ORGANIC INSIGHTS WINTER edition 2018
w w w. n a s a a .c o m . a u
Maverick Wines: putting Australian premium organic and biodynamic wines on the table in the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finest restaurants Full story on pg 4
in this issue No blueâ&#x20AC;Śno green: water resource management on organic properties The land of bees and honey on Kangaroo Island How psychology affects organic food consumption New NCO General Manager: making certification count Plus much more...
“WITH TIME AND PATIENCE, THE MULBERRY LEAF BECOMES A SILK GOWN.” This well-known Chinese proverb certainly rang true at BioFach in Shanghai in May as hundreds of producers, processors and buyers gathered at China’s largest organic trade fair. I was fortunate to join the NASAA/NCO delegation and see first hand the importance of developing relationships with a country that will be the most influential force on Australia’s organic industry over the coming decades.
I am confident our presence at this year’s BioFach China event will create a halo effect, driving greater brand awareness and new opportunities for other NCO operators to begin that long road to weaving a silk gown.
THE RESULTS WILL CERTAINLY BE WORTH THE EFFORT AND INVESTMENT.
Much has been researched and written about the emerging middle classes of China and there is no doubt that there is a huge unmet demand for organic primary and processed produce across every commodity group. Of course Australia is perfectly positioned to respond - indeed it has been responding for some years - with an enviable reputation for clean, green agriculture and high food safety standards.
Cover: Ron Brown holding son Robert with wife Mohkira from Maverick Wines
This has taken both time and investment and we continue to work hard behind the scenes to foster stronger ties that will in turn benefit our growing export-focused producers.
While the quality of Australian organic produce is unparalleled, it will be the quality of the relationships and networks our operators establish with Chinese distributers that will determine the success, or otherwise, of these new markets. Fortunately, NASAA has already helped clear the path through its own agreement with Chinese certifiers assisting operators to gain faster, more streamlined access to distributors.
Finally, a warm thank you to the four NCO operators who joined us at BioFach - Avonmore Estate Biodynamic Wines, KyValley Dairy, Kokonut Pacific, and Australian Organic Meats. Your professionalism and commitment to promoting NASAA/ NCO organics was outstanding and helped to ensure our participation was a resounding success. I hope you enjoy this edition of Organic Insights.
Mark Anderson General Manager
contents Maverick by name, maverick by nature
Bootcamp and field day pictorial
Taking the reins
Land of bees and honey
From the Chair
Water resource management and organic farming
News Round Up
Organic agriculture sustainability
Become a NASAA Member today
NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 3
O p e r at o r S u c c e s s s t o ry
Maverick by name, Maverick by Mother Nature
LIFELONG BIODYNAMIC FARMER AND VITICULTURIST, RON BROWN, IS BREAKING THE MOULD AND PUTTING PREMIUM, ORGANIC WINES FROM THE BAROSSA VALLEY ON THE TABLES OF THE FINEST RESTAURANTS AROUND THE WORLD.
“WE DO THINGS A BIT DIFFERENTLY AROUND HERE. WE DON’T DO THINGS IN THE NORMAL METHOD - WE’RE VERY MAVERICK”, SAID RON BROWN, FOUNDER OF RENOWNED NCO CERTIFIED ORGANIC AND BIODYNAMIC VINEYARD, MAVERICK WINES IN THE BAROSSA VALLEY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Brown’s Trial Hill Road Vineyard, is perched above the valley 480 metres above sea level. It was originally part of the old Pewsey Vale Station, which remains the oldest cool climate vineyard in Australia. “We’re only a small winery producing around 100 tonnes per year but we like to think we’re making a big impact in our own small way,” Brown said with a grin.
While the development of the Barossa Valley dates back to the first German settlers in South Australia in the mid 1800’s, Brown is quick to acknowledge the land has a deep, sacred connection to the original inhabitants. “This is a very spiritual place here,” he said “Every year, before we start the harvest, we have an indigenous ceremony and pay homage and tribute to the ancestor’s spirits who you can feel very strongly still live here.” Brown is passionate about organic and biodynamic viticulture and is inspired, rather than daunted, by the challenges this kind of farming system presents. “For me, organic and biodynamic farming is not about what you do – it’s about what you don’t do,” he said.
“Although we generally have much lower yields than our neighbours because of the older vines and the organic farming practices, but in turn, there is an intensity and purity to the wine.”
“We could go the whole hog and do follow-fruiting days but the single most important thing about organic and biodynamic farming is not having pesticides and fungicides in the vineyard. That is 99% of the story.
Brown is on the tail end of a long vintage. He looks a little weary but happy as he scoops up his young son, and with wife, Mokhira heads out through the front gate that separates the house from the vineyard to check the vines again.
“If you taste the resulting wines, you’ll see right through a thread of purity which comes from not having chemicals in the soil. It comes through the vine, into the grape, into the wine,” he said.
It’s 9am and he’s only had about three hours sleep. He has just returned from his winery/cellar door about 20 minutes away with the latest truck load of precious Grenache grapes grown on the side of a sun-soaked western slope in Eden Valley.
Like most organic producers, weed management is an ongoing balancing act demanding creative but practical solutions.
“I came to Australia in 1997 and cut my teeth at Charles Sturt University learning how the Australians made wine,” he said. “During that time I visited all the wine growing regions of Australia and I just decided the Barossa was for me.” It’s not difficult to see why Brown fell in love with the region. Standing at the top of the ranges the view from his vineyard is picture-postcard. “We have the Barossa Valley over there,” Brown says pointing to the neat, green plots below. “It’s about 200 ft. lower than where we’re standing here at Trial Hill. And it’s ‘terra rossa’–it’s hot, it’s flat–and it’s fantastic for making Shiraz and Grenache. NCO inspector Gary Altmann and Ron Brown, Maverick Wines
“We have very small fermenters and the whole thing is really aimed at expressing the soils, the climate, what lies beneath– that for me is the job of a vigneron.”
“But up here in Eden Valley, we’ve got a different climate,” Brown explains. “It’s much more exposed and we get quite a bit more rain and wind and of course the soils are very different which gives you a unique soil profile or palate to play with when it comes to making wine.” So having settled on the Barossa Valley after working in Europe and Asia, how did the organic winery come to fruition? “When Trial Hill became available on the market some years ago I snatched it up,” Brown said. “For me it was screaming lots of what we call in Europe: microclima. “We have Shiraz over there, Riesling on the hill, Grenache here and we vinify each block separately,” Brown said.
“I think the fact that we don’t use any sort of weed-killer is of course our biggest challenge,” Brown said. “Because everybody has weeds. “You can see from this vineyard, we bring the sheep in from straight after harvest, usually the beginning of May, until just before bud-burst. They do a fantastic job and we pride ourselves on our weed-eaters rather than weed-killers.”
