Becoming an organic producer
We suggest to all operators, large or small, to make the change to Certified Organic progressively and as knowledge, resources and skill allows.
If you are new to food production and processing generally, or an avid vegetable gardener or small livestock producer, landholder or ‘foody’ with a burning interest in organics, we suggest you begin small and learn to produce sustainably.
Learn as much as you can about organics and and how to integrate organic production into your product range.
Finding local organic markets
Begin by selling your organic products locally and learn how to market them in a successful manner to build your knowledge of how to market your product successfully. Many small operators begin by selling locally to restaurants and cafes, through local community markets, local retailer shops that sell organic product, and farm gate sales.
The following provides links to finding local Community Markets:
Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) are locally focused quality assurance systems.
NASAA does not currently run a PGS system.
PGS systems can provide a useful tool to transition towards more sustainable agriculture, empowering farmers and local communities.
PGS provide an alternative and complementary tool to third-party certification within the organic sector. They can provide a lower level entry into organic certification for very small growers and can be a great stepping stone to full Organic Certification.
They can help small operators to access local markets frequented by people who want to buy food, fibre and cosmetics that is locally produced in accordance with organic principles.
SCPA Organics is an example of a successful PGS System operating in Australia.
As an interim program for new small operators, the steps taken to make a legitimate organic claim are consistent, codified and credible and provide a good opportunity to learn more about your organic business.
What are some limitations of PGS organics?
PGS Certification, unlike full Organic Certification, does not provide entry into Certified Organic markets either in Australia or overseas.
PGS programs are focused on and suited to small farmers selling direct to local markets. They bring many farmers who wouldn’t have considered third-party certification into a system of committed organic production.