expensive unsustainable external inputs.  Organic and regenerative farmers are strategic masterminds.  They regenerate the land with minimal external resources.  They read their soil and meet the needs of the land.  Without a chemical bucket list.  And use their livestock and natural resources to grow nutrient dense food while regenerating the land.  How about you?

From Calvin – an organic grain producer from South West Victoria.  His deep concerns regarding the increasing COVID virus lockdowns, increasing levels of cancer and other serious health problems.  Plus the planetary boundaries and climate resilience.  See his reflections here….

I, along with others see the urgent need to find the CAUSE of these events and DO SOMETHING TO PREVENT AND LOWER THE FREQUENCIES OF THESE HAPPENINGS.  SOMEONE NEEDS TO START SOMEWHERE.  The time is now.

I feel that over the more recent years, farmers have been convinced to apply more and more dangerous chemicals so as to increase production and yield.

Farmers are paid for quantity NOT quality .

In the process of increasing production, by applying these chemicals, this process has most likely killed off almost ALL the natural soil life necessary for balanced nutrition in our food.  Nature tries to build up life in soils, but a couple weeks later, another spray is applied to kill weeds etc and microbes again.  Most soils in my local area have zero soil life and very little air left to allow microbes to live .

There is a varying degree of soil hardness in my area, but some farms it is now almost impossible to dig a 4 tine garden fork any more than 2 inches into the ground, even by jumping on it [maybe it would be more profitable to make bricks in these areas ]

In my opinion, the answer is in convincing farmers to use an intense program of cover cropping and applying healthy microbes [which is much less costly than the presently used fertilizers].

Further, I feel that there are enough farmers [grain, horticulture, fruit, dairy and beef to supply Australia’s food requirements for “CLEAN” food.  The other can be sold overseas to hungry nations.  Food security has never been such a national issue as right now.  With closed borders and transport delays.

Are we to wait until further epidemics evolve and more climate change, or can we make changes now? 

I know it’s a difficult question, however we need to start somewhere, and the epidemic is making it even more urgent.

ORICoop connects Organic and Biodynamic Farmers that demonstrates the direct relationship between healthy food, healthy farms and a healthy planet.  Did you realise that organic agriculture is a leader in addressing these key questions of food security, planetary boundaries and healthy people?

  • Organic agriculture has the capacity to provide one (1) calorie of food energy for every calorie of energy utilized to produce that food, typically industrial agriculture requires twenty (20) calories of energy primarily sourced from fossil fuel to produce a calorie of food, hence a higher footprint
  • Organic agriculture in general requires less fossil fuel per hectare and kilo of produce due to the avoidance of synthetic or artificial fertilizers.
  • Organic agriculture improves soil fertility and nitrogen supply by using leguminous crops, crop residues and cover crops.
  • The enhanced soil fertility leads to a stabilization of soil organic matter and in many cases to a sequestration of carbon dioxide into the soils.
  • This in turn increases the soil’s water retention capacity, thus contributing to better adaptation of organic agriculture under unpredictable climatic conditions with higher temperatures and uncertain precipitation levels. 
  • Organic production methods emphasizing soil carbon retention are most likely to withstand climatic challenges particularly in those countries most vulnerable to increased climate change. 
  • Soil erosion, an important source of CO2 losses, is effectively reduced by organic agriculture and as a consequence prevents the loss of energy that would occur due to the embedded energy used in industrial agricultural systems.
  • Organic agriculture can contribute substantially to agroforestry and mixed production systems.
  • Organic systems are highly adaptive to climate change due to the application of traditional skills and farmers’ knowledge, soil fertility-building techniques and a high degree of diversity.

The Way Forward

So what does this mean for us?  Supporting organic and biodynamic producers has never been more critical as now.  At ORICoop we encourage more producers to transition to biological farm systems.  We know it takes time.  We can assist with connecting with your local organic producers.  We know to balance supply and demand – we need more businesses to invest in more locally grown, Australian produce.  Not cheap imported food.  Whether organic or conventional.

Agriculture has been a massive rebound for Australia’s economy in the past.  It has been a place where you could always find work, a living, and raise your family.  It can this time as well.  If you are interested to be involved in the most exciting area of agriculture – in organic food systems, or organic farming.  Contact us to find out how!  We have producers looking for the next generation of farmers.  Now more than ever!

* National Organic Awards – vote for your favourite organic business HERE

* Did you know it’s Organic Awareness Month?  Here are ways you can be involved in raising awareness of all the reasons why Organics is better for you.  For your family.  For the planet.  And for organic producers. 

And if you are not already an ORIcoop member make sure you join ORICoop HERE.  And encourage as many others as you can to also join. Don’t forget that the power of numbers to make change is very strong.  Together we are stronger.

(And subscribe to our blog here for our next updates)

 

#nationalorganicweek

#organicawarenessmonth

#bethechange

#organicfarming

#covidhealthwarrior

#healthandwellness

 

 

 

What are your End of Financial Year Goals?

What are your End of Financial Year Goals?

Empower the world you want to be part of ……

We know it’s been a rough year for many.  We are rallying support in the last days of the financial year towards organisations that continue to ‘do good’ through these tough times.  Here is our hot list for any tax deductible donations that align with your values …..

* Make a donation to ORICoop Bushfire Fund (tax deductible via AMF)

* Offset your carbon footprint directly with organic producers

* Support our friends at CERES  who continue to do incredible things across Melbourne

* Fifteen trees – buy your own tree to be planted and watch them grow

* Buy a carbon credit that goes directly to indigenous communities

* Trees for Life – connecting seeds with farmers one by one

* Buy a piece of rainforest – from just $2.50

* Bush Heritage – supporting bushland conservation

* Tasmanian Land Conservancy – preserving farmland in Tasmania

* Offset Earth – for only $2.50/week

* Firesticks – supporting Indigenous communities

* Organic Matters Foundation – Organic education and buy a tonne of carbon
*
Earthworker Cooperative – supporting businesses transitioning across the Latrobe Valley

And your yearly financial health check up list!

* Transfer your super to one that aligns with your investment criteria

* Review your banking (and mortgage choices) to an ethical one

* Switch your browser to Ecosia and plant some trees

* Close down that ‘extra’ credit card

* Invest your funds to enable ethical and sustainable returns that don’t cost the earth

Could your business achieve Net-Zero by EOFY 2021?

We are urgently calling on all ethical, organic, conscious businesses to aim for Net-Zero by the End of this Financial Year.    Let’s show some love for our planet!  Here is how you can start your journey….

* Calculate your carbon and environmental footprint
* Choose credits that align with your business values
* Reduce your footprint through best practice sustainability

Our newly released Eco-Credits can help you achieve this – while directly benefiting organic producers that are increasing the carbon across their farm businesses.  Key outcomes include:-

* Verified independent soil tests confirm carbon drawdown

* Quantification of biodiversity quality and density in every farm system

* Annual ecological reports (including natural capital)

* Eco-Credits™ are only offered once and then retired

* All purchasers receive an Offset Certificate to verify your offset

Apply for your Eco-Credit here

Or you can download an Eco-Credit Application Form here

Or contact us for more information