Frequently Asked Questions
How do I contact you to ask you a question not covered here?
You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone us on (07) 3162 2474.
What is organic farming all about?
Organic food production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility and health, producing foods without the use of synthetic chemicals and fertilisers and does not permit the use of genetically modified crops. Organic foods are minimally processed without the use of artificial ingredients, hydrogenated oils, preservatives or irradiation.
It’s so much more than just ‘chemical free’. Organic standards stipulate allowable and prohibited inputs, encourage active soil management, prohibit GMO’s , control processing inputs, and set best-practice animal welfare standards. Farmer fees and levies are combined to fund ongoing research and consumer education. But none of this can happen without the support of ethical consumers who are willing to pay organic farmers are fair price for the fruits of their labour. So thanks for being part of changing our food system for the better!
For a full explanation of organic food and farming, and why we do what we do here at Farm Fresh Organics, grab a cuppa and watch this interview with nutritionist and founder, Shane Heaton:
Where does our fresh produce come from?
Our fresh produce only comes from CERTIFIED organic growers – some of the best farmers in Australia! Our growers are predominantly in our local region – Gatton, the Lockyer Valley, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast Hinterland, Northern New South Wales – but we also get tropical fruit from northern Queensland and the NT when in season, and a lot of our southern growers supply us throughout the summer months especially. We only stock AUSSIE produce – never imported (except the occasional kiwi fruit from NZ, and we think there’s some authenticity there that’s worth supporting).
See our ‘Meet the Farmers’ page for more!
How can I be sure what I am buying is organic?
We only stock CERTIFIED ORGANIC produce. With groceries, or if you’re buying organic food elsewhere, check to see the product has a certification label. Organic certification of a product is there to assure you that organic standards have been followed. Organic producers undergo an ongoing process of stringent periodic assessments throughout the entire production and marketing cycle. Products labelled as Certified “Organic/Biodynamic” and Certified “In Conversion” must have the appropriate documentation verifying authenticity, so consumers can select with confidence genuine organic/biodynamic produce.
Certified organic producers are inspected annually by one of the national, independent certification bodies. These are:
- Australian Certified Organic (ACO)
- The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA)
- The Biodynamic Research Institute (Demeter)
- The Organic herb Growers of Australia (OHGA)
- The Organic Vignerons Association of Australia (OVAA)
These certification bodies, in turn, are accredited and audited by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service.
See our Organic Certification page for more information.
Are all your groceries organic too?
We’ll only sell a grocery item if it’s certified organic or at the very least the majority of ingredients are certified organic. If certification details aren’t clear on the label, we contact the manufacturer to ask who certifies the organic ingredient/s and ask for documentation to confirm it.
What is biodynamic?
Biodynamic agriculture embraces organic principles and more. Its holistic approach is influenced by planetary and lunar rhythms, and belief in cyclical regeneration of energy or vitality from soil to plant to soil. This viital energy is encouraged with the use of specific biodynamic preparations for soil, plants, compost and manure. It’s a fascinating approach to food and farming.
Why do they have a festival in Spain every year where they throw tomatoes at each other?
No idea. Sounds fun though! If you want, we’ll sell you a case of tomatoes at cost so you can have your own tomato-throwing festival at your house!
What if something’s not available in organics one week…will you substitute conventional food?
Absolutely not. No way. Never. Ever. Nu uh. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. You-gotta-be-kiddin-me!
Selling conventional food isn’t our game. We promise we’ll only ever sell CERTIFIED organic food. If it’s not available, hey, eat something else that week. Remember those things called seasons? Apart from seasonal trends, there’s the problem that the organic market in Australia is still rather small – there aren’t enough growers, wholesalers, retailers, consumers, etc. to make everything flow smoothly all of the time. Many organic food manufacturers are small gourmet producers who get caught out when their products get popular and they can’t keep up with the demand. Hang in there though, ye faithful organic consumer…the more you support organics now, the better it’ll be in the future as more food producers come into the market.
Can I pick up my order instead of having it delivered?
Only if we can’t get the delivery to your house or work. You still pay a $5 admin charge, but not the full delivery charge. Call us to discuss your needs.
What’s your policy on frozen goods? Will they still be frozen when I receive them?
The short answer is yes, usually they’ll still be frozen.
But here’s our official policy on this:
Frozen goods are dispatched at -18 degrees C, in an esky or cooler bag with ice bricks, and delivered by either our own drivers or our courier service. While not usually an issue, due to variables beyond our control, such as very hot days, time of delivery, when you get home, delays in your delivery time, etc., we can’t GUARANTEE that goods dispatched frozen will still be fully frozen when you receive them. However we DO guarantee, for food safety reasons, that they’ll be below 5 degrees C at the time of delivery, a guarantee that also applies to all chilled goods.
Please note we do not credit frozen items that have partially defrosted upon delivery – they’re still totally fine to refreeze, cook and eat.
It’s a lot like taking frozen goods home from the supermarket on a hot day. Personally, if I get home and an item is partially thawed, I either throw it into the freezer and refreeze it or consume it within a day or two. At the end of the day it’s your judgement. Let us know if you have any concerns or queries, and we’ll be happy to help where we can.
