TOP- About organics and certification.

What Does Organic Mean?

Callington Mill
Processors too- Tasmanian tourist attraction Callington Mill is certified with TOP.

The principle of organic agriculture is that a healthy plant grows from healthy soil and is, therefore, more resistant to pests and diseases allowing the producer to avoid the use of synthetic fertilisers or chemical pesticides.

Organic farmers may utilise many techniques as part of their sound management practises. For example, principles of mulching, soil cultivation, crop rotation, legume crops, and the creation of a balanced environment e.g. multiple species shelter belts, are all important elements of successful organic management.
Organic growers maintain the long-term fertility of the soil by fostering the biological activity through replenishing organic matter, balancing mineral levels and increasing microbial life.

Organic Certification

Blueberries from Bilambil Berry Farm
Blueberries from Bilambil Berry Farm

The usual timeframe for achieving full certification is 3 years. However for operators who have undergone an initial inspection, and where there is 12 months verified organic management, compliance may be granted for In Conversion status.
This means that operators who have already operated for 12 months under an organic certifier as of February 1, 2015, may be eligible to become certified organic provided records have been assessed
They must have complied with the National Standard for at least 24 months prior to operating under organic certification.

For producers wishing to retain or add the TOP logo to their certification the criteria are:-

  1. Is the producer based in Tasmania and a TOP member?
  2. Does the operation comply with the National Standard for Organic & Bio-Dynamic Produce?
  3. Have all inputs been traced back as far as possible to ensure they are not derived from GMOs?