For existing organic viticulturalists, and those considering conversion, realising the true value of an investment in organic production systems is critical – from both a personal, and economic perspective. Making the decision to convert production to organic management requires not just an understanding of organic principles and systems – and costs, but an understanding of the market for product, current and future trends.
Over the past couple of years, the process of becoming certified has become simpler whilst maintaining the foundation principle of having no prohibited substances applied to the land for three years prior to the product becoming certified organic.
The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA) Organic and Biodynamic Standard encourages operators to now do their pre-certification year on their own, keeping records, where previously this had been part of the formal process. After this period, they can apply to NASAA and through the establishment of Organic Management Plan, produce ‘In-conversion’ to certified organic’ product’. The best bit is that if you have already been managing the land and not applying prohibited substances to the land, and your record keeping for inputs is excellent then you can reduce your in-conversion year to one year only, reducing management and inspection costs and importantly, accessing the markets with your certified organic product.
Read the latest Organic Insights magazine.