The Organic Advantage

- Thursday, 19th January 2006

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

INDUSTRY NEWS:Labelling - Australian Country of Origin Labelling Standard Gazetted
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has gazetted the new Country of Origin Food Labelling Standard for Australia. The standard will come into full force for unpackaged fruit, vegetables, nuts and seafood products in six months' time, for unpackaged pork products in 12 months and for packaged goods in two years' time.
The new standard includes:
-unpackaged fresh pork, ham and bacon products and processed unpackaged seafood, vegetables, nuts and fruit;
- unpackaged products have a specific Country of Origin label;
- distinct statement of origin information on packaged products;
- consistency with trade practices legislation and trade practices law; and
- strengthened requirements for legibility.
The new standard is available on the FSANZ web site at

AGRIBUSINESS NEWS:KENYA - New Company to Certify Organic Farm Produce
By Bernard Muthaka, 5/1/2006
The first local organic products inspection and certification body has been launched in Kenya. Encert Limited, is currently only certifying products for local markets, but plans are being made to enable them to inspect on behalf of Soil Association of the UK for certifying products for export.
This should bring down the cost of inspection and certification for export markets by about half, says Encerts technical director Musa Njoka. In Kenya, many farmers have been trained in organic agriculture by various organisations. However, when it comes to marketing their products, most of these farmers sell them as conventional, or at best, as organic but without a premium price as is the case in other parts of the world. Even the few farmers who manage to sell their products as organic do so on the basis of trust since the concept of organic certification as well as a specialised organic market has not taken root in Kenya.
Recently, Green Dreams, a farm in Tigoni, Kiambu, became the first to be certified as an organic production unit locally. According to the farm owner, Ms Su Kihumbu, outlets must now insist on certified products in order to assure consumers elsewhere that the country has the potential to produce truly organic products.

ENVIRONMENT:Custom Composts, Winner of WA Environment Awards 2005
The Minister for the Environment, Judy Edwards, announced the winners of the State Environmental awards at a gala dinner in Perth late last year. The overall winner was Custom Composts, who also won the category Small Business Leading by Example.
In 1998 Andy Gulliver and David Cullen, joint Directors of Custom Composts, took on the challenge to improve environmental management on an intensive piggery near Mandurah, south of Perth. They saw the opportunity to achieve a triple environmental benefit and set themselves a challenge to achieve three objectives simultaneously:
1.Eliminate the piggery as a potential point source of pollution for the Serpentine River
2. Develop a significant recycling business, manufacturing recycled organic products
3. Create new environmentally friendly products to support improved farming practices
When asked to describe why Custom Composts had been successful Andy Gulliver, Director of Custom Composts, replied, We are positive and proactive and have a genuine desire to get the best possible results. We are not afraid to challenge the status quo.
A passion for the environment, commitment and a will to succeed helped surmount seemingly impossible challenges over the past 5 years.
In that time, an ambitious plan has significantly reduced potential pollution at the same time as developing a business producing high quality recycled products that help protect our environment.
Custom Composts can be contacted on ph 08 9581 9582 or email

HEALTH: Study Reveals Pesticides Raise Child Risk of Leukaemia
UK: January 17, 2006
LONDON - Exposure to pesticides in the womb or as a child can double the risk of developing acute leukaemia, French scientists said on Tuesday. They discovered that children born to women who used insecticides in the home while pregnant and after the birth were nearly twice as likely as other youngsters to develop leukaemia. Even insecticidal shampoos to kill head lice raised the odds of the disease.
"The results ... support the hypothesis that various types of insecticide exposure may be a risk factor for childhood acute leukaemia," said Dr Florence Menegaux, of the research institute INSERM Villejuif, France, in a report in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
The researchers discovered the link after interviewing the mothers of 280 children who had been diagnosed with leukaemia and of 288 healthy children. They found that youngsters exposed to fungicides and garden insecticides had more than double the risk of the illness than other children.

GOOD TASTE:Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
By Florence Statham, Rosnay Organic Farms,
Do you have zucchinis growing in your garden? If so, here is a recipe for using the flowers together with some other seasonal vegetables you grow at this time of year.
Zucchini flowers,
Silverbeet, basil, garlic and shallots (or other seasonal vegetables),
A little mince (pork or beef),
Some black olives and
(This recipe is very flexible. Try experimenting with more or less garlic and basil or replace the olives with pine nuts.)
When the zucchinis are still small, pick the flowers. The flowers look fragile but they are in fact very tough when cooked. Give them a rinse and slit them on one side.
Prepare the stuffing: Cut finely the silver beet, shallots, crushed garlic and basil. Mix well with the egg, mince meat and a hand full of sliced black olives. Add salt and pepper to taste. Form a ball and insert a little of the mixture in each flower forming a parcel. Shallow fry in olive oil (turning once) with some tomatoes cut in half and fried on each side and adding a little extra basil. Serve with rice or fresh bread.
The uncooked left over stuffing can be frozen and used as the flowers keep appearing on the zucchini vine. The stuffed flowers can also be served cold as an antipasto with a little vinaigrette drizzled on top. I have used this recipe with pumpkin flowers which works very well too.
Your Organic Advantage
Editors: Holly Vyner, Sam Statham, Dom O'Brien
Ph: 07 3350 5716 (International +61 7 3350 5716)

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