Rules for organic gardening and allotments
Most producers will grow plant produce for sale: these are the rules for its production
if you plan to sell it with the OR-CO.UK logo. If you wish to produce animal products (eggs, dairy produce or meat) you should read "Animal Rules"
All produce sold with the logo must be British and grown on land that has not had any use of pesticides or chemical fertilisers during the twelve months before harvest of the crop.
- Produce from annual or biennial plants should be from organic seeds (or tubers) or at least seeds/tubers that have had no insecticide or fungicide treatment.
- Trees, shrubs and roots for producing perennial crops should, ideally, be organic but this is not essential.
- Sprouted seed crops (i.e. those, like mustard and cress, ready for sale within 3 weeks of sowing) MUST be from organic seeds. See "Sprouting"
- Wild harvested plant produce (e.g. blackberries and wild mushrooms) may carry our logo provided you have permission of the land owner and their confirmation that there has been no use of pesticides or chemical fertilisers during the previous year. These must be labelled as "wild harvested" and no product (e.g. so called "wild rocket") may be referred to as "wild" when it is actualy cultivated.
The OR-CO.UK logo is for produce grown by you. If, for example, you make apple juice from apples you grow to OR-CO.UK standards that's fine. If you make strawberry jam from your home-grown strawberries then it cannot carry the OR-CO.UK label. That is because jam has a substantial amount of sugar in it. Either the sugar is organic and imported or British and pesticide treated. Organic British sugar does not exist.
To use our logo, any processed product must be made mostly from ingredients produced by you and any bought-in ingredients must be British and organic.
Labels: whereas unprocessed food can carry a very simple label: e.g. “Carrots” processed and packaged food requires more complex labelling. You must obey the rules on this. See Labelling your produce.
Storing produce before sale
Freezing: this is entirely practical for home use (e.g. frozen gooseberries, apple puree, beans) but not normally possible for sale as most sales outlets will not have suitable display freezers.
Bottling: a well established traditional method of preservation.
- For sale there are two problems: the "Kilner" style jars are very expensive, making it uneconomic for customers to buy your produce unless they actually want a Kilner jar.
- Many methods of bottling involve the use of added sugar and British organic sugar des not exist.
Dry storage: Potatoes and other root crops were tradionally clamped. Apples wrapped in paper and stored in boxes in dark and cool conditions. These methods are fine for OR-CO.UK produce.