The Organic Farming Journey
A new day begins in the colder climate region of Tutra, Don Duong, Lam Dong Province. The local farmers work hard on the farm, diligently taking care of the vegetable beds and bean rigs that are about to be harvested. It has been quite the journey since these farmers decided to convert to organic farming. Together they have overcome the initial difficulties and today they are proudly celebrating the results they had hoped for. They are not only celebrating the joy and happiness of being able to bring consumers clean and health products, but on a more personal level, they celebrate the improvements in their own health and that of the people and the fellow farmers.
Their journey started 6 years ago (about 2016), after many years of farming with toxic chemicals, the farmers became increasingly aware that the use of unwanted chemicals not only affects consumers’ health, but the farmers were the first to be affected. Not only was their health getting worse and worse, the farmers also had to shoulder more debt from buying chemical fertilizers.
Numerous reasons played a role in the huge decision of going clean:
– The health of the farmers and the end consumer;
– The farmers wanted to stop the environment suffering from the negative impacts from chemical pollution.
All good reasons for any farmer to convert to organic farming methods. As we know, this is not done overnight and in this case it was a journey that took about 6 years with the support of the Caritas Da Lat organization.
Some of the early days concerns were the facts that organic vegetables are destroyed by pests, they don’t have the same good looks, the weather has a huge impact on spoiling vegetables. Converting to growing without the use of pesticides is difficult.
Gradually, the experience is accumulated crop by crop, the farmers work together in sharing their experiences in dealing with the weather and how to prevent pests for vegetables with the support of Caritas. Slowly organic farming got better and better, the produce was also more beautiful, and the output was also higher. For some people crooked produce equals organic, but not for all and appearance still matters to some. Moreover, the trend of consuming all-natural fruits and vegetables is increasing due to the increase in demand for quality food sources along with the trust of consumers – this is an extremely motivating factor for the farmers.
Certified organic CFGS
Caritas Dalat is an organization of social charity activities of the Catholic Church under the Da Lat Bishop’s Office. Their mission is a commitment to serving the development of people, especially the poor in the diocese of DaLat; serving life, building a humane community and taking care of the environment.
CFGS (Caritas Dalat Farmers’ Guarantee System) is its own organic certification: A guarantee system with the participation of Caritas Da Lat. CFGS is a local system focused on quality assurance. And producers are certified based on stakeholder engagement; The system is built on trust, social network and knowledge exchange.
After many efforts, overcoming difficulties together, in 2019, the farmers of Tutra, Don Duong, Lam Dong were very happy to hold in their hands the CFGS Organic Certificate with a total land area planted of 12,200 meter square. The certificate was issued to 2 groups, including the farming households: Ma Ban, Ma Biang, Ma Diem, Ma Khuan, Ma Liu, Ma Nghiep, Ma Dam, Ma Lam, Ma Soang, Ma Won and Ma Phuong growing lettuce, green beans, carrots, beets, white and napa cabbage.
Mother Doanh (Leader of the farmer group) said at the certificate awarding ceremony: “On behalf of Chu Ru farmers, I would like to thank our customers for always trusting our products from the time they started farming clean production but had no certificate (yet).”
As Mother Doanh, being a small part of the process, ByNature feels grateful and proud in supporting the farmers on their journey allowing us to bring farm fresh clean produce to your doorstep.
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