Defining organic – Parksville Qualicum News

By Candace Wu, Parksville Qualicum Beach News, Posted 17 March 2015

In an age of artisan crackers and gluten-free everything — what does it even mean to be organic?

That’s what the B.C. government is trying to figure out.

The Ministry of Agriculture is looking to regulate the term “organic” through a certification program that would see standards put in place for farmers who want to call their practices and products organic.

Currently, companies with organic products may choose to participate in the B.C. Certified Organic Program, which is administered by the Certified Organic Association of B.C. (COABC). However, it is in no way mandatory for farmers to go through this program to call their food organic.

The looming changes have at least one Spider Lake farmer concerned about legislating the word organic.

“That is like telling a Christian that they cannot call themselves Christian unless they attend church every week,” Wayne Osborne said in a letter sent to The NEWS and COABC.

Osborne owns Omega Blue Farms, a 10-acre organic farm north of Parksville that specializes in heritage poultry and produce. His products can often be found Saturdays at the Qualicum Beach Farmers’ Market.

Organic farming, he explains, at its grassroots level “was basically farmers saying ‘there’s got to be a better way to grow food, we’re not poisoning our customers and our families.’”

Osborne said as time went on, organic food gained a sense of commercial value, and with that came the need for developing standards for organic farming.

“Unfortunately it sounds like the legislation is going to tell those organic farmers that don’t follow the certified organic business model that they are no longer organic,” he said.

“The problem is the standards for organic farming are being written for global trade interests not for the local community.”

To finish reading this article, click on this link: via Defining organic – Parksville Qualicum News.

Comments are closed.