Q: Why is being certified organic important to you and your business?
Our organic journey began 22 years ago, as a young couple starting a family. Being responsible for our children's nutrition made us question and research everything about food and health. Around that time we became farmers in Darcy, BC and our little homestead, Gathering Place Organic Farm became certified organic in 1999. When we moved to Cortes Island and started Gathering Place Trading Company, it was a natural fit with our lifestyle and values to certify our company. We feel growing organically is how we will protect the planet!
Q: What are the most important principles or philosophies that guide your company?
Organic nutrient dense food, fair trade practices, family or cooperative farms, and direct farm relationships. When we choose what products to import the first question we ask is "does it grow in Canada?" If it does, we won't import it, but rather look for a Canadian farmer we can purchase from. We try to minimize our ecological footprint by finding creative ways to reduce our impact.
Q: What specific questions did you have when learning about organic certification?
When our company became certified organic creating an inventory tracking system with lot coding was the most challening part. Our inspectors were great at answering questions and partnering with us to create a system we are really proud of.
Q: If someone you know is thinking of certifying organic, what advice would you give?
All the effort is worth it! By investing in becoming certified organic, we are investing in good health and a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.
Q: Why did you choose PACS as your organic certifying body?
We chose PACS as it was the most 'rural' of all of the certifying bodies that provided accreditation for sale of products outside of BC and many folks on Vancouver Island were a part of the PACS community.