You can request a cooler bag with extra ice for your chilled and frozen products if you want to be extra sure. It’s packed inside your styrofoam esky with your other goods. A $4 surcharge applies for the extra ice.
What if I want something that’s not on your list?
We’re proud of the range of products we sell and are always on the look out for new organic products to tickle your tastebuds. If there’s something you want that we’re not supplying, please let us know and we’ll do our best to source it for you.
Can you tell me more about the charities you support, and ask you customers to?
We support 5 charities: Greenfleet, Genethics, Tear Australia, Save the Bilby Fund, and Ocean Crusaders.
Greenfleet’s an outstanding carbon-offset scheme, planting millions of trees around Australia to offset the CO2 emissions of individuals and businesses who subscribe. For more information visit www.greenfleet.com.au
Genethics is championing the campaign to keep Australian agriculture free of genetic engineering technology. Lobbying government, keeping the public and agricultural industries informed, gathering research and political developments from around the world, we’re so grateful for the work they do on all our behalves, with very scant resources. If genetic engineering is ever allowed on a commercial scale in Australia, it will inevitably contaminate neighbouring crops, and once the genie’s out of the bag, it can never be put back. The impacts on human health and the environment remain largely unknown. For more information see www.geneethics.org
Tear Australia is an empowering Australian charity working internationally to help the world poorest people with practical solutions.
See www.tear.org.au for full details of their work. One of the programs they run, and we encourage our customers to support, is creating organic gardens that help families in the developing world feed themselves by teaching organic farming techniques for a wide range of fruit and vegetables, how to save the seeds for the next season and how to sell the excess at market.
The program operates in various developing countries, and here’s a story of how it’s working in India, through their overseas partner, Discipleship Centre, Community Capacity Building Program (India)
Several years ago, a severe drought in Rajastan, in western India, prompted Discipleship Centre to begin emergency relief with affected communities. At first, they helped families with food supplies and water, but now they’re engaged in helping communities to prepare for and withstand both the physical and the socio-economic effects of drought. Much of their work focuses on access to land, management of natural resources, preparation for drought and basic rights.
One activity is to organise self-help groups, encouraging women to discuss the issues they face at home and access support from the Discipleship Centre. When women like Puni identified fresh food as a problem, they encouraged them to start and maintain their own kitchen gardens on small backyard plots. They don’t need much space, and can grow fresh produce even if they don’t have farmland. The green vegetables will greatly improve their nutrition, giving them energy to work, learn and fight off disease. A small success like a kitchen garden also builds the confidence of gardeners, and improves the status of women in the village. Sometimes it comes as a surprise that a woman can do anything useful for the family. The gardens may be small but they help everyone (especially husbands) to see that women in the community can make a valuable contribution.
The land in this region is very, very dry. Communities suffer from drought often, and water access is a real problem. Discipleship Centre is helping families to make the most of the minimal water resources they have. Up to now, most families have had to buy their water from facilities in the village. Now, they’re building water catchment and storage facilities of their own. After cooking or cleaning in the home, there’s not much left, so the water for the kitchen gardens is extremely precious.
Once the kitchen gardens were up and running, the conversation in Puni’s group turned from “how’s your garden” to “what do we do with the vegetables?” The drought had caused such a scarcity of fresh vegetables that many women did not know how to cook them for their families. For the first time, Discipleship Centre staff organised cooking lessons. Puni and her neighbours have now had lessons in preparing nutritious meals using the vegetables in their new gardens. Now their gardening project really can contribute to the nutrition of their family…as long as they can solve the age old problem of getting the children to eat their vegetables.
Now that they’ve discovered their new skills and improved nutrition, these women are set to join the Discipleship Centre in lobbying state and national governments to develop natural resource management policies that are pro-poor. A huge step for rural women with low literacy!
Through this long-term preventative approach to drought relief, Discipleship Centre is helping women like Devi get the pick of the crop from their kitchen gardens. Your gift will enable one person to learn organic gardening skills.
The Save the Bilby Fund is a fantastic Aussie charity working hard to save the Bilby from the brink of extinction. Extinction is forever. But with your help this cute native Australian marsupial can be saved.
Save the Bilby Fund was set up by conservationists Frank Manthey and Peter McRae to raise money to help put a stop to the steady decline of this delightful marsupial.
Bilbies, or rabbit-eared bandicoots, were common in many different habitats throughout Australia until European settlement. Hunting by dingoes, foxes and feral cats has meant that bilby populations now only occur in the isolated arid and semi-arid areas of Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. The Queensland bilby population is the most threatened population in Australia. It has declined in range during the past 10 years and is continuing to do so. A bilby sanctuary in the Currawinya National Park near Charleville was the dream of conservationists Frank Manthey and Peter McRae who campaigned to raise $300,000 to build a 25sq km electrified predator-proof fence. Weather conditions there provide a reliable and diverse food supply. The reintroduction of bilbies to this park forms part of a national strategy to recover endangered species to either their former status or at a minimum to secure the status of existing wild populations.
Ocean Crusaders is a fantastic Brisbane-based charity helping clean up the world’s oceans. They run clean-up programs clearing rubbish and plastics out of waterways before they reach the ocean, as well as educational programs to prevent the problem in the future. Awesome people, awesome cause, and well worth our support!