organic product meaning
Written by Vahid Epagloo, Food Consultant Updated:

Now, thanks to the globalization of the markets, you can find all kinds of products from remote points of the globe in the groceries of your neighborhood, but globalization also helps people to raise their awareness about the method of production of different goods, and also, about their impact on our health and environment. In particular, when it comes to the consumption of food products, whether to be organic or not to be now is a central issue. Consequently, we can witness the growing attention of regular users of saffron to the issue. Are the saffron stigmas they buy organic? In other words, they need to make sure that the most expensive spice in the world is an environmentally friendly and healthy spice, too.

What is meant by organic products?

If you take an environmentally and socially responsible approach to agriculture, you will develop a farming system without the use of harmful chemical fertilizers and conventional pesticides. Food products that grow in such conditions will be labeled as “organic”.

In this approach to agriculture, while maintaining the reproductive capacity and reproduction of the soil, good plant nutrition and proper soil management, nutritious food, and full vitality are reached to the crop so that it is resistant to diseases. In this method, product growth is a completely natural growth and what is obtained in this method is beneficial for the health of us consumers. Today, many countries are moving towards organizing their agriculture for organic production. The USA uses USDA certification, and India uses Indian NPOP (National Program for Organic Production) organic certification.

No pesticides are used in the production of organic foods, or the least possible pesticides are used. In this way, insecticides are generally either removed or used in many critical cases, because people are worried that these chemicals will enter their bodies and lead to various incurable diseases. Since in this method, fewer chemicals enter the soil and water source, agriculture becomes a non-harmful activity for the environment.

why organic products are more expensive?

Of course, organic products are more expensive compared to non-organic products, which makes people stop buying organic products. The more difficult production process of organic products means much more costs for farmers and consequently for consumers. If synthetic pesticides are not used or are used relatively less, the amount of crops will be significantly less. This smaller production of organic materials, along with the higher amount of labor required in the cultivation of organic crops, turns some of the agricultural occupations into an activity that is not profitable for the landowners.

Saffron needs only animal manure

A mixture of animal feces and urine produces something called manure (also known as manure), which is an organic material. It also contains vegetable matter (mostly straw) because usually the animals are on a bed of straw and naturally, when cleaning the livestock, the herders collect the straw that has been absorbed in the said mixture and sell it as fertilizer to sheep farmers.

Iranian farmer’s effort to grow saffron organically

The Organization of Agricultural Research, Education and Promotion of Iran affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture of this country, in the pamphlet “Getting to Know the Principles of Planting, growing and harvesting saffron” in line with the policy of encouraging Iranian farmers to organic farming, has tried to familiarize saffron producers with the benefits of organic fertilizers.

According to that pamphlet, as Crocus Sativus (the scientific name of saffron flowers) is a tolerant and frugal plant and produces enough crops with the consumption of a small amount of fertilizers, farmers who use a large amount of synthetic fertilizers (especially phosphate fertilizers), poison their soil and lose its fertility. So, they need the result of the analysis of soil done in the advanced laboratory to clear you up for proper fertilization.

Depending on the type of land and the habits of farmers, Iranian saffron cultivators (as they produce around 90% of the total production of saffron) apply from 20 to 80 tons of rotten cow manure as fertilizer per hectare.

The importance of Carbon-nitrogen ratio

Saffron producers need to be cautious about the carbon-nitrogen ratio of the land soil when using nitrogen and organic fertilizers. Excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers could change the ratio leading to a decrease in the yield of saffron. Animal manure is used to meet the needs of this plant due to its high potassium content. So the best strategy to have organic and pure saffron is to enrich your saffron farm with only animal manure and avoid other synthetic fertilizers. The use of animal manure has other benefits, which include:

1- The resistance of the saffron plant to the freezing of the onions in winter is much higher.

2- Animal manure keeps soil moisture; Therefore, the plant resists drought better.

3- Saffron corms(so-called saffron onions) are less damaged by the summer heat under the soil.

