Organic food is food that is produced by organic farming. Many countries require that food that is marketed as organic be certified to be truly organic. Organic food is therefore food that is produced in a manner that complies with organic food regulations in a particular country.
Organic food is produced in such a way that:
- Resources are recycled
- Ecological balance is promoted
- Biodiversity is conserved
- No synthetic fertilizer or pesticides are used
- No food additives are used
- There is no irradiation
- Chemical solvents are not used
- Farmland is free of chemicals
- Frequent inspections take place to maintain organic certification
The legal definition of organic food
Food that has been certified as organic in a particular country can legally be called and marketed as organic food.
Each country has different criteria for organic food certification.
Organic food certification in South Africa
South Africa still has no legal regulation of organic food production, although draft regulation has been in existence for more than a decade.
The organic industry in South Africa has self-regulated in the interim, and a draft of organic standards set by the SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) can be found here.
Organic certification is claimed by a number of food producers and sellers in South Africa. Wensleydale Farms, for example, has been CERES certified, which is based on European standards of organic certification.
Find out more about Ceres Certification
What are the public perceptions of organic food?
People believe that organic food is:
- Safer to eat
- More nutritious
- Tastier than conventional food
As a result, people are willing to pay a premium for food that is organic certified.
Unfortunately, without legislation in place, there is no true organic food regulation in South Africa at this time.
Does it matter?
Although South Africa is missing critical organic food regulation, it seems most organic food producers are living up to the spirit of organic production. Do you agree?
Some ethical suppliers of organic food
Faithful to Nature