“If you taste the resulting wines, you’ll see right through a thread of purity which comes from not having chemicals in the soil. It comes through the vine, into the grape, into the wine.”
ABOUT SKELETAL SOILS Skeletal soils occupy narrow ridgetops and steep slopes. They are related to adjacent, more fully developed soils in the catena, but are shallower and stonier, consisting of partially weathered coarse rock fragments, with some organic matter.
NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 5
Brown pointed to a row of vines where the over-zealous woollies couldn’t resist a nibble on the grapes.
“TERROIR” Understanding the concept of “Terroir” is fundamental to Maverick’s plans to create site specific wines. Terroir is a French term meaning total elements of the vineyard. Specific elements that contribute to a grape’s composition and resultant wine style include:
> Soil > Altitude and its effect on temperature and climate in general
“Unfortunately they like to eat the same things that we like,” Brown said. “So once the sheep have been taken out, we are more or less at Nature’s mercy. ”The stereotypical organic property is invariably a little more unruly than the more manicured, traditional operations and Trial Hill Vineyard is no exception. “This is a typical organic/biodynamic vineyard,” Brown said with a laugh. “Yes, you can still see weeds but there is also this great abundance.” He leans closer to carefully inspect the gnarly trunk of an older Grenache vine. “This vine is an older one, and you can see it has a well-developed root system,” he explains. “If you farm like this, you actually stress the vine and you force it to push its roots further down.
> Temperature > Rainfall > Relative Humidity > Sunshine hours
“If you imagine a developed vine system of five metres long by three metres deep. If we can force the roots to go down just one more centimetre… that is one more centimetre of water, nutrients and nitrogen that for 100 years, these vines have not been able to find.
> Wind > Aspect > Vineyard management > Vine age > Vine clone
“It’s not so much a management plan as a result.”
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“Again, that’s one of the real aspects of the way we farm.” Brown said. “It’s not so much a management plan as a result.. “We force the roots to go deeper, we force the roots to look for alternative sources of nutrient other than what could be chemically delivered on a plate to them. And you can see the yields are fantastic, and there’s no disease.” So to summarise Brown’s organic and biodynamic farm management practices: “We do as little as we can conceivably do to impact on nature’s cycle. That’s what we’re all about. I know it runs very contrary to what’s practiced by most commercial wineries and there is nothing wrong with those wineries. But for me, wine is a product of nature and I have had the good fortune to be involved with it all of my life.”
MARKETING ORGANIC AND BIODYNAMIC WINES Brown’s expertise is not just in the vineyard but also in the all-important marketing of his product. “If you take the China market,” he said. “It’s very important for everyone here in the Valley and across Australia.
“The world of wine is not fixed – it’s always changing. I would love to see the day when people go to top restaurants and expect to see top Australian organic and biodynamic wine offerings there”. “In Australia we pursue a slightly different strategy,” Brown said. “We don’t have a single distributer, so everything is sold by us directly and we sell to some of the top hotels and restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney in particular. After a lifetime in the industry, Brown is optimistic about the future of organic wines. “I just hope in the next few years, Australians will develop more confidence in true organic and biodynamic farming and really appreciate the product of all this natural bounty that we have in abundance.”
Find out more about Maverick Wines
“We sell less than 1000 cases into China ever year however, of the top 10 distributers there is only one which is Chinese owned (and a distributer for Maverick Wines). So we focus on the top premises markets–hotels, restaurants, specialist liquor stores where people go to get different, exciting, interesting wine offerings. So exclusivity is at the centre of the brand? “Well, you won’t see us everywhere where Australian wines are sold. That’s our strategy–and it’s not because we’re trying to be snobby.
Nothing Ar=ﬁcial Nothing Ar=ﬁcial
“We have a very small production so we want our wines to be exposed in the right way to the right people,” Brown said. The export market has proved to be highly successful for Maverick Wines in recent years but it has taken time and a considerable investment in planning and relationship. “We’ve been particularly successful in France–the Riesling from the hill has been sold by the glass in three of the Michelin 3-star restaurants in Paris, Brown said. “As an Australian organic vigneron, that is a source of wonder, amazement and delight our little Riesling from this little vineyard is in three of the world’s top restaurants. “Funnily enough, the best markets for us are the ‘new’ markets: France, Russia, China, Japan, where we do extremely well,” he said. “The United Kingdom, United States and Australia: these markets are very saturated and brands have tremendously long presence and quite frankly, it’s hard to break in.” Nonetheless, Maverick Wines has a fiercely loyal, if smaller, following at home.
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NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 7
NEW NCO GENERAL MANAGER, TAMMY PARTRIDGE, HAS SPENT MUCH OF HER LIFE RUNNING COMMERCIAL CATTLE PROPERTIES IN WA. NOW SHE IS SWAPPING THOSE DRY, DUSTY YARDS FOR A NEW CHALLENGE: LEADING THE NASAA CERTIFIED ORGANIC TEAM AND BRAND INTO A NEW ERA. YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY WORKED ON COMMERCIAL BEEF OPERATIONS AND YOU’RE CURRENTLY RUNNING A FAMILY FARM ON THE FLEURIEU PENINSULA– HOW HAVE THOSE EXPERIENCES HELPED YOU IN YOUR NEW ROLE AS NCO GENERAL MANAGER? It has certainly helped a lot. Coming off the land with a background in organics means I have an understanding of what our operators are up against as far as looking after livestock and dealing with issues with like drought and lack of feed. The NASAA Organic and Biodynamic Standard, to which we certify organic operations, is something with which I am familiar so that has also been an advantage and of course having an environmental science background has definitely helped. In Western Australia, my husband and I were managing large-scale properties for corporate farming–mainly handling the genetics and the breeding programs including the replacement heifer stock. We were looking at export markets for Wagyu and Angus, particularly into Japan and China as well as some domestic channels. While it wasn’t certified organic we spent a lot of time making things more sustainable and fixing a lot of the dryland salinity issues. This is where my passion for going to university and studying environmental science really started. I was looking at all the damage that had occurred from over-grazing in the past and thought I can be part of the solution, not just perpetuating the problem.
SUSTAINABLE VERSUS REGENERATIVE FARMING?
sure you have no bare land and keeping your stock numbers per hectare to rates that are not going to adversely impact on the system. It’s really about keeping the ecosystem functioning as close as possible to the way it would be under a native program. Bear in mind, the bigger the area or property—and probably the more remote—the easier it is to adopt these principles. However, we have people doing really good work on smaller, high-density horticultural environments. It just takes more ingenuity and thinking outside the box.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR YOUR OWN FAMILY FARM GOING FORWARD? We certainly try to follow organic principles and will look to certify in the future. Working at NCO has made me think differently about the way we farm, especially in pest and disease management and finding alternatives that would comply with organic standards such as making sure that we’re not using posts that have been chemically treated. It’s made us think deeper and harder about the impacts and choices we make on farm. Anything that we do with infrastructure or in stock management, we do with organic principles in mind.
