With the meteoric rise of interest in organic meat, there has also been an upswing in interest in animal welfare.
For many people, the way in which the animals are treated by organic meat suppliers is the primary reason they buy these products.
For others, it’s simply another great reason why organic beef and lamb is superior.
The Australian Organic Standard is one of the most stringent in the world for protecting animals and allowing them the most natural lives possible.
Specifications require that animals are given the opportunity to perform all functions relevant to their species and breed socially and physically, which means having open pastures to interact normally with one another and move around as they please.
Conditions in these areas are also monitored as they must be able to provide access to a healthy diet and high quality of life. These nutrients also mean that the final product is of top quality.
Under no circumstances can farmers or breeders give their livestock anything that encourages growth by unnatural methods such as force feeding or additives. Instead, all of these processes must be in line with natural methods.
There’s also the fact that certain breeds and species are best suited to certain regions around the country. Farms must do their best to match their natural environment to these particulars. This again is to best emulate the natural order and minimise environmental impact.
When it comes to breeding, the systems are based on breeds that can best reproduce naturally without human involvement, rather than those that require a helping hand from scientific methods.
It goes without saying then that no organic animals can be raised on food that contains hormones, antibiotics or preservatives.
However, if an animal becomes ill, then farmers can administer antibiotic medicines if required. In this case, the animal is no longer considered as organic and will be labelled as such.