All Natural Certified Agricultural
As the market for healthy affordable food increases, so do
the requirements and obligations of the primary producer. Laws become stricter,
documentary requirements are greater and the agencies that certify production
have been overcome by the mountains of paperwork that must be completed in order
to comply with the new government regulations. The government regulations would
not be a bad thing if all governments could get in line and say, ďOK, Organic is
one industry, so the worldwide production will all be done according to one
standardĒ. The reality of the situation is that every government has its own
regulation, although many try to harmonize through equivalencies, we are left
with NOP, IFOAM, EU, Canada, JAS, Chile, Argentina, etc.
While all are similar, there are differences in each that
make it very difficult to comply with all simultaneously, which is very
important in the case of export production.
A great deal of time and money is spent going around in
circles trying to prove that this product complies or that one does not, etc.
Small producers cannot afford the costs of an agricultural method that was
designed to give them a competitive advantage in the marketplace, precisely
since they must spend so much money on certification and time doing paperwork.
Sustainable agriculture just isnít sustainable anymore under these conditions.
Another disadvantage of government legislation in this
respect is that while conventional agriculture is able to use toxic products
without any intervention, if an organic farmer makes a mistake (for example, he
makes compost but does not do it exactly as specified, then he is actually
working under false pretext and is liable to prosecution for fraud), or does not
complete his paperwork on time he is liable to sanctions by the certifier or by
government. It is not really a healthy environment in which to work. While many
argue that these measures are necessary to assure healthy production, it is
absolutely untrue and counterproductive. Moreover, it appears these laws are
really the product of constant lobbying (and possibly bribery) by the mega-corporations
that produce the toxic chemicals and genetically engineered organisms. It also
appears their sole purpose is to make healthy food production so difficult and
fraught with risk that farmers will eventually abandon healthy production
methods in favor of conventional methods,
reducing the competition to zero. This also means that the small family farm is
disappearing and we are actually headed back to feudal type of social structure;
ownership of land will fall into corporate hands and farm workers will become the
serfs working under these agricultural barons.
We believe that change is required in order to deal with
these situations. Organic production is dying in part due to
We understand that if people want healthy, affordable food,
then it should be made available to them. We think that the small family farm is
necessary to achieve this end. Our goal is to provide a production system for
farmers, especially the small family farm that will be both healthy and
sustainable, while avoiding the pitfalls associated with organics.
We want small farmers to stay on the land, we want healthy
food and we want to create value added products to achieve this end. Obviously
we must be pragmatic about what we can allow and what we cannot and we must have
a system that inspires confidence on behalf of the consumer who is, in the end,
the person who will validate our production methods and evaluate on the basis of
quality and affordability.
We believe that many things that are currently prohibited
for organic production are not necessarily bad or unsustainable, but are
prohibited by political requirement or possibly by vested interests. Our system
will provide alternatives in order avoid this.
Tenets of the All Natural Certified Agricultural System
Sustainable agriculture is only sustainable if people can
understand it. Clarity as to why something is prohibited while others of similar
nature are allowed is the point here.
We have rescued many of the points made by organic
agriculture with regard to cultivation and harvest methods, while we do allow
some things that organic agriculture does not.
Lower cost certification
To lower certification costs, it
is necessary to decrease documentary requirements and frequency of control. As
new Organic laws require more frequent controls (as many as 4 reports per year),
we propose an annual inspection.
We will allow the use of methods
that will permit a farmer to get a crop, such as a burn off of stubble fields in
the spring to inhibit weed seed germination and in special cases we are
analyzing the use of a chemical application that will be used for this same
Use of Biotechnology
Some biotechnology is
essentially benign. Drought resistant and frost resistant plant varieties can be
of great advantage in areas where seasons are short. These varieties, as long as
they are free market available and have 100% plant based genes can be used.
Frankenfood varieties such as herbicide or insect resistant will not be allowed.
Chemical fertilization methods
are not necessarily bad, but should only be used as supplementary nutrition and
not as the primary source. Anhydrous ammonia hardens soil and should not be
used, while potassium may be included. These are currently under analyses, but
generally natural nitrates and other mined products will be allowed.
This will include pesticides
such as pyrethrum and allow for safe management of rats and mice. Non-mercurial
seed treatments will be allowed.
Important to consumers, this
will assure that all will know where a given product was produced and the
Care will be taken with
processors to assure that only non-toxic materials and adjuvants will be used.
Non contamination will also be an important factor.
Producers and processors who are
certified will be allowed the use of our seal
A set of guidelines regarding
ethical management and treatment of animals during all facets of the animalís
life will be included. Also measures will be presented regarding the slaughter
facilities and packing plants to assure as little suffering as possible and
allow for healthier foods.