YOU FOLLOW A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE– DOES SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND ORGANIC FOOD ALIGN WITH YOUR OWN VALUES AS A MUM AND A FARMER? My personal belief in organics is a huge part of the reason that I am here doing this job at NCO.
For me, they are pretty much one at the same and I think they are very closely aligned to organic farming systems.
As a result of family illnesses in the past couple of years, I have gained a real insight into the importance of what we put in our mouths and how that can impact positively or negatively on our health.
To farm organically, and gain certification, you need to have all of the regenerative farming principles on your radar. That includes biodiversity retention, through either native bushland or planting to increase coverage, making
So although I have always been a strong advocate for sustainable practices, having clean, organic products and produce for my family has become increasingly significant. And it all points back to a sustainable agricultural system.
NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 9
GIVEN ORGANICS IS NOW IN EVERY MAINSTREAM SUPERMARKET ACROSS THE COUNTRY, IS IT STILL IMPORTANT FOR PRODUCERS AND PROCESSORS TO UNDERTAKE A FORMAL CERTIFICATION PROCESS? Yes, it absolutely matters. There is a huge difference between someone saying: this is an organic product and this is a certified organic product. You don’t have to pass any sort of testing to plonk a product on the supermarket shelf and say it’s ‘organic’. The public is becoming more educated about the distinction but we need to keep promoting the message that certification is the only consumer guarantee.
DO YOU THINK AUSTRALIAN CONSUMERS REALLY UNDERSTAND ALL THAT IS INVOLVED IN CERTIFICATION WHEN THEY SEE THE ORGANIC LABEL? Not at all. I am reasonably well-informed but prior to starting at NCO I knew there was a process but I didn’t have any idea of the detail and the extent of the certification system to maintain the integrity of the product.
As advances are made in food and farming technology, and we’re faced with new industries and new market demands, it is essential that we are able to properly assess innovation so it can join the “organic family”.
I suspect most consumers also assume something has to happen to get the label on the product but have little knowledge of the work it takes to earn that label and guarantee.
It’s about seeing a need and responding accordingly.
HOW DOES NCO MANAGE TRUTH IN LABELLING AND RESPOND TO ANY MISUSE OF THE SYMBOL?
There is a massive amount of change in the industry at the moment. NCO will continue to be the industry leader in certification with probably some increased diversity within our programs.
Labelling is extremely important. It gives trust to our community. If there is no certification label, then there is no integrity to that product. It also shows that there are consequences for operators who mislead the public and you can be assured that those who do that will be held accountable.
The new peak body will also make a huge difference to the way that the industry fights its battles through a more united front.
Labelling is a critical part of our auditing and it is closely monitored for every NCO operator on an annual basis. In addition, we have so many eyes and ears in the community who let us know if they see something suspect.
NASAA CERTIFIED ORGANIC IS KNOWN FOR SETTING THE BENCHMARK THROUGH ITS STANDARD. HOW DO YOU KEEP THE STANDARD RELEVANT? It needs to be a living document.
HOW DO YOU SEE NCO GROWING OVER THE NEXT 5 - 10 YEARS?
THERE ARE SEVERAL CERTIFICATION BODIES IN AUSTRALIA. WHAT MAKES NCO THE INDUSTRY LEADER? We certify the largest land area and we certify against the most stringent standards. You can be sure that any product certified against the NASAA Organic and Biodynamic Standard is of the highest quality. This is underpinned by our amazing team who boost significant technical knowledge and broad experience across many commodities—our people are at the heart of what makes NCO the industry leader.
NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 11
FROM THE CHAIR
Exports - BioFach 2018 China and Asia beyond NASAA’S ATTENDANCE ALONG WITH FOUR NCO OPERATORS AT BIOFACH CHINA 2018 HAS AGAIN SUCCESSFULLY EXPOSED AUSTRALIA’S ORGANIC INDUSTRY AND PRODUCE TO INTERNATIONAL BUYERS AND SELLERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, AND CREATED OPPORTUNITY TO SCOPE OPPORTUNITIES IN CHINA’S VAST BUT COMPLEX MARKET. NASAA’s also received a recognition award for our stand and I thank Avonmore Estate Biodynamic Wines, KyValley Dairy, Kokonut Pacific, and Australian Organic Meats for their contribution and enthusiasm in making Australia’s presence at BioFach China a success. By all accounts China resonates as the largest emerging market for Australian organic produce. McKinsey and Company 2013i, forecast that by 2022 the China’s affluent and upper middle class would account for 81% percent of urban private consumption or RMB28bil, being the drivers of luxury goods consumption. McKinsey and Co also found that the geographic centre of middle-class growth is shifting away from the coastal Tier 1 cities of Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen to inland China – Tier 2 and 3 cities such as Wuhan and Leshan, presenting new market opportunities. But we are not the only ones seeking a slice of the Chinese organic food market, with New Zealand and European nations having a strong presence at BioFach China. But is China the only opportunity for certified organic Australian produce? Are there markets in the region that can be accessed 12
more easily, and with fewer barriers to entry and why would we need to look for new markets when such a large Chinese market is so accessible? The risk of being too dependent in one market is obvious, and with Australia’s small population of around 23 million, compared to China, we are far from a level playing field when it comes to imports for exports negotiations; often seen as an input supplier of minerals, energy and bulk agricultural commodities to their manufacturing economies. Also, the middle class of the Asian Pacific region is forecast to grow from 3.0 billion in 2015 to 3.5 billion by 2020ii. Our proximity and growing population of migrants from countries in the region would seem to present new relationship and export opportunities for organic Australian produce, outside of China. Agricultural trade with many of these countries is already underway with Federal and State Governments developing and expanding our diplomatic and trade ties product. This in turn should lead to higher demand, lowering of production costs and continued growth in the sector.
While, total exports of Australian agricultural produce indicate some potential, finding affluent consumers of high demand and short supply products such as infant milk formula in China, remains a challenge for Australian exporters of organic products.
‘Mapping China’s middle class’, Dominic Barton, Yougang Chen, and Amy Jin; McKinsey Quarterly June 2013 i
ii ‘Global Economy and Development Working Paper 100 February 2017: The Unprecedented Expansion of the Global Middle Class – An Update’ Homi Kharas
While economists often refer to the emerging middle or affluent classes of Asia as one homogenous market, the challenge in successfully entering these markets is to understand the country’s individual demographics, personal incomes and regional trends.
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs – Fact Sheets for Countries and Regions
Setting aside the regulatory and logistical hurdles, tailoring the right product mix to suit local foods, needs and preferences, requires in-depth local knowledge in order to customise value propositions and marketing messages that resonate locally.
