NAO launches new Namibian organic mark

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The Namibia Organic Association (NAO) has launched a new mark to recognise Namibia’s organic farmers who are producing food according the organic production standards, but are not yet compliant with the processing standards.

This means that the actual ingredients are organically certified but the processing procedures and facilities are not yet compliant. Producers are encouraged to upgrade their facilities accordingly by 2016. The new mark shows which ingredients are produced organically in Namibia by marking them with an asterisk (*). By purchasing products that contain locally produced organic ingredients, you are also supporting the growing local organic agriculture sector. Please buy lots.

In Namibia, look out for the “Namibian Organic” or “Namibian Organic in Conversion” mark. “Namibian Organic” means that the farm is fully compliant with the NOA Standards, and “Namibian Organic in Conversion” means that the farm is managed according to the NOA Standards, but is still in the 2-3 year conversion phase.

During last week’s Namibian Tourism Expo at the Windhoek Show Grounds where NAO shared all of its activities with Namibians and answered their  questions on what organic really means, it launched the new Namibian organic mark.

The principles of Organic Agriculture are the roots from which organic agriculture grows and develops. They express the contribution that organic agriculture can make to the world, and a vision to improve all agriculture in a global context. Organic agriculture is based on the principle of health, the principle of ecology, the principle of fairness and the principle of care.

Organic agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal, human and planet as one and indivisible. This principle points out that the health of individuals and communities cannot be separated from the health of ecosystems – healthy soils produce healthy crops that foster the health of animals and people.

The role of organic agriculture, whether in farming, processing, distribution, or consumption, is to sustain and enhance the health of ecosystems and organisms from the smallest in the soil to human beings. In particular, organic agriculture is intended to produce high quality, nutritious food that contributes to preventive health care and well-being. In view of this it should avoid the use of fertilisers, pesticides, animal drugs and food additives that may have adverse health effects.

Organic agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them. This principle roots organic agriculture within living ecological systems. It states that production is to be based on ecological processes, and recycling. Nourishment and well-being are achieved through the ecology of the specific production environment.

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