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City Farm certification nearer

ORGANIC community garden City Farm has taken a further step towards securing an organic certification licence after recently receiving pre-certification, more than 12 months after it applied for the licence. The not-for-profit organisation will be the first market in WA to produce only certified organic produce once it receives final certification. City Farm manager Thom Scott said receiving pre-certification meant there would now be two years of conversion, by which time the garden should receive final certification. “In that time of conversion, as long as we identify that’s part of the program we are on, then we can sell our produce,” he said. “We haven’t had our produce on the markets because we haven’t got pre-certification, whereas all other growers have their certifying docu-mentation which is really important.” Mr Scott said City Farm would need to document and log all the farm’s inputs in order to make sure the process ran smoothly. “If it [product] is not immediately certified we need to know the background of it and that it hasn’t just been sprayed with heavy duty chemicals on site,” he said. “We haven’t used any synthetic chemicals at all in any form, whether it is pesticide, weedicide or fertilisers, so that made it easier for us and we already understood the philosophy of it.” City Farm manager Rosanne Scott said the business had been operating for 12 years as an initiative of the Planetary Action Network, with the past three years devoted to processes of community and business development. “Enterprise is an area we really want to develop in,” she said. “We want to get better at actually delivering services that enable us to bring our own funds in so we don’t constantly have our hands out for sponsorship and grants, but to have the ability to deliver services. “We are growing our nursery and we hope to have a training facility that is a cafe training facility. We do workshops for schools as well. “We will develop services that will be enterprises for us and for those with a similar philosophy who want to come here and to develop things as well.” City Farm also supports local music and art community and will be hosting the Tomato Festival on Saturday December 10, which will be featuring the organic growers’ market.

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