- The person pays a once-off joining fee ($50)
- The person has applied for 5 organic shares at $10 per share
- The person is able to use or contribute to the services of the co-operative
- Is supportive of the overall mission of ORICoop
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.
* 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?
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!
* 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.
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