Australian Organic Market Report 2017
Australian Organic Market Report 2017
Source: Euromonitor Cited Australian Organic Market Report 2017 vi
Assisting producers of Australian organic foods in seeking out and developing export market opportunities is a NASAA priority and I encourage those interested in investigating new opportunities to contact NASAA General Manager, Mark Anderson.
viii http://www.pcaarrd.dost.gov.ph/home/momentum/ philorgagri/index.php?option=com_content&view= article&id=18%3Avalue-of-organic-market-in-the philippines&catid=3&Itemid=3
Glenn Schaube NASAA Chair
MAJOR AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD PRODUCT EXPORTS BY ASIAN COUNTRIES EXCLUDING CHINA: SOURCE: DFAiii
ORGANICS IN ASIA
Organic market size 2015 US$iv unless indicated
% of global sales 2016iv
South Korea * * * * * *
Top 5 Australian organic trade destinations % 2016iv
NASAA & NCO Access / Assistance
Organic import regulation
Oilseeds, oil producing fruits
Edible products and preparation
Fruit and nuts
Other meats (ex beef)
Animal oil and fats
Fresh, chilled and frozen
This table summarises the main agricultural commodities, and lists the value & main organic trade partners:
* * * 24.2mvii
Pakistan * *
Sri Lanka * * * * Indonesia * * * *
Philippines * 6.2mvii Singapore *
Vietnam * * Brunei
* * * *
Cambodia * * * * Japan
India * * * 71.9mix Hong Kong * * * *
China * *
NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 13
Water resource management and organic farming
No blue... no green IN A COUNTRY WITH SUCH EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS AND UNPREDICTABLE RAINFALL – AS MANY FARMERS CONTINUE TO BATTLE WITH ONCE-IN-A-GENERATION DROUGHT AND FLOODS – WE EXPLORE WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN THE NASAA ORGANIC AND BIODYNAMIC STANDARD. “Water, soil and biodiversity management should be seen as one. It’s about dealing with the water that comes down... or in some cases doesn’t come down… and managing it over the year,” says Carolin Moeller, NCO Certification Officer. Moller clearly lives and breathes organic farming and food. A graduate of the Technical University of Dresden and De La Salle University, Manila and a keen producer herself of organic products including organic vegetable bread and dips, she has worked and studied in Europe, Africa and Asia before settling on a property in South Australia. Her area of special interest is water resource management and its relationship with soil fertility in organic farming systems. “Our standard focuses heavily on sustainable agriculture – with sustainability as the fundamental concept.
Water should always be intrinsically linked to that overall concept of organics and sustainable farming practices,” she said.
“I think organic farmers are well placed to overcome these kind of freak occurrences because they consistently overcome the challenges of nature,” she explained.
Following previous trips as part of her research, Moeller travelled to Africa earlier this year to see firsthand the challenges facing organic farmers dealing with erratic rainfall.
“The NASAA standard encourages them to have more diversity so, for example, if flooding impacts one type of crop which is particularly vulnerable they can go to another variety quite easily.”
“I compare Australia to my experience in East Africa… here you lack the water and/or you have extreme events with floods and high rainfall that can’t be captured by the soil,” she said.
As always an Organic Management Plan is the cornerstone guiding producers in how to best maintain water quality on and off the farm and to use water efficiently and responsibly, whether in irrigated or rain fed farming systems.
The NASAA Standard recommends operators use techniques that conserve water, such as increasing organic matter content of soil, timing of planting and the appropriate design, efficiency and scheduling of irrigation practices.
“Activities like manure application and the use of soluble fertilisers are key parts of the standard so there is rarely an issue,“ said Moeller. “You basically have to compost everything.
“From my background and learning, water use efficiency is always based on soil fertility management. That important link within the standard must be clear for farmers,” Moeller said.
“There are enough studies showing organic farming has a positive impact on the environment based on the high restriction on the kind of fertilisers that can be used.”
In her role certifying hundreds of operations each year, Moeller said too many producers viewed water resource management in their planning as a simple compliance requirement. “Water management is not a side issue,” she said. “It should never be a tick box exercise. “In the organics industry, we often see a farm in a traditional set up… you may have dams or drip irrigation because you have to. It has always been there and not because it is necessarily sustainable. So it may be ‘compliant’ and you think OK, it doesn’t harm anything, but actually it may,” Moeller said. “The water that you have needs to be available for the entire growing cycle and obviously you need to use it wisely,” said Moeller. “You need to think OK, the rain comes now, do I sow normally or dry sow? How do I manage weeds? Do I time my weed and pest management in line with the rains?“
With significant public funding recently directed towards new agricultural and veterinary chemicals for conventional farm systems, Moeller lamented the lack of investment in research and development that would assist organic producers such as soluble biological fertilisers. “There is a lot of knowledge that is not included in our standard. It’s held within industry but we need more understanding in water management in organics and alternatives to synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. That’s the missing research part that we so need,” she said. So could the on-farm equation be quite simple—spend 10% more in dollars and time on water resource management and see an increase in yields of more than 20%? “Well that’s the big question,” Moeller says with a wry smile. “And I would definitely like to find out more in this area through my PhD. “One thing is certain, good water resource management is absolutely linked to every aspect of the organic standard and every aspect of your organic farm.”
Moeller has visited many NCO properties and has seen some outstanding examples of the value of careful water management planning integrated into the complete farming system. “At the Food Forest in Gawler River, South Australia, they have set up a groundwater recharge project based on diversity and natural flow measures,” she said reflecting on the inconsistent rainfall in that area from devastating floods to drought. “They take a truly holistic approach and realise they need to work hard to improve the groundwater table.” In her experience, Moeller believes organic farmers are often better placed to deal with such challenging weather events.
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NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 15
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N U T R I O L O G Y * Option one
Alkaline Kelp main ly for soil application.
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Concentrated amin o acid mix for growth stimulati on.
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Omnia’s Organics 0800 774 629
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03 5133 9118
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N U T R I O L O G Y * N U T R I O L O G Y * *the science of growing
*the science of gr 5/20/14 4:24 owing PM N U T R I O L O G Y *
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*the science of growing
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NASAA ORGANIC AND BIODYNAMIC STANDARD 3.9 WATER MANAGEMENT General Principals Organic farming methods aim to maintain water quality on and off the farm and to use water efficiently and responsibly, whether in irrigated or rain fed farming systems.
STANDARDS 3.9.1 Operators shall not deplete nor excessively exploit water resources, and shall seek to preserve water quality. Where possible they shall recycle rainwater and monitor water extraction.
irrigation on certified crop production may only be used via trickle irrigation either: • on green manure crops; • on crops for human consumption if the water has been graded for unrestricted agricultural use; or •
after the water has been subject to effective treatments and has re-entered a natural public waterway system; provided that this water does not come in contact with the edible portion of the crop.
