The need to do something about the way we are treating this planet, in our own small corner of paradise.
I have never been one to argue the values of organic compared to non –organic to those who don’t want to know. I would rather lead by example, show that it can be done, and if anyone wants to know more, then I will talk about it. As a BioGro auditor, my aim is to help other organic operations, gain market access for their own certified organic produce or products.
The beauty of growing chickens organically, is the obvious animal welfare benefits. We would not go anywhere near chicken production, if we were not growing them completely free range, without antibiotics. Sunshine and fresh air is this best disease controller you can get, it’s free and the chickens just love it.
Not only are we doing something good for the environment, great for the chickens, but we are producing a wonderful tasting healthy food product for you, the consumer.
Organic is the term given to food production or health products, grown or made, in a way that works within natural cycles or uses natural substances in its production.
For food production it means going back to the basics of food requirements. What is the natural way these plants or animals grow. - With sunshine, shelter, good quality food, good quality water – just like us.
With organic production we use the natural cycles within nature to fertilise plants, control pest and disease. To do this we eliminate the use of chemical substitutes like pesticides and artificial fertilisers.. We then encourage the property to develop its own natural ecosystem,- bring into balance the pests and beneficial insects, birds, trees, soil species- small and smaller. Apply fertilisers from natural sources that replenish the soil fertility on a long term level and encourage the natural biology within the soil. We use the best from modern science and ancient history to proactively sustain our environment for future generations and at the same time, produce healthy food for ourselves and for you.
For Westwood Organics this means growing chickens that are free ranging on our organic property. No artificial fertilisers or pesticides are used on the property. In fact no fertiliser is bought in for use. The chickens are free to roam, enjoy the sunshine, scratch in the grasses, dust bath and carry out all the natural behaviour a chicken would, in its natural environment, including fertilising our paddocks and trees. Sheds are rotated throughout the property providing for their daily shelter needs. A certified organic grain feed pellet is supplied that has all the necessary nutritional requirements, without any use of antibiotics, hormones, coccidiostats or other chemicals. The grain pellet is supplemented with pasture and insects as the chickens roam, choosing for themselves what meets there nutritional needs from mixed pasture species. The land they graze has been certified organic since 1987.
But it does not end here. Westwood chickens are then processed and packed under a unique system. During processing the bird does not come into direct contact with chemicals, while we still maintain some of the best microbiological results in the country. We have developed this system ourselves over a long period of time. It costs more to implement than the usual microbial control used in chicken processing, but we think it is well worth the extra cost so we can deliver a healthier product to the consumer.
The only way to know if the product you are buying is truly organic is to look for the certification on the label.
Look for the Organic Logo - all our organic products display the BioGro logo on the label, with our unique BioGro number 189.
BioGro was founded in New Zealand in1983 as a non profit making organisation, providing the consumer and the grower with a guarantee for organic produce. Westwood Organics is audited to the BioGro standards every year.