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Organic Farming is the Nature-Based Solution to combat climate change

Centre for Organic Research & Education: Media Release

The effects of global climate change have become more apparent and devastating in recent years, through changes in average temperatures and more frequent and intense extreme weather events such as severe droughts and floods. This creates a severe impact on global food systems which reduces food production in drier regions.

To combat this, it is not enough to produce food that minimises harm to the plant, we also need to produce food in ways that actively restore the health of the planet. This can be achieved by actively adopting Nature-based Solutions in agriculture such as organic farming, which can lead the transition to a regenerative and nature-positive food system and move away from existing methods of conventional farming practices.

Nature-based Solutions in agriculture seek to maximize the ability of nature to establish ecosystems that help enhance climate change adaptation, disaster-risk reduction, and food production. Organic farming practices have proven to deliver multiple benefits when deployed correctly, supporting natural systems of regeneration, mitigating climate change, and enhancing nature and biodiversity.

The practice of organic farming has these benefits to the environment:

  1. Reduce the environment’s exposure to pesticides and chemicals that can cause long term contamination in the soil and water supply.
  2. Promote a sound state of health and resilience for the farmland – Using compost as organic fertilizer promotes soil organic matter and fertility which will boost biological activity within the soil.
  3. Combats soil erosion and degradation – organic farming builds healthy soil and helps combat serious soil and land issues, such as erosion
  4. Encourages water health – organic farming helps keep water supplies clean by stopping polluted runoff from toxic fertilizers and pesticides.
  5. Promotes biodiversity – organic farming encourages healthy biodiversity, which can influence how resilient farmland is to issues like harsh weather, disease, and pests.

Mr Eric Love, Chairman of the Centre for Organic Research & Education (CORE), says; “Astute scientists and community members around the world realise that climate actions are a race to save mankind from the consequences of intensifying devastating forces of nature already evident around the world. So too is eliminating the waste of our valuable, finite resources in landfill. The circular economy is a recent description of the waste hierarchy of ‘Reduce, Reuse Recycle.’ Decreasing food waste must include this multi-pronged approach because the amount of food we waste is unbelievable.”

“While the waste of food goes beyond just individuals and business owners, there are so many things we can all do today to start making a real difference. At the same time as reducing environmental impacts we can save a considerable amount of money by reducing overbuying and portion sizes, reusing left over food and ensuring we recycle everything we don’t consume,” says Mr Love.

“The equivalent of One in five shopping bags full end up in the bin. This is equivalent to $3,800 worth of groceries per household each year,” continues Mr Love. The Australian Government estimates food waste costs the Australian economy $20 billion each year. Over 5 million tonnes of food ends up in landfill, enough to fill 9,000 Olympic sized swimming pools.

“Rotting food in landfill produces methane, which is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas” Mr Love says. “For every tonne of food waste in landfill, a tonne of CO2-e greenhouse gas is generated. When we waste food, we also waste the natural resources that go into making it, like land, water, energy, nutrients and carbon.”

As the Gold Sponsors of National Organic Week, Marketing Director for “Spiral Foods” and “Aurelio by Riverina Grove,” Raphaelle Wilson said; “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the National Organic Week for Spiral Foods and Aurelio. We’ve always supported good quality organic products and to have a week to celebrate the organic industry in Australia is fantastic and a great reminder of how far the industry has come.”

National Organic Week (NOW) will be held from 20th September to 26th September in Australia this year. The Centre for Organic Research & Education (CORE), who championed this cause in Australia for the past 16 years is urging everyone to get involved by organising or participating in organic events held by your local community.

Events can be registered and promoted on the official NOW event calendar.

Another way you can promote and support organic products is to vote in the annual Organic Consumer Choice Awards (OCCA’s). These awards promote and reward the best organic stakeholders around the country. The OCCA’s is the only industry organic awards program decided solely by consumers. Online voting will open to the public from 20th September to 19th October on the National Organic Week website.

 

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3 comments

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  1. Phil Pryor

    All good sense and useful info here, so, can we pelletise this rotting government and use it to promote essentials mentioned here?

  2. Harry Lime

    Yeah, nah Phil..pelletising this rotting government would only produce toxins with a similar half life of decaying plutonium.A much cleaner and safer solution is vaporisation….preferably before the end of the month.

  3. Canguro

    Organic food production is to be commended, whole-heartedly.

    However, as a complete replacement solution to the challenge of producing enough food to feed a country the size of Australia’s population, as Darryl Kerrigan said, ”Tell [’em they’re] dreaming.”

    Scale up our ~25 million food procurement challenge 300-fold in order to cater for a global population and the challenges posed by a reversion to organic farming become insurmountable.

    Agribusiness has its claws deeply into this phenomenon of food & fibre manufacturing; inorganic fertilizers, a farmer’s almanac’s worth of myriad machinery and technologies to permit the annual rituals of planting, raising and harvesting, all of which may involve the use of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, plus, increasingly, GMO’s (incl. animals).

    Many farmers are all too aware of the costs of modern agriculture & horticulture but feel trapped and unable to shift away from their complete reliance on ‘modern’ technologies. Labour scarcity has a role in in this dilemma. Fewer farm kids are willing to opt for a life on the land. A reversion to organic farming is, in essence, stepping off the tractor and onto the soil, and a choosing to pick up a spade or fork or pitchfork and replacing fossil-fuel energised practices with back-breaking manual labour at a massively reduced scale of output.

    Current estimates are around 1.5 billion farmed hectares to feed the human community (along with a proportion of the planet’s livestock). A hectare, 10,000 sq m, is equivalent to 2.47 acres. To go organic on a global scale would require a workforce of billions. It ain’t going to happen.

    Meanwhile, the legacy of industrial farming includes the ecocide of soil biota through radical alteration of soil pH (generally acidification as a function of the use of soluble nutrients providing N, P & K), along with the destruction of the overall complexity of soil strata & loss of topsoils, OM and humus, the annihilation of insect populations (critical for pollination), the degradation and oftentimes complete destruction of aquifers and pollution of surface water sources, the poisoning of foods (and by extension, consumers) by virtue of chemical residues on freshly harvested produce, plus the historical legacy (and still ongoing) of the destruction of much of the planet’s natural ecosystems in order to function at this technological level of monocultural cropping or grazing. Millions of species and their complexities totally and utterly disregarded, in order to grow a few bushels of wheat, for a few lousy bucks,to the farmer, a few more for the processor, and a box of weetbix for the consumer.

    We’re a weird mob, for sure, with our desperate obsession with trashing our home.

    Going organic can successfully operate only as a niche endeavour, like the Greenpeace slogan; think global, act local.

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