3.9.8 Farm practices must not permit pollution of ground and surface water.
Water shall be harvested, extracted, used and disposed of in such a way as to minimise impact on naturally occurring aquatic, terrestrial or ground water systems.
3.9.3 On-site harvest of water for agricultural use (including stock water, aquaculture and processing) must allow for enhancement of on-farm and local ecosystems that are under the immediate influence of the operator. In the harvest of water provision must be made for environmental flows to maintain riverine health, wetlands and biodiversity.
PREMIUM MCLAREN VALE.
CERT I FI ED ORGANI C, PRES ERVAT I VE FREE AND BI ODYN AM IC
3.9.4 Hydrological balances and environmental flows must be maintained with relation to irrigation practices and on-farm measures must be taken to address ground water recharge and discharge when dryland salinity is present.
3.9.5 Reclaimed or recycled waters must not introduce pollutants and/or excessive nutrients onto the farm and must not include waters reclaimed directly from conventional fields.
3.9.6 Where unacceptable risks of contamination are suspected water must be regularly tested.
WWW.ORGANI CHI LL.COM.AU
3.9.7 Water containing treated human and industrial effluent, and/or their treated by-products, intended for use for
V I N YA R D / C E L L A R D O O R : 3 6 T W E N T Y E I G H T R OA D M C L A R E N VA L E 5 1 7 1 , S T H . AUSTRALIA
NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 17
Organic agriculture, sustainability and water resource management
JUDY GOODE, NASAA BOARD MEMBER SINCE 2016, WAS A FORMER KEY ADVISER TO THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT AND THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN AUTHORITY ON THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN PLAN, STRATEGIC PROGRAMS REVIEW AND THE LIVING MURRAY INITIATIVE. Judy previously project managed strategy and policy development for the National Environmental Protection Measures in relation to the assessment of site contamination and ambient air quality standards. She also developed State policy frameworks for South Australian River Murray salinity management and environmental flows, the use of Aboriginal interpreters and translators in remote and regional communities, Aboriginal partnerships in NRM, levee bank management and environmental water allocations. The United Nations report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future (1987) stated that “sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the well being of future generations”. The 2000 Earth Charter report broadened the definition to include the concept of a global society “founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace”. Sustainability is a balancing act and inevitably involves compromise. There is no better example of this than in the Murray-Darling Basin where the emergence of irrigated agriculture along the River Murray began as early as 1825. Early irrigation was limited and largely opportunistic, due to the high variability of river flows and water quality. It was clear that for irrigation activities to expand, significant infrastructure would be required. Severe drought between 1895 and 1902 emphasised the need for a unified approach to the development and management of the resources of the River Murray and in 1915 the River Murray Waters Agreement was signed between the Commonwealth, South Australian, Victorian and New South Wales governments. This marked a significant turning point in river regulation. This agreement put into effect a decision to fund and construct an Upper Murray Storage (Hume Dam), nine locks and weirs from Blanchetown to Wentworth, 17 locks and weirs from Wentworth to Echuca (of which only four were eventually constructed) and the Lake Victoria storage.
NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 19
In 1926, agreement was reached to fund five barrages between the Lower Lakes and Coorong to maintain the water level in the pool below Blanchetown and prevent the ingress of seawater into the lakes during periods of low (or no) flow. While the primary purpose of this infrastructure was to aid navigation, the river in South Australia effectively became a series of pools, enabling the rapid growth of irrigation. It is important to understand the impacts of this expansion.
Sustainability is a balancing act and inevitably involves compromise. Between 1920 and 2000, the level of water diversions increased from around 2,000GL/y to 12,000GL/y. In the fifty years to 1994, extractions form the River Murray tripled. In 2000, diversions were almost equivalent to the mean natural discharge pre-development. Under natural (pre development) conditions, the median annual flow to the sea was 11,320GL/y whereas under current levels of development it is only 3,090GL/y. This decrease in median flow has led to significant decline in the health and ecological character of the river system. There are three primary environmental impacts resulting from river regulation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; loss of small to medium floods,
a significant reduction in total flow and a change in the temporal pattern of flows. The level of water diversions are now at a stage where there are extended periods of no flow at the river mouth. This impacts amongst other things on fish migration, salt accumulation, loss of floodplain and system connectivity, and reduced bird breeding. Another ecological threat that emerged during the Millennium Drought was exposure of acid sulfate soils and the risk of acidification. These impacts and the competing demands for water resources across the whole Murray-Darling Basin has led to political and legislative responses that attempt to redress the imbalance between environmental, social and economic outcomes.
There are three primary environmental impacts resulting from river regulation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; loss of small to medium floods, a significant reduction in total flow and a change in the temporal pattern of flows.
Hea Healthier soil Healthier soil Hea means healthier profits.means h means healthier profits.means h
TM Agricultural is an all-natural, Australian TM Agricultural an all-natural, Australian Certified Organicisproduct. It triggers an increase Certified Organic product. It triggers increase in the native benefcial biology to givean your soil in the native benefcial biology to give your soil the kick-start it needs for healthy growth. The the kick-start it needs for healthy growth. The roots can then take up essential nutrients into roots can to then take up essentialmore nutrients into the plant produce stronger, abundant the plant to produce stronger, more abundant crops. Which means more proft for you. crops. Which means more proft for you.
TM Agricul TM Agricul Certified Or Certified Or in the native in the native the kick-sta the kick-sta roots can th roots can to th the plant the plant to crops. Whic crops. Whic
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Across the Basin, caps on water diversions and water sharing plans were introduced to strike a better balance between competing users. However, the Millennium Drought emphasised an uncomfortable truth. Too much water has been diverted for consumptive use. The ecology of the river system is in crisis. Widespread ecological impacts were so severe that other urgent policy responses were needed. Subsequently, the Commonwealth Government implemented the largest government funded water buy-back from irrigators, reallocating water to ecological sites. At the same time, over $7 billion is being invested in irrigation infrastructure improvements that increase water use efficiencies and provide socio-economic regional benefits. It is important to understand and support farming systems that reduce water use. While many irrigators in the Murray-Darling Basin have implemented water saving measures in response to these political and legislative initiatives, sustainable water use should be a fundamental component of organic production, and indeed all irrigated production. The sustainability credentials of organic farming can inform the solution to improved water resource management. For example, water use practices that recognise the inter-relationships between water resource management and ecological processes can provide a direct linkage to organic standards and certification.
The sustainability credentials of organic farming can inform the solution to improved water resource management.
derived renewable resources and the management of ecological and biological processes and interactions, so as to provide acceptable levels of crop, livestock and human nutrition, protection from pests and disease, and an appropriate return to the human and other resources” (p. 5). These definitions have in common an underlying value system that is “founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.” Sound familiar? It is clear that organic farmers can show leadership in conserving and protecting our valuable water resources and upholding the common values of sustainability. It is incumbent upon the industry to do so.
