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Food Forensics
 
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Organic and Free Range Farming

21 February 2012, 13:47

There is STILL NO official implemented Governmental Legislation on Free Range and Organic Farming in South Africa.

Whilst it's a known and seemingly obvious fact that the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and the Department of Health in South Africa are the primary custodians and regulating authorities for the Food and Beverage Industry as a whole. There are also other Governmental Departments accountable for F&B Food safety and quality control.

With specific reference to ORGANIC farming and products. This is Legislated on by the WTO (World Trade Organisation) which is extremely involved and strict, in the first instance. Most important to add all role players in the supply chain have to be compliant. IE: Country, Farmer, Farm, Manufacturer / Producer, Supplier, Transporter and yes the Retailer /end supplier to customers and consumers.

Note Again: Before any entity in South Africa can declare their product’s Organic Complaint, the Country in the first instance has to be compliant with all WTO Legislation and also the Countries own official Legislations must be implemented. Not just Legislation’s, but the continuous monitoring enforcement thereof.

 

The products labelled and marked CERTIFIED ORGANIC on shelves of Retailers and outlets is once again NOT Governmental approved. Whether they are WTO approved, I will not comment, but have my doubts.

The Government have been and are facing sever challenge for allowing this misleading declaration to be made.

Whether the the 3rd party entities purportedly representing other Countries, which are purported to be certifying these products for numerous Farms,  Retailers and other entities is also under investigation with the WTO and likewise the Government has been challenged on this serious matter.

It is a FACT that what occurs in other Countries that may be permitted to market Organic Products in their own countries. Does not permit them to impose that other countries Organic legislation’s on South Africa.

Every Country has very different scenario’s and issues to meet the criteria set down by the WTO to become and maintain Organic Compliancy. The costs are / is immense on that Country.

Not withstanding the additional costs incurred by Companies and entities, purportedly producing Organic Products. Hence the higher cost of these once again. Higher costs that the customer and consumer is expected to bare/carry.

Which is why Organic products are purportedly far superior in quality/health and safety when compared to "normal" commercially produced products, of the same name /description, available.

REGARDING FREE RANGE FARMING.

Again as with Organic farming in South Africa. There is NO Legislation’s officially implemented for such Farming Mannerism’s. The Government has been and is continuously being taken to task for allowing those unscrupulous ,unethical and immoral Farms, Farmers, Manufactures / Producers, Retailers and other entities marking and labelling products as  FREE RANGE.


But ALAS!! As much as there is NO official Governmental Legislation for Products Labelled as Organic and or Free Range. There is draft legislation being considered which amazingly has been in the drafting stage for many years. When the drafts will actually be tabled  remains unknown.

Note:  Any citizen or citizens have a full right to attend briefing meetings and comment on pending Draft legislation, when tabled.  So keep monitoring the Government for this.


HOWEVER and once again there are those Food & Beverage Companies, Groups, Retailers and Individuals but not limited to these. Who are aware there is NO official legislation in South Africa and that they are NOT registered with the WTO themselves.

HAVE again selfishly, immorally and unethically to say the least.  Pre - empted  official approved and implemented Legislation. Deceitfully misleading the unsuspecting customer and consumer .By advertising, marketing and selling NON Governmental and or WTO approved Organic products and or  NON Governmental approved FREE RANGE Products. With scant and utter disregard / concern or interest in a customer/s and or consumers right to make informed and educated decisions as to what they may or not consume.

Decisions based on Truth, Trust and Belief in whoever is involved in the supply chain of food and or beverage products to themselves.

Products BELIEVED to be a far superior healthy product. No matter whether I or other citizens, can afford the additional cost of the products or not.


The crux of the matter once again in South Africa is.

Why are Citizens showing NO interest and concern in their own health and well being and for whatever reason they may have. In allowing misleading business mannerism’s , fraud, contempt, and abuse to continue unabated once again against them. By the unprincipled, Immoral, Unethical Food and Beverage Industry as a whole and Government in South Africa, to say the least at this time.

Yet they are quick to jump on the band wagon and shout from the mountain tops, when Non Compliance and irregularities effecting them and affecting are exposed.

Would this fraud, abuses and total disrespect that South African citizens are expected to tolerate. Regarding food safety and quality matters and issues, that continues unabated, be tolerated by citizens of any other 1st world or other leading developing countries. To the extent WE South African citizens are expected to accept/except??  I believe NOT!

Are WE that different to other citizens of the World!! Or is it a simple case of this is AFRICA once again. WHO CARES!!

My answer is simple. I CARE about ME, no what Country I find myself in. I am a South African, domiciled in South Africa.
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