There are numerous nutrition facts, ingredients lists, recipes and tall dietary claims printed on food packages. Pre-printed “organic” labels appear to be another piece of information to decipher while shopping for packaged foods. This blog helps understand what “organic” really means and can help almond buyers make informed choices.
Organic foods that are USDA certified are grown and processed according to the federal guidelines addressing many factors such as soil quality, animal raising practices, pest & weed control, and usage of various additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.
What does Organic
Produce can be called organic if it’s certified to have grown on soil that had no prohibited substances applied for three years prior to harvest. Prohibited substances include most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. For instance, when a grower must use a synthetic substance to achieve a specific purpose, the substance must first be approved according to criteria that examine its effects on human health and the environment
The consideration of our global footprint is something we take very seriously at Olam. That’s one of the reasons why we’re proud to farm 300 acres of certified organic almonds on our Southern Star ranch, located in Bakersfield, CA. We also farm another 1,000 acres that are currently transitioning from conventional farming to organic methods on our Nevada ranch, located in Le Grand, CA.
Olam Organic Almonds
At Olam, we currently grow 5 different varieties of certified organic almonds — Nonpareil, Sonora, Monterey, Wood Colony, and Fritz. Dispersed throughout our orchards are cover crops such as alfalfa, clover, and Austrian winter pea. These crops help protect and replenish nutrients in the soil, including nitrogen which is crucial for almond development
Organic farming practices strongly prefer non-chemical methods to care for crops. Almond Orchards grow to have more biodiversity in their ecosystem, leading to flourishing crops, healthier land, and an ecological balance that provides a suitable habitat for beneficial wildlife
Our organic orchards go through yearly inspections with the CCOF to ensure that we are compliant with all procedures and requirements. It takes 3 years of organic farming operations for an orchard to become certified.
Organic practices encourage groundwater protection by enhancing soil structure and water infiltration. Water pollution and leaching are less of a problem because synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are prohibited.