An Introduction to SCPA Organics : SCPA Organics


SCPA Organics - An Introduction

SCPA Organics is an organic certification process based on peer inspection and assessment which is managed by SCPA - South East Producers. It was established in 1998 to meet the need of local producers for a system that was affordable and credible. It is suitable for small growers who want to sell their produce locally. SCPA Organics is not nationally accredited and therefore not suitable for export produce. Our aim is to develop and promote organic production in the Bega Valley and adjacent areas in the South East Region.

Initially member growers/producers adhered to the de facto Australian National Standards for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce. In 2009 the AS6000 Australian Standard for Organic & Biodynamic Products was published. Due to strict copyright and the cost of obtaining copies of this Standard for every member, we decided to prescribe the IFOAM Standard for Organic Production and Processing as an informative guide to organic principles and practices. Where the IBS and AS6000 significantly differ and the latter standard potentially provides a higher quality of produce, then members will be informed by supplementary publications to meet the higher standard. Please go to Organic Standards for Variation 1, Variation 2 and the SCPA Organics Addendum to the IFOAM Standards.

To become SCPA Certified Organic you need to:

  • be a current financial Full Member of SCPA (joining fee of $15 plus $80 each year)
  • apply for SCPA Organics membership online or by mailing a completed Application Form ($85 each year)
  • pay the SCPA Organics Initial Fee of $100 which covers the cost of an initial on-site inspection by a current member of SCPA Organics
  • pay $264 for a Comprehensive Organic Screen conducted by AMAL Laboratories.

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The appropriate amount must be sent with the Application Form or paid via direct deposit to:

Bank Name: Horizon Credit Union Ltd
BSB: 802-124
A/C Number: 55402
A/C Name: Sapphire Coast Producers Association Inc.
Reference: "Your name" & “SO Fee”

As per the Australian Standards, the SCPA Organics certification process takes 3 years. If the initial inspection and soil test are approved you are recorded as “Pre-Certified”. At least 12 months later a second inspection is made by a SCPA Organics member, and you must inspect another member's property with full knowledge of the prescribed standards. If everything is in order at the second inspection you will be recorded as “In-Conversion” and issued with a Certificate. This phase applies for 2 years of organic practice. If all is in order after your fourth annual inspection you will become “Certified Organic”. Inspections take place in winter each year, followed by group assessment, addressing of issues and, where appropriate, certification.

To assist the initial inspection an Organic Management Plan (OMP) is required to indicate your experience and intentions to manage your property/activities in accordance with the prescribed Organic Standards. Refer to our website for guide to writing an OMP. Send your OMP along with two maps with your Application Form. One map is a location map showing where the property is in relation to your nearest town. The second map is a farm map, which must include the following details:

  • North point, boundaries, fences, roads and tracks
  • Neighbours and their main activities
  • Paddocks and cropping areas, including identification with a legend describing use
  • Buildings including dwellings, sheds, poultry runs, greenhouses, stockyards, etc.
  • Special zones/areas for compost, quarantine, dips etc.
  • Buffer zones, windbreaks, remnant vegetation etc.
  • Creeks, gullies, dams and run-off (include contours if slope is significant)
  • Certified and non-certified areas, for part property certification.

If you have any questions or would like further assistance in joining, please contact SCPA on 6492 7306 or by email to info@scpa.org.au

 

SCPA - South East Producers    Post: PO Box 1054 BEGA NSW 2550    ABN: 72 609 645 869     Email: organics@scpa.org.au

 

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