The dawn of the
It is consumer choice that will steer the adoption of fair organic standards worldwide. The Organic and Agroecology movements are reestablishing a connection between consumers and their food, sprouting an awareness of the impact their choices have on the natural, social and economic environments.
Consumer Awareness and Food Safety
We as the consumer have the right to know where our food is coming from and how the farmer tended to it. Organic farming principles encompass ecologically sound farming practices that are beneficial to the health of human immune systems aswell as the natural environment.
Many International Organisations such as OXFAM and FAO promote Agroecology as the only sustainable farming method in times of climate change and drought (Organic agriculture environment and food security, 2002) and food safety issues around pesticide use has been mainstream with a number of countries banning GMO’s and their companion herbicide, glyphosate. Despite the fact that the majority of our population consumes maize as a staple, of which 86% is genetically modified in South Africa (Read More), there seems to be little concern for health.
In 2015 the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) assessed glyphosate and its products as a probable human carcinogenic risk. The California Office of Environmental Health Assessment (OEHHA) intends to list glyphosate as a carcinogen under the mandates of state law Proposition 65 (The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986).
Open Communication Channels will lead to Fair Trade and Best Practice
Tapping into public opinion enables stakeholders to respond appropriately to environmental opportunities and challenges relating to organic agriculture. Working with farmers and existing consumer bodies, SAOSO promotes the benefits of enjoying healthy, safe and ethically produced goods to the consumer.
An Attractive Organic Market for
Despite the fact that the consumption of organic produce exceeds production in South Africa, most of our organic foods are imported from other African countries.
Moreover, farmers and experts from various institutions have acknowledged the potential of Organic and Agroecology to provide a better yield than conventional agriculture. These positive yields come with a regeneration of the natural ecology and preservation of our seed varieties that often times are more resistant during times of drought and hold a higher nutritional value. (Read More)
The high consumer demand for Organic food reveals a clear understanding of the benefits of food derived from ethical farming practices. (Read More) A local drive to support local farmers will jump- start the transition to a more proactive and localised food system for South Africa. This localised food system will lead to an empowerment of communities and cheaper organic food prices for consumers.