I got to admit, I do receive a lot of questions regarding organic but this one usually, I see the glow and glitter in someone’s eyes and face especially someone who doesn’t believe in organic, but believes organic is just one of the ways that people use to milk others money!
This is the got yah question; so how can I tell whether an apple is organic or NOT? Can I tell just by looking? What about my banana, tomato, kales and my vegetables and fruits? How do I know if the seller isn’t just taking me for a ride and walking away with my money? While these maybe obvious questions to some, I consider them real questions that require answers!
Actually to be honest, more often than NOT, nowadays one can easily spot a conventionally grown fruit! You can clearly see the presence of sprayed pesticide on its surface. And for some reason, that is seen as being normal from the consumer’s perspective.Probably due to the propagandas you have been sold to that you can wash the pesticide off, or the pesticide is destroyed when cooked or the pesticide is destroyed during digestion. But really? Do you get a chance to wash off a systemic pesticide? Or a GM induced crop? Well if these chemicals are safe, Have you seen when a farmer is about to spray the crops? You may think he Is headed to the moon! Did you actually know that this chemicals are actually responsible of up to 3 Million cases of poisoning and up to 220,000 deaths resulting from pesticides?
Well, to keep it short and sweet (ha-ha, I had to use that one, to my fellow Kenyans you know what I mean) Organic certification is a procedure by which an independent party gives a written assurance that a production process is in comply with certain organic standards.
Basically it’s what differentiates if a product is organic or NOT! That’s why I say, an organic product is an appreciation of the processes that takes place for you to have the product. It’s an assurance that organic products are grown with methods that maximize soil health, conserve water and reduce air pollution. Critically, certified organic farms cannot use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or hormones.
“That’s why I say, an organic product is an appreciation of the processes that takes place for you to have the product” ~The Organic Guy
What it takes
To certify a farm, the farmer is typically required to engage in a number of new activities, in addition to normal farming operations. This may vary according to different certifying agencies but most common one that a farmer must adhere to include;
Studying the organic standards; where a farmer is required to comprehend in detail what is and is not allowed for every aspect of farming, including storage, transport and sale.
Compliance; the applying farmer’s farm facilities and production methods must comply with the standards, which may involve modifying facilities, sourcing and changing suppliers, etc.
Documentation; the farmer must be ready to adhere to the paperwork that is required, detailing farm history and current set-up, and usually including results of soil and water tests.
Planning; a written annual production plan must be submitted, detailing everything from seed to sale: seed sources, field and crop locations, fertilization and pest control activities, harvest methods, storage locations, etc.
Inspection; annual on-farm inspections are required, with a physical tour, examination of records, and an oral interview.
Fee; an annual inspection fee is required. Actual certification costs or fees vary widely depending on the certifying agent and the size, type, and complexity of your operation
Record-keeping; written, day-to-day farming and marketing records, covering all activities, must be available for inspection at any time.
In addition, short-notice or surprise inspections can be made, and specific tests (e.g. soil, water, plant tissue) may be requested. Actually, it’s not that grandee as it may seem from reading this. It’s much easier in practice! But then, this makes you really appreciate what organic farmers do
Organic certification in Kenya
In Kenya, there are about five international certification bodies that are involved, namely: Soil Association (UK), Ceres (USA), EcoCert, (France), IMO (Germany) and Bio Suisse (Switzerland). Locally, Encert is the widely used certification body was that was established in 2005 to certify for the national markets. Others include; Acert services limited and Nesvax control limited
How long will my certification last?
Your organic certification will remain valid indefinitely if there are no problems. The only way your certification will end is if you voluntarily surrender certification or if your certification is suspended or revoked by the certifying agent.
Signed with love ❤️
Always #BeOrganic 💯