Recently we asked members on the Organic Beef Producers Forum on Facebook what topics they wanted to hear more about, and ‘converting to organic production’ came out on top.
We also asked OBE Organic Livestock Coordinator Ross Mackenzie for his insights. These are his top tips:
1. It’s not as hard as you think, especially for livestock producers outside the cropping zone. A lot of organic certification is simply good practice and just requires good record keeping.
2. The time is right. With the record-keeping changes needed for new biosecurity requirements, plus the increased market feedback that will start to come from DEXA, converting to organic should be a logical next step for producers thinking more about record-keeping and better marketing of their product.
3. Don’t convert for higher prices. Yes, organic premiums are attractive, but the best organic graziers are the ones who already good managers of their land and cattle. If you’re thinking “I’m virtually organic anyway, I might as well get certified and have another marketing option up my sleeve,” you should find organic production straightforward and rewarding.
4. Just do it. If you’ve been thinking about organics for a while, sign up with a certifier to get the first inspection done and then decide if organics is for you. It’s not that expensive, and the audit process makes you think hard about your operations – which is useful even if you don’t take the organic path.
To talk about the practicalities of converting to organic, contact Ross: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0409 960 084.