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Requirements for certified biodynamic production
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A further option for producers entering the organic marketplace is for them to operate their farms according to biodynamic (BD) principles and to obtain a licence to apply the biodynamic label to their produce.
Operators wanting to be BD certified must comply with all the general requirements of organic standards including no use of synthetic chemicals, buffer zones/crops with neighbouring properties, positive development of other (nonsynthetic) methods of managing pests, diseases and fertility, and maintain excellent record-keeping.
When applying to NASAA for certification an operator completes an Organic Management Plan and if this acts as an application for BD certification, there are specific questions relating to these BD practices.
Where an operator is able to demonstrate that their particular circumstances (terrain, climate type, scale of operation and/or mix of enterprises on the farm) are such as to render it inappropriate to use a particular BD practice there is scope under the NASAA Organic Standard for an exemption to be allowed.
The rules as far as length of the conversion process for an operator to get the full BD label are the same as those for the full organic label: three years of demonstrated compliance with the standards. There is a one-year ‘pre-certification’ entry year when no label may be used. The next year a ‘Conversion to Biodynamic’ label may be offered subject to satisfactory re-inspection at the end of the entry year. At the start of the third year there may be an option for an upgrade