The farm and its products are both Demeter (Biodynamic) and BioGro (organic) certified.
The Demeter trademark is registered in New Zealand as a certification mark for products from Biodynamic production and further processing and Milmore downs has held it for the production of cereals and the subsequent processing to flour, flakes etc. since 1983 (Licensee number 002). Certification relies on passing a strict annual audit of the whole system – everything that occurred during that year is checked against the standards, and also against the set of individualised approved procedures, the farm management plan. Preparation production and use gets inspected, and all farm inputs are examined to ensure contamination from outside is excluded as far as humanly possible.
The farm must also have positive measures in place to build soil fertility, prevent outbreaks of pest and disease and husband stock with respect.
Milmore downs is BioGro licensee 019, making it one of the very early certifications as it joined the BPCC in 1986 just three years after gaining Demeter certification. This move was intended as an indication of support for the fledgling organisation but the hope was also to draw Biodynamics and main stream organics closer together. The two standards have differences in detail, but are nevertheless not very far apart and cooperation is the only sensible relationship.
Subsequently, after becoming an approved Third Party Agency with the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) for exports to Europe and the USA, Milmore Downs along with a number of other Demeter growers have used BioGro certification to gain access to overseas markets. Although our aim is to concentrate on domestic sales as they allow at least the possibility of some consumer-producer contact, currently the only market for our lambs is in Britain, and they go there under the BioGro banner.
BioGro is New Zealand's main organic certification agency. Established in 1983 as the BPCC (Biological Producers and Consumers Council) in conjunction with the Biodynamic Association and Henry Doubleday to support all organics, it later registered the BioGro logo and now certifies over 900 operations New Zealand wide.