Advice for flood-impacted organic operators
As we enter a third La Nina season, many organic operators and farming communities have been heavily impacted by the recent flooding and extreme weather conditions along the East coast. On behalf of AOL, our thoughts go out to all affected farmers and operators.
A range of state and federal assistance and resources are now available for affected primary producers, businesses and individuals. These include grants and financial support, disaster recovery resources and mental health services. A list of these resources can be found at the bottom of this post.
For certified operators, action may be required to ensure your organic certification is not adversely affected once you safely return to your property/business/organisation. If you believe your crop or land may have been contaminated with prohibited inputs from flood deposition on your land, you are required to advise your certification body, and it may be appropriate to implement some risk management activities prior to marketing your produce.
Section 1.1.18 of the National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce states; “In case of reasonable suspicion of land and/or product contamination, the certified operator shall advise their certification organisation and provide all factual evidence to support this”. For further details on how to ensure ongoing compliance, we recommend you contact your certification body.
Once again, we’d like to extend our best wishes to everyone affected. Please stay safe and peruse the resources below for further information.
New South Wales: https://www.nsw.gov.au/floods
ABC Emergency: https://www.abc.net.au/emergency/
Those who would like to help with the recovery of flood impacted communities can donate to the FRRR (Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal) Flood Recovery Appeal at this link.
Below is a list of community organisations coordinating immediate relief on the ground, to whom you may be able to donate money to help them purchase what is needed. With the current crisis in northern Victoria, these include:
Tomorrow Today (Benalla, VIC): https://tomorrowtoday.com.au/
Border Trust: Community Foundation Albury Wodonga Region (NSW/Vic)
Greater Shepparton Foundation (Shepparton, VIC): https://www.greatershepparton.foundation/
Into Our Hands Community Foundation (North East Victoria)
Shepparton Foodshare: https://www.sheppartonfoodshare.org.au/
Rochester Community House: https://www.facebook.com/rochycommunityhouse?fref=ts
National organisations providing relief across impacted states such as the Australian Red Cross and The Salvation Army Australia
Natural disaster support: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/natural-disaster-events?context=60042