It is clear that organic farmers can show leadership in conserving and protecting our valuable water resources and upholding the common values of sustainability. 1
(A .Close, pers. comm. 2001).
2 Wheeler, S., Zuo. A., Loch. A. (2018) Abstract. Watering the farm: Comparing organic and conventional irrigation water use in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia.
Mannion, A.M. 1995. Agriculture and environmental change. Temporal and spatial dimensions 3
N. Lampkin, S. Padel (Eds.), The Economics of Organic Farming. An International Perspective, CABI, Oxford (1994)
While the NASAA standard includes a section on water management, there are opportunities to strengthen the linkages to issues such as soil fertility, improved crop husbandry, and human health etc. Sarah Wheeler’s2 study investigating the role that certified organic farming systems play in irrigation water –use in the Murray-Darling Basin concludes that “organic farms significantly perform better overall in terms of absolute water use (ML), water-use as a percentage of allocations received (%) and water-use productivity (ML/$), which is arguably the most important water measure for individual farms.” There are a variety of definitions of organic farming. Mannion3 refers to it as a “holistic view of agriculture that aims to reflect the profound relationship that exists between farm biota, its production and the overall environment.“ A definition of organic farming provided by Lampin4 states that the aim is “to create integrated, humane, environmentally and economically sustainable production systems, which maximise reliance on farmNASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 21
South Australian Arid Lands Natural Resource Management Board Bootcamp in May
NASAA NASAAOrganic OrganicInsights InsightsAutumn Winter Edition 2018 | 23
SOUTH AUSTRALIAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S KANGAROO ISLAND IS HOME TO THE LAST REMAINING PURE POPULATION OF LIGURIAN BEES...
The land of bees and honey
FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS, NASAA CERTIFIED ORGANIC BEE-KEEPERS, SHAWN AND ANTHEA HINVES HAVE DEVELOPED THEIR APIARY AND CREATING A MUCH SOUGHT-AFTER LINE OF PRODUCTS. AND THEY HAVE BIG PLANS TO DO MUCH MORE WITH THE SMALLEST OF LIVESTOCK. It’s mid-April and the bees should be safely tucked inside the hives for the winter. Not so at the Hinves property… Shawn Hinves runs approximately 200 productive hives at Haines, Kangaroo Island and is still building the apiary. “We extract up to 20 tonne of organic honey on a good year. Of course, we avoid using chemicals in all aspects of our farming practices,” he said. “Our aim is to produce products of a high standard and as natural as possible.” The enthusiasm in Shawn’s voice as he describes his morning tending to the hives is charming. This is a man who clearly loves his bees. “We’ve always been very self-sufficient and we wanted to go to the next level and make our own honey and help pollination with the vegetables so we started with just the one hive.” Shawn said. “Now we have over 200 hives!” “But we didn’t go out with our own label until about five years ago. Before that we were selling bulk honey to another bee-keeper,” explains Anthea, Shawn’s wife and co-owner of KI Living Honey. Kangaroo Island, with its natural borders and pristine disease -free environment means there is no need to use antibiotics and other supplementary measures to maintain the hives.
“We then found out how amazing the bees really were and we added a few numbers and the next thing we knew we had over 200 hives.”
to the mainland,” Shawn explains. “The amount of native wildflowers and shrubs is huge here.” Bees are the smallest of all livestock, classified under livestock legislation, which raises the question: do bees have their own personalities like other animals? “Most definitely,” Shawn said. “You can classify these Ligurian bees as having a mild temperament.” “It really depends on the queen,” said Anthea. “The queen sets the tone for the hive. If you have an aggressive queen she’ll make the hive aggressive. If you have a placid queen, she’ll make the hive placid.” Clearly for beekeepers handling the hives on a regular basis, there are distinct advantages to having an even-tempered matriarch not prone to histrionics. “We tend to breed placid queens,” said Anthea. “Sometimes if we have picked up a native hive and discover there is an aggressive queen we will remove her and replace her with a more docile queen. The result is almost instantaneous. The whole hive responds and settles down.” Fortunately, overall the Ligurian bees are known not only for their mild demeanour but also their strong work ethic. “They are easy to work with. A lot of the time, you could even work without a veil,” said Shawn. “I don’t need a suit or gloves except once or twice a year, when the weather is really cold and I know the bees will be a bit grumpy,” he said rolling his eyes. In winter, the hives are moved to a more sheltered area, under a canopy of trees, where the bees are largely dormant and can focus on looking after their young. Anthea explains: “They really don’t like the cold. You can imagine if it’s a bit chilly outdoors but you’ve got the fire going well inside to keep your children warm. If someone then came into your house and left the back door open with a rush of cold air you wouldn’t be too happy either! “And they’ll let you know that they’re not too happy about it.”
“The nicest thing here is that we are GMO-free which has just been extended for another seven years (through a Government of South Australia moratorium),” said Shawn. “A lot of the farmers here are very health-minded. They don’t want to have to spray their crops. Most have a holistic approach and it makes it quite easy for us to manage the hives as a result.” A third of Kangaroo Island is national park which is augmented by significant native scrub belts. This helps to support a near-perfect environment for the bees. “We also don’t have any rabbits on the Island so the undergrowth, particularly along the roadside is completely different
NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 25
“They really don’t like the cold. Imagine if it’s a bit chilly outdoors but you’ve got the fire going well inside to keep your children warm if someone then came into your house and left the back door open with a rush of cold air you wouldn’t be too happy either! During the summer months, when the flowers are in abundance, most of the hive is out and about working: “When it’s warmer, they show no interest in giving you a hard time at all and they are very pleasant,” said Shawn. The NASAA Organic and Biodynamic Standard dictates the composition of the hives to ensure the risk of contamination is properly managed. “None of our hives are treated with anything that would be detrimental to bees,” said Shawn. “We use raw pine and we don’t even paint the boxes, we simply coat them in a special wax sealant known as Log End which is allowed under the NASAA Standard and prevents moisture from entering the hive.” While certified organic honey remains the flagship product for KI Living Honey, the Hinves have already started to diversify their bee-related lines including lip balm and candles. “We are looking into developing a hand cream and also a moisturising cream incorporating a touch of the honey,” Shawn said. Anthea said the list is endless as to what can be created from the bee products especially using the wax and propolis. Vegetation on Kangaroo Island
“There are so many ideas we’d love to delve into but we have to streamline and look carefully at what we want to develop,” she said. “And we’d also like to experiment more with the propolis.” Given it’s just Anthea, Shawn and their children running the business, which is also open to the public, new product development is only constrained by resource and time. “I do all the manufacturing of the lip balms while Shawn does all the deliveries in between looking after all the hives,” Anthea said. Living on the tourism-reliant Kangaroo Island, what do the Hinves think about agri-tourism opportunities, particularly for organic farms? “There is a lot of potential,” Shawn said. “As the Island is being promoted more to interstate and overseas markets, there is an increasing awareness of who we are and what we do.
