It must be said that there is nothing magical or mysterious about organic farming. It is simply a low input / low output system - one which our ancestors would have understood. Its approach is based on maintaining a sound and well balanced soil.
Whereas, over the past 40 years, science and economics have moved conventional farming towards the increased use of chemicals in ensuring good nutrition and health in crops and animals, the organic approach is that these tasks should be carried out naturally, without the use of chemical interference.
"Food, one assumes, provides nourishment, but Americans eat it fully aware that small amounts of poison have been added to improve its appearance and delay its putrefaction" John Cage - 'Indeterminacy' from 'Silence', 1961
The primary characteristics of Organic meat production are:
The food chain from farm to retailer is regularly inspected by one of the national certifying bodies. For meat, the chain goes from farmer to abattoir to packer/processor to retailer. At any time, any link in that chain can be inspected, and detailed records must be kept all along the chain to prove that any piece of meat really is organic.
Organic food production has a legal definition within the EC.Within the UK, a minimum legal standard is set by government, with advice from ACOS (Advisory Committee on Organic Standards). Each stage of the organic food chain, from farms to shops (if they process the food in any way) must be inspected and registered in the UK by bodies such as the Quality Welsh Food Certification Ltd, Soil Association, Organic Farmers and Growers or the Organic Food Federation.
Each country within the EC and many outside has its own registration bodies. Biodynamic farming is slighly different to organic farming, but falls under the same legislation is described as organic.
Modern intensive farming techniques have been developed because the extra income they produce is worth much more than the cost of the inputs - you spend a little to gain a lot.
To farm organically requires changes from modern intensive farming practices, including a minimal use of inputs, and often much lower production levels, resulting in lower income to the farmer. So, although organic farmers use fewer inputs, and so save some money, they also miss out on the much greater financial benefits and increased production levels of modem farming inputs. As a result in order to remain financially viable, organic farmers must receive more for their produce than a conventional farmer.
The more intensive conventional farming methods are, the more organic farmers need to receive to provide them with reasonable levels of income. For example, the premium on organic beef is much less than that for pigs and poultry.
So when somebody asks what is organic? Our answer is very simple, nothing added nothing taken away. Our organic products are produced using traditional farming methods and deliver all of the benefits of organic.