Another warn

Every gram of saffron threads or powder costs a fortune. So, saffron production could be a very lucrative activity, but at the same time, it is a very demanding crop to cultivate. In addition to being a labor-intensive activity, it requires precision and wisdom. The lucrativeness makes some saffron producers adopt an unwise policy: the more fertilizer you use, the more saffron crop you earn, which is wrong. If more than 100 kg/ha of urea is used as fertilizer, the potential of flowering of saffron corms will reduced while they will produce more other corms.

The only permitted synthetic fertilizer

The only kind of synthetic fertilizer you may need in the cultivation of saffron could be a soluble fertilizer, a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash applied in late February or early March.

Research indicates that in late February when the saffron corms lose their roots.

A one-time use of soluble fertilizers will be very useful. This fertilizer can be absorbed by the saffron flowers and transferred to the corms, causing them to grow and increase their yield by 30% the following year.

The Middle East Organic & Natural Products Expo

The United Arab Emirates has been able to gain the position of the third largest re-exporter in the world, exporting more than 546 billion dollars of goods. The country’s unique geographic location and wise economic policies have allowed it to connect the hemispheres and make it a popular hub for re-exports.

For 22 years, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates has organized the Middle East Organic and Natural Products Expo Dubai as the only business event in the Middle East that focuses on organic and natural products.

The organizers of this exhibition aim to establish a relationship between suppliers and buyers, especially since we have seen that the natural and organic industry has grown in the Middle East region, and this expansion has been reflected in the doubling of the size of the exhibition this year. This exhibition focuses on With 5 natural market segments such as food and beverage, health, beauty, life, and environment, it is the largest gathering of organic products in the region and is considered by industry members as an ideal place to source natural and organic products.

Ghaaneh Saffron in Organic & Natural Products EXPO

Dubai 2024

Like last year, this year, Noavaran Sabah Giti Company, as the owner of the Ghaaneh brand, in cooperation with Queen of Flower Company, as the official representative of this company in Dubai, had the honor to participate in the Expo of organic and natural products in Dubai and serve customers. They are looking for the first grade of saffron, which, of course, is Iranian saffron.

noavaran sabah giti ghaaneh saffron dubai organic expo 2024

Vahid Epagloo CEO of Queen of Flowers

The meaningful reception of buyers from the United Arab Emirates, India, China, and Australia to Moldova, Switzerland, Canada, Italy, Poland, etc, propelled the Noavaran Giti Sabah company to almost double the size of its booth. And also, encouraged the company to adopt the policy of retail sales of its goods, which was warmly welcomed by the eager buyers.

Also, numerous meetings with major buyers, including the Carrefour chain store, showed once again that the path of the Ghaaneh brand is the right and flourishing way, which is to respect the buyer through the presentation of authentic Iranian saffron packed in elegant and standard design (inspired by Iranian-Arabic culture).

Conclusion

Due to environmental considerations and people’s increasing awareness about the harmful effects of synthetic fertilizers on human health, agriculture around the world is moving towards harvesting organic products. Saffron production is no exception to this.

Both the UAE and Iran are promoting organic agriculture policies. Iranian companies displayed their commitment to advancing this policy by participating in the Organic and Natural Products Expo in Dubai in recent years.

Since Iranian saffron is the best and most desirable spice in the world, the “Noavaran Sabah Giti” company, as the owner of the Ghaaneh brand, is proud of being able to participate in the expo by providing the best possible quality of saffron and gaining the satisfaction of its customers.

FAQs

What does organic product mean?

Organic products are produced under an environment-friendly and health-oriented approach, and the most important difference of this approach is the non-use or minimal use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

How to grow organic saffron stigmas?

Conventional Saffron Crocus needs only animal fertilizer, in normal circumstances. To deliver a quality product to customers, saffron producers do need use synthetic pesticides, too.

Where and on what date will the Middle East organic and natural products expo be held?

This expo has been held in the beautiful city of Dubai from December 18 to 20 every year for 22 years.