“People go out of their way to look for us on the Island, often having tried our product on the mainland.” “We’re already starting to focus down that path with our farm gate sales. People go out of their way to look for us on the Island, often having tried our product on the mainland,” he said. “It ticks a box for people who want to know what we do with the bees. And the product really sells itself. Once people have tasted organic honey, it really opens their eyes.”
For more info visit KI Living Honey
R E C O M M E N D AT I O N S
Organic bee-keeping The organic apiarist should practice a system of disease management that limits the exchange of bee material among hives, ensures systematic replacement and cleaning of hive material, records colony performance and hive movements. Apiarists should be familiar with the nutritional characteristics of plant sources that the bees are working to avoid inappropriate product removal and the need to feed hives. Hives should be constructed of natural materials, smoker fuel should be non-sparking natural material producing a ‘cool smoke’ eg hay, pine needles, clean wood chips/shavings. Wax used to make foundation should be sourced preferably from the operator’s own certified organic hives.
Honey extraction and packaging temperatures should not affect the quality and beneficial properties of honey. If recycled containers are used they should be clean and free from foreign odours. Apiarists should understand bee behaviour and manipulate the colony accordingly with bee removal/ hive inspection aided by clearing boards, brushing, shaking, blowers, or minimal smoking using natural fuels. Apiarists should understand the factors affecting storage of empty combs such as influence of temperature and the need for exclusion of moths and mice.
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NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 27
RESEARCH FOCUS ASSOCIATION BETWEEN TIME PERSPECTIVE AND ORGANIC FOOD CONSUMPTION IN A LARGE SAMPLE OF ADULTS
AUTHORS Marc Bénard - Email author, Julia Baudry, Caroline Méjean, Denis Lairon, Kelly Virecoulon Giudici, Fabrice Etilé, Gérard Reach, Serge Hercberg, Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot and Sandrine Péneau Nutrition Journal 2018 17:1
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND Organic food intake has risen in many countries during the past decades. Even though motivations associated with such choice have been studied, psychological traits preceding these motivations have rarely been explored. Consideration of future consequences (CFC) represents the extent to which individuals consider future versus immediate consequences of their current behaviors. Consequently, a future oriented personality may be an important characteristic of organic food consumers. The objective was to analyze the association between CFC and organic food consumption in a large sample of the adult general population..
METHODS In 2014, a sample of 27,634 participants from the NutriNet-Santé cohort study completed the CFC questionnaire and an Organic-Food Frequency questionnaire. For each food group (17 groups), non-organic food consumers were compared to organic food consumers across quartiles of the CFC using multiple logistic regressions. Moreover, adjusted means of proportions of organic food intakes out of total food intakes were compared between quartiles of the CFC. Analyses were adjusted for socio-demographic, lifestyle and dietary characteristics.
More precisely, the contribution of organic food consumed was higher in the Q4 for 16 food groups. The highest relative differences between Q4 and Q1 were observed for starchy refined foods (22%) and non-alcoholic beverages (21%). Seafood was the only food group without a significant difference.
CONCLUSIONS This study provides information on the personality of organic food consumers in a large sample of adult participants. Consideration of future consequences could represent a significant psychological determinant of organic food consumption.
Participants with higher CFC were more likely to consume organic food (OR quartile 4 (Q4) vs. Q1 = 1.88, 95% CI: 1.62, 2.20). Overall, future oriented participants were more likely to consume 14 food groups. The strongest associations were observed for starchy refined foods (OR = 1.78, 95% CI: 1.63, 1.94), and fruits and vegetables (OR = 1.74, 95% CI: 1.58, 1.92). The contribution of organic food intake out of total food intake was 33% higher in the Q4 compared to Q1.
NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 29
BACKGROUND The demand of organic foods has been notably increasing over the past years. In France, sales of organic products represented 5.5 billion euros in 2014 corresponding to a 10% increase from the previous year as it was the case in most European countries . The major reasons regarding the purchase of organic foods include altruistic motives such as environmental and ethics aspects [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], and self-centered motives such as health, food safety, and sensory aspects [2, 4, 6, 8, 9]. Despite individual differences concerning these motivations, specific psychological traits which could lead to these motivations, and thus to an organic food consumption oriented behavior, have rarely been explored. Consideration of Future Consequences (CFC) is a construct which measures “the extent to which individuals consider the potential distant outcomes of their current behaviors and the extent by which they are influenced by these potential outcomes .” Individuals with a low CFC are expected to act on their immediate needs and concerns whereas individuals with a high CFC are expected to
consider the future implication of their behavior and to use their distant goals as guides for their current actions. Higher CFC have been shown to be associated with healthy and environmentally friendly behaviors . In particular, several studies found that future oriented individuals were more likely to have a health oriented behavior, such as exercising more [11, 12], presenting healthy eating attitudes and intentions , being more sensitive to health communications to get tested for colorectal cancer , and participating in diabetes screening . A meta-analysis measuring time perspective with different constructs found that future time perspective influenced individual attitudes and behaviors towards the environment , such as environmental preservation , recycling and waste reduction , and water conservation . Finally, a study reported future oriented consumers to be more careful about organic labels, suggesting a higher interest in health related and sustainability issues . However, to our knowledge no data is available on the relationship between time orientation and organic food intakes.
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The aim of this study was therefore to analyze the association between consideration of futures consequences and the consumption of 17 organic food groups in a sample of the general population participating in the NutriNet-SantĂŠ cohort study by taking into account sociodemographic, lifestyle and dietary characteristics. Firstly, we wanted to assess whether organic food consumers were more likely to be future oriented compared to non organicfood consumers. Then, we quantitatively analyzed intakes of organic food according to the individual level of consideration of future consequences.
DISCUSSION Overall, analyses performed in this study showed higher organic food consumption among future oriented individuals compared to less future oriented participants independently of socioeconomic, lifestyle and dietary characteristics. First, individuals with a high consideration of future consequences were found more likely to eat organic foods. Then, among organic food consumers, future oriented individuals were also found in average to have a higher contribution of organic foods in their diet.
CHARACTERISTICS OF FUTURE ORIENTED INDIVIDUALS Our results supported previous data of the literature indicating that future oriented individuals were younger , had more often a high education level , and had a lower BMI [12, 29], compared with less future oriented individuals.
