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What does "Organic" actually mean?
Since the start of our farm, decades ago, we have been working on organic basis, even well before the term organic
was becoming hot. Nowadays the term "organic" is used everywhere, but what does it actually mean in real life?
With the information here below we hope to give you a clear picture of what "organic" means in general, where we focus
on organic farming. On a second page in this section ("Within our company")we indicate what this means for the
daily activities of Biokaas Kinderdijk.
When organic farming is being discussed, it is meant that animal welfare, environment and natural circulation
processes are taken into account for the production of food.
The following thoughts are the basis in this:
preserve and where possible improve the health of soil, plant, animal and human;
preserve and where possible improve living natural circulation processes and eco systems;
produce food in honest manner and with care for the environment.
The Dutch term "biologisch" and the English "organic" as well as shortcuts of these, are protected by law and
can therefore only be used when specific conditions are met.
The daily implementation
Targets look of course nice on paper, but what does this mean in day to day life?
The daily implementation is, amongst others, done by following the next points:
giving animals more space in the stable and enable them to move outside; i.e. a meadow to
graze, a mud or dust bath as arrangement against insects, or soil to root in;
not continuously using the same vegetation to avoid depletion of the soil or diseases
of the vegetation;
not using genetically engineered elements causing the original form to be changed
using strong vegetation that can withstand the local climate and can grow under local
conditions without the need for unnatural protection;
not using fertilizer or chemical pesticides in order to avoid unnatural substances
to enter the natural eco system;
not adding chemical fragrances, pigments or flavours to organic
Besides organic farming also biodynamic farming exists. With this form of organic farming the farmers must fulfil even
more prerequisites. As such there is, amongst others, additional regulation for animal welfare; dehorning of cows
is for example not allowed and roosters and chicken should live together in a coop. With biodynamic farming higher
attention is given to a closed eco system, even more than the already high standard for organic farming.
Organic food should first of all comply to the regulation of any other nutrition; however besides that there is additional regulation. to avoid that products are
named organic while not fulfilling the extra regulations, there is a safeguarding process.
To ensure that the consumer can be confident that organic is really organic, easy recognisable labels have been
developed which are put on the products. Besides the earlier mentioned law protection of the terms "biologisch" and "organic",
also the corresponding labels are legally protected.
Worldwide, many different labels exist for organic products. In The Netherlands the government is controlling and
guaranteeing the EKO-label. When a Dutch product carries the EKO-label, you can be sure to have a fully organically produced
product in hand. The Skal foundation determines which products are allowed to carry the EKO-label and actively checks products and companies.
To provide clarity in the maze of different worldwide labels, an organic label from the European
Union exists since 1 July 2012. Dutch organic products can carry the EU-label, but also a combination of EU-label and EKO-label. In all
situations the producing companies can be traced via standardized codes which are indicated around the labels.
After certification of a company and its products, it is allowed to use the labels; detailed yearly checks are
maintained to ensure continuously safeguarding. These checks consist of:
Inspection of the bookkeeping around purchase and sales, animal and medication logs, etc.
Taking samples where applicable
Inspection of the living conditions of the animals, both inside and outside
Inspection of the fields, orchards, greenhouses and meadows