Establishing Circular Economies have become in recent years the most impactful thing we can do as a community to address climate change and build a greener, cleaner and sustainable environment for current and future generations. Linear food systems have for many years supported a fast-growing population and economic growth. However, it has also come at an enormous cost to water, soil quality, biodiversity, ecosystem services and our climate. Therefore, a fundamental transformation to circular economy systems is crucial to prevent further depletion of our natural resources and maintain an environment suitable for human habitation.
In a circular economy, the role of organic practices and systems plays a pivotal role in supporting natural systems of regeneration where waste does not exist but instead revolves through the system to complete the Circular Economy cycle.
1. Organic & Biodynamic Farming
It is a certified farming system that cycles carbon and nutrients, optimises productivity and at the same time protects the environment, minimizes soil degradation and erosion which will promote a sound state of health for the land by preventing the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
2. Regenerative and Sustainable Farming
These systems look to find a beneficial balance between the need for food production and the preservation of the ecological systems within the environment. There is a predominant use of sustainable recycled organic inputs in production.
3. Organic carbon and fertilizers
Compost as nature’s fertilizer diverts food waste from going to landfill with its nutrients reused as fertiliser and recycled back into the circular economy, offsetting greenhouse gas emissions in the environment through carbon sequestration and amelioration.
4. Organics promote biodiversity
Organic farming systems that use compost as organic fertilizer promote soil organic matter and fertility which in turn boost biological activity within the soil and farm land.
5. Organic Bio-filtration
In lesser-known applications, recycled organic materials are used in bio-filters to treat run-off in urban locations and at farms, they remove pollutants in storm water before it travels into our waterways.
Mr Eric Love, Chairman of the Centre for Organic Research & Education (CORE), says “Our key message for this year’s (2019) National Organic Week is how to ensure food security in a world situation where a shrinking agriculture footprint and climate variability threatens our very survival as a species. In this age of hi-tech living, sometimes we may forget that on a fundamental level there are two core factors essential to our continued survival on planet earth that supersede technology – water and food. Without them we perish.” Love continues, “The world is currently under considerable stress in both these areas, as dichotomous climatic changes such as drought and flooding grip much of the planet. Organic and sustainable farming systems in urban agriculture hold the key to ensuring our future’s water and food security”
“Achieving food security needs a two pronged approach” says Mr Love, “Yes we certainly need to grow more food. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) are telling us that farmers will have to produce 70% more food by 2050 to meet the needs of the world’s expected 9 billion population. This means increasing food production by more than 70% if we are going to feed the world. Organic and sustainable farming and urban agriculture systems provide sustainable ways to increase quality food production and improve our food security which is essential to the survival of mankind” says Mr Love.
“However, it is more than just about growing more food”, continues Mr Love, “It’s also about managing food more efficiently using a circular economy approach. In addition to increasing food production, we must also significantly reduce the amount of food we waste. Globally, around 1.3 billion tonnes of food get lost or wasted and the costs for this are around $USD1 Trillion. Even if just one-quarter of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be avoided, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world”.
As a long-time supporter of National Organic Week (NOW), the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA Organic) Mark Gower, General Manager said “We are grateful for CORE’s long term commitment to National Organic Week. NASAA Organic appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded groups as we are each striving to grow the organic industry in Australia and beyond. In a farewell address President Barack Obama reaffirmed his belief that change only happens when “ordinary people get involved, get engaged and come together to demand it.” We are encouraging people from right across the sustainable and organic spectrum to join in and support NOW and be a part of the change to a more sustainable future. ”
National Organic Week (NOW) will be held from 9th September to 15th September in Australia in 2019. The Centre for Organic Research & Education (CORE), who has been actively championing this cause in Australia for the past 14 years is urging everyone to get involved by organising or participating in organic events held by your local community.
Source: Centre for Organic Research & Education