There are so many different organic certifications, time for a newsletter to explain what those abbreviations mean.
What is certification?
One of the biggest differences between conventional and organic food production is the requirement for certification. Organic certifiers represent the consumer, and provide the guarantee that the producer has complied with a detailed set of strict standards and rules.
All of the fruit and vegetables we sell are grown organically. We sell produce with the following certifications:
BIO-GRO - www.bio-gro.co.nz - New Zealand - was founded in 1983 and is internationally recognised.
The Bio-Gro logo can only be used by fully certified producers and it takes 3 years for growers to achieve this status.
DEMETER - www.biodynamic.org.nz - is a worldwide certification system for products from biodynamic Agriculture. In New Zealand the Demeter trademark was registered in 1984. A comprehensive verification process insures strict compliance with the International Demeter Production and Processing Standards. Motivated by Rudolf Steiner's Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture and Goethe's Conception of Nature, Demeter farmers view their farms as individually unique living organisms. An integral part of biodynamic agriculture, are the Biodynamic Preparations, made directly on the farms and applied in small amounts; like classic homeopathy. For decades, biodynamic research has investigated the effects of planetary events on agricultural crops. To observe and understand thecosmic dimension in plant and animal life is a daily challenge to the Demeter farmer.
AgriQuality - www.agriquality.co.nz - New Zealand - provides an organic certification service to organic producers and processors through its certification business CERTENZ. Internationally recognized.
OrganicFarmNZ - www.soil-health.org.nz - This new NZ label has been set up by the Soil and Health Association of NZ with funding from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. OrganicFarmNZ will enable small-scale organic growers to sell their product on the local market while giving consumers confidence that the food they buy is of the same standard as that produced under the Bio-Gro, Demeter and Certenz labels. There are different local certifying bodies
under this scheme, for example: FNO - www.farnorthorganics.org.nz - Far North Organic growers & producers.
CCOF - California Certified Organic Farmers, Founded in 1973
NASAA - The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia, formed in 1986
UNCERTIFIED ORGANIC - this means produce is grown using organic methods, but has not being audited by a certifying body.
Here is a list of certifications you find on other products we sell:
BFA - Biological Farmers Association - Australia
BIOAGRICERT – Italian organic certification
BIOLOGICO - Italian organic certification
BOLICERT - Bolivia
COFA – California Organic Foods Act 1950
ECO/BIOAGRI - Brazil
ECOCERT - France
ECOCERT ITALIA - Italy
FVO - Farm Verified Organic - USA
IFOAM - International Federation of Organic
Agriculture Movements - Global
IMO - Switzerland
MAFF - Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food -
OCIA - Organic Crop Improvement Association -
OFA - Organic Federation of Australia
OPAM – Organic Producers of Manitoba - Canada
QAI - Quality Assurance International - Global
SKAL-EKO - International Inspection & Certification
Organisation - Global
TIMOR ORGANIC - Government of East Timor /
NON - ORGANIC
We have been slowly decreasing non-organic stock with organic as it becomes available.
The reason we also stock non-organic products relates to some of the original aims of the co-op:
- Providing cheap wholefoods: for some staples the difference in price between organic and non-organic is quite high, so we provide a cheaper option on some products, such as NZ grown rolled oats.
- Providing food for people with allergies: not all gluten-free etc. products we stock are available organic.
Welcome to Autumn! Autumn is full of change; Our tree's leaves become a virtual kaleidoscope of colour, the wind is cold, some of us get geared up to ski while others gear down altogether.
At Piko we support our local farmers so that means we sell produce according to the season. Say goodbye to sweet summer strawberries and hello to apples, pumpkin, kale, potatoes, kumara and onions...the hearty foods that keep us warm and toasty on those cold winter nights! We thought we'd share a little poem with you celebrating one of the harvest seasons staples...ENJOY!
An ode to the virtues of Apples
You know what they say "an apple a day"
Will help you stay healthy and keep the doctor away.
Let's take a moment and ask ourselves why
Such a saying exists...virtues beyond apple pie...
Let's start with the obvious, we like apples taste
We eat apples whole, apples baked, apple paste.
We like green and red and soft morning pink
But beyond taste, let's consider, let's -think.
Apples reduce heat, so if your hot take a bite
They hydrate your body, feeling better? All right!
Apples are healing; they help you digest
If you've eaten too much have an apple and rest.
If you are a smoker, or are surrounded by smoke,
Apples will help protect lungs, it's no joke!
Apples are great but if you still have some doubt
Apples and their juice clean your liver and gallbladder out.
Organically grown, they help save the land
They stay sweeter for longer, building soil, not sand.
So here's a few points on man's crunchy best friend
A healing tasty treat that's not just a trend
So packed full of goodness, how could one know?
But now that you do, sing go apples go!
Dutch Apple Pie Recipe
Mix together the ingredients for the dough:
150 g cold butter
250 g flour (I like half Dinkel, half Rice flour)
75 g sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 egg (+ 1 egg-yolk to brush on dough at the top)
lemon zest from 1 lemon
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
Kneed the dough till a ball. Leave dough to rest in fridge for half an hour.
Ingredients for filling:
1 – 1 ½ kg apples
1 cup sultanas / raisins / currants
1 – 1 ½ tbsp cinnamon
lemon juice from 2 lemons
Meanwhile peal the apples and cut into pieces (not too small). Put cut apples in a bowl with lemon juice, cinnamon and washed sultanas.
Put half of the dough in a spring-form (24 cm diagonal).
Scoop in the apple filling.
From the remaining of the dough make a grid pattern on the top of the pie. Brush dough with egg yolk.
Bake in preheated oven on 175C for 1 - 1 ¼ hour, till golden brown.