The Organic Advantage

A free newsletter by BFA - producing the best resources for keeping industry informed.

INDUSTRY NEWS:Organic Export Opportunities in rising UK Market

The Queensland departments of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F), State Development Trade and Innovation (DSDTI), and Austrade are linking with the National Food Industry Strategy (NFIS) project to present a seminar to provide up to date information on the natural products (wellbeing) and food market in the United Kingdom (U.K.).

The NFIS project aims to provide a fast track route into a major U.K. supermarket chain. Under the banner of the National Food Industry Strategy, consumer market research has been commissioned to monitor the latest trends in the United Kingdom and this information will be presented at the meeting. The Queensland Government project aims to build supply chain alliances into the Natural products (Health food) sector and this will be the second meeting in the series.

To learn what opportunities these projects provide, an information session will be held at 10.00am on Friday, 9th December 2005, at the DPI&F Conference Centre, Ground Floor, Primary Industries Building, 80 Ann Street, Brisbane City, QLD 4000. Jacquie Bodger, email:

AGRIBUSINESS NEWS: Organic Farmers Rejection of GE Vindicated BFA News, 6 Dec 2005

The Biological Farmers of Australia has welcomed calls by Dr Charles Benbrook touring Australia from the US, for follow up testing of existing GE foods to find out if they are safe for human consumption. Scott Kinnear, a Director on the BFA Board and spokesperson, said today that "Dr Benbrooks visit has enabled a thorough discussion of the significance of the Australian National University testing of the GE field pea developed by CSIRO."

"This study is a world first in testing GE foods for safety because it uses highly sophisticated and sensitive immunological assays in determining allergenic responses" said Kinnear.

"The field pea is the only GE food to have undergone this testing and serious allergenic problems were detected in mice. Many other GE foods such as GE soy have been shown to have higher levels of trypsin inhibitors and lectins and the GE field peas also exhibited this. In addition it has been a long standing concern that the glycosilation of proteins (attachment of sugars) may alter the immune response when eaten. This appears to have occurred in this mouse study of the GE field pea. We are very concerned by comments from CSIRO to the effect that this is a sign that the regulatory system is working, when nowhere in the world do food regulators require these sorts of testing.

"This research will drive a huge amount of follow up research around the world. Dr Benbrook in meetings this week with State and Federal Government members and representatives urged all Australian Governments to fund a comprehensive, independent, published scientific program of testing on existing GE foods to follow on from the ground breaking research at ANU." "The WA Government has already announced such research and is rumoured to be in negotiation with Tasmania to support the work. Dr Benbrook has pointed out that this research is best performed at two or more facilities, because if adverse results are discovered with existing GE foods consumed by people, then the scrutiny of such work will be considerable. The US plants 85% GE Round Up Ready soy beans and the world market is 50%. The implications of a world wide rejection of GE foods which could occur if further problems are found will be enormous for food producers, processors and retailers.

"The BFA has supported the State moratoriums and believes the evidence from ANU may be an advance warning of a very rocky road for GE technologies." "The BFA is at pains to point out that organic farmers are not unilaterally opposed to biotechnology, which is a broad and complex field of research has the potential?to provide benefits to farmers and consumers. The use of biotechnology in marker assisted breeding and genomics is supported by organic farmers. Our most critical objection is to the cutting and splicing of DNA sequences which cross species boundaries, to form the transgenic crops on the market today and proposed for Australia in herbicide tolerant canola."

ENVIRONMENT:City Dwellers Must Pay for Environmental Management

Summary from the Country Breakfast program on ABC Radio National on Saturday 19th November. Sustainable Agriculture with Catherine Clifford. A leading soil and water scientist says if Australian agriculture is to survive, urban populations will have to pay farmers not only for the food and fibre they produce, but for their role as managers of ecosystem services. Dr John Williams says farmers are caught in a cost-price squeeze that prevents them from adequately addressing land degradation and salination. Dr Williams, the former head of CSIRO's Land and Water department, says there needs to be a better matching of water, nutrient and carbon flows with Australia's landscape capacity. But he says it's no longer acceptable for everyone to demand that farmers pay for it.

"I think the days are past when we can expect farmers to continue to provide cheap, green food and at the same time be the custodian for all the ecosystem services that we in the cities need and benefit from and currently do not pay a cent for," he says. "Clean air, the clean water, the carbon sequestration, the habitat and the salinity minimization are well within our capability," says Dr Williams.

HEALTH: ABC Provides DVD Double for Home Gardeners

The ABC now has available two videos of Peter Cundalls organic gardening techniques combined onto one DVD Patch from Scratch teaches you about Peter's organic gardening techniques as he carves out a 'patch from scratch' from an ordinary backyard. On the DVD, he demonstrates how to rotate the beds with legumes, brassicas, root crops and companion plants to maintain healthy crops, fertile soil and keep pests and diseases at bay.

Cottage Gardens is a practical guide to growing your own cottage garden. ABC's Gardening Australia team, led by Peter Cundall, demonstrate planting techniques and design ideas that will show you how to plan, plant and maintain a cottage garden. productid=726724


A Real Good Breakfast. Profiling REALGOODFOOD By Holly Vyner.

The realgoodfood label says it all. These products have awesome organic flavours for waking you up and inspiring your mind and soul each morning realgoodfood is certified organic and you know after a bowl of the bircher or porridge that you have eaten well. Melbourne-born Serena Dougall began the business out of a desire to provide a breakfast that is both delicious and nutritious.

Based on whole cereal grains they make perfectly balanced breakfasts that contain all essential nutrients. According to research, through refining, we are missing out on a whole lot of the benefit that whole cereal grains can offer Serena says up to 86% Vitamin E, 90% B Vitamins and 78% potassium & phosphorous for instance is lost in wheat. With the birth of her first daughter Eliza, Serena expanded the range to include gluten free wholegrain baby cereals & a baby bircher muesli. Serena says Wholegrain food is a perfectly balanced food for growing bodies and together with fresh vegetables, fruits, animal protein, seeds & nuts they are helping to form the building blocks for her entire life.

Bircher Muesli -
Bircher muesli is soaked overnight in juice or water and known for its minerals and vitamins being easily digested and taken in by the body. This bircher has a lovely texture and tastes great on its own just soaked in water for a simplistic breakfast. Equally its great as a rich gourmet breakfast soaked in juice, mixed with fruit and yoghurt. The dried fruit goes gooey, the soaked almonds become a texture unexplored and the whole bowl is like a kind of porridge with the goodness of being raw and easily digestible! Soaked in juice then mixed with grated apple and plain yoghurt, it is a good one for impressing friends for Sunday brunch.realgoodfood specialises in premium organic wholefoods. Certified organic and biodynamic products include porridges, mueslis, wholegrain baby cereals and fruit and nut mixes. All products are wheat-free and many are suitable for coeliacs.

For locations of vendors contact:
BIOLOGICAL FARMERS OF AUSTRALIA CO OP LTD - THE VOICE OF ORGANICS. Ph: 07 3350 5716 (International +61 7 3350 5716) AUSTRALIAN CERTIFIED ORGANIC PTY LTD - THE STANDARD IN ORGANICS Ph: 07 3350 5706 (International +61 7 3350 5706)