ASSOCIATION BETWEEN CONSIDERATION OF FUTURE CONSEQUENCES AND ORGANIC FOOD CONSUMPTION Overall, results of the association between consideration of future consequences and organic food consumption showed that future oriented individuals were more likely to consume organic food. Moreover, when considering consumers of organic food groups specifically, the more participants were future oriented, the higher was the average contribution of organic foods in their diet (for almost every food group considered). Therefore, these analyses, focusing either on the whole sample or on organic food consumers specifically, both show a link between CFC and organic food intake. No significant interaction was found between gender and CFC in our study, suggesting no moderation effect of gender on the relationship between CFC and organic food intakes. To our knowledge, our study is the first to take into account
the CFC-12 or any other measure of time perspective to assess the likelihood of organic food consumption. One study showed evidence that preferences for food products with an organic logo varied according to the level of future orientation . Although very little data is available on association between psychological traits and organic consumption, many studies have investigated how psychological traits influence motives behind organic food choices. A large list of motives has been found to predict organic food intake, such as environmental and ethics aspects [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 32, 33], or health, food safety and sensory aspects [2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 32, 33]. Broadly, these motives could be divided into two categories: environmental concerns (considered as altruistic motives), and individual concerns such as health (self-centered motives) . Future time perspective has been shown to lead to a pro-environmental behavior  and to more health oriented behaviors [11, 12, 14, 15]. Consideration of future consequences could therefore be a psychological construct predicting organic food consumption through altruistic or self-centered motives (or both), which could explain the higher proportion of organic food consumers among future oriented participants. Significant linear trends showing increases of proportions of organic food intakes among organic food consumers across categories of the CFC strengthened this hypothesis.
FOOD GROUP DIFFERENCES Future oriented individuals were more likely to consume organic foods, but strengths of the association varied depending on the food group. The strongest associations were found for starchy refined foods, fruits and vegetables, and non-alcoholic beverages. No associations were found for seafood, meat, poultry and processed meat, and dairy products and meat substitutes. Specific factors could play an important role and weaken the relationship between time perspective and the consumption of these organic food groups. For example, constraints like price or origin of the product represent important factors in food choices and purchases . Organic products with the highest differences in price between the organic and the conventional version such as meat, poultry and processed meat  could be consumed less because the price constraint would be too important . Moreover, differences in the availability across products could also explain these different associations . For example, less available products could be less purchased and less likely to be consumed. Some studies showed that fruits and vegetables intake in the diet was the most popular organic foods in proportion,
NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 31
STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS whereas meat products and fishes were the least popular products [5, 39]. Our results also suggest that the strongest associations were found in the food groups which show or which are thought to have the greatest benefits for the environment or health (or both) when consumed in their organic version compared to their conventional versions, and inversely for some of the weakest associations. Maximum residue level exceedances are higher in conventionally produced products compared to organic products . In addition, among consumers of organic food products, the highest relative differences in proportions of organic intakes between Q4 and Q1 were found for starchy refined foods, non-alcoholic beverages, while the weakest variation were found for dairy products and meat substitutes, and eggs. The strength of the associations found for this analysis was similar to previous results. Similarly, observed differences between food groups could be explained by constraints regarding price, access, and environment, even among organic food consumers .
The main strength of this study is its large sample size with subjects of various socio-demographic characteristics which allows controlling for confounding factors while keeping a reasonable statistical power. Yet, other potential confounders were not taken into account, such as environmental factors and the availability of organic food. The second strength of this study was the use of a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire of 264 items which allowed a reliable estimation of usual diet over the previous year for conventional and organic intakes, despite a possibility of overestimation of intakes. The two complementary analyses, on the whole sample, and on organic food consumers specifically, bring more confidence on the relationship between consideration of future consequences and organic food intake. Questions concerning frequency of organic food consumption were not validated and could have led to misestimate the percentages of organic food consumer or proportions of organic food consumption in the diet.
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However, the estimation of organic food consumers was not substantially modified in a sensitivity analysis assessing the robustness of the scale . In addition, considering that the completion of the Org-FFQ was optional and the long set of items of the questionnaire, participants with more sustainable food concerns could be more likely to complete it compared to other participants of the cohort. Finally, a high proportion of women and of individuals with a high level of education was included in our analysis, whom have been shown to have greater sustainable consumption [41, 42]. A selection bias could be present because of the method used to recruit participants, which is based on volunteering. As NutriNet-Santé is a cohort focusing on nutrition, its participants are more likely to be interested in nutritionrelated issues. Consequently, our subjects may have high health awareness, and a high interest toward organic food and sustainability issues compared to the general population; meaning that percentages of organic food consumers were probably not representative of the general population. Another limitation of this study is its design, which is a cross-sectional analysis within a cohort, and thus does not allow us to assess causality. Moreover, all collected data were self-reported which could have led to measurement errors. The CFC questionnaire has been widely used with health and environmental outcomes. Recent studies reported a two-factor structure of the CFC, distinguishing immediate and future subscales . Even though there is no consensus on the use of the CFC , a two-dimension analysis could have added another perspective in our interpretation of the results.
CONCLUSIONS This study showed that consideration of future consequences could be considered as a construct associated with consumption of organic food. For the majority of the assessed food groups, participants with the highest future orientation were more often consumers of organic foods, and when consuming these foods consumed a higher quantity of them. More generally, time perspective could be a personality trait predicting environmental and health concerns, and could be a key psychological factor influencing dietary behaviors and in particular organic food intake. These findings could explain the cognitive process underlying organic food choices and show the importance to take individual’s psychological factors into account regarding overall food choices. Promoting the importance of future outcomes and long-term benefits could represent an
approach of public health programs aiming at encouraging intake of organic food or more generally health promotion and chronic disease prevention.
ABBREVIATIONS CFC: Consideration of future consequences CNIL: Commission Nationale Informatique et Libertés CU: Consumption unit IRB: International Research Board of the French Institute for Health and Medical Research mPNNS-GS: Modified Programme National Nutrition Santé Guidelines Score Org-FFQ: Organic food frequency questionnaire
Read the complete paper
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Warning over zero GM rule
Australia’s organic growers would lose foothold in international markets if a zero per cent tolerance to the presence of genetically modified organisms in produce was relaxed, a public hearing has been told. National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia general manager Mark Anderson presented at the hearing this week as part of a State parliamentary inquiry into possible compensation schemes for farmers affected by GM contamination.
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Cellarmasters’ organic wine sales up 400%
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US Stakeholders laud draft Senate Farm Bill for increased funding for organic research oversight
Online applications for the 2019 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award open Monday, 3 September, and close 11pm AEDT, 31 October, or Sunday, 27 January 2019 (NT only)
“Much needed” federal funding for organic research, education and outreach could double in the next two years if measures in the Senate Agriculture Committee’s draft farm bill released June 8 make it into the final farm bill.
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NASAA Organic Insights Winter Edition 2018 | 35
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