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Is Saffron Organic, and can I buy Organic Saffron ?

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Is saffron organic, and can I buy organic saffron ?

This is a question we get asked a lot over here at Saffrondust HQ.

The answer is yes and no, let me explain.

Firstly what is organic saffron

According to Wikipedia, organic means “food produced from organic farming methods and often certified organic according to organic farming standards”

An organic farming method is defined by Wikipedia as one that “relies on fertilizers of organic origin such as compost manure, green manure, and bone meal and places emphasis on techniques such as crop rotation and companion planting. Biological pest control, mixed cropping and the fostering of insect predators are encouraged. In general, organic standards are designed to allow the use of naturally occurring substances while prohibiting or strictly limiting synthetic substances”

So there is a difference between organic and certified organic saffron.

There are no certified organic saffron farms in Iran, so from a legal perspective Persian saffron does not meet the requirements to be categorised as certified organic saffron.

But the reality of saffron farming is that most Iranian saffron is farmed according to ancient techniques that are organic in nature, and thus most of the saffron from Iran is organic saffron, even if it is not certified.

Saffron is a winter flowering crop, which is quite unusual, but also means that saffron harvest can be rotated with other agriculture predominantly sheep farming. The sheep during the summer months fertilise the soil quite organically; and in the autumn months the saffron corms are planted in the nutrient rich soil, and harvested in the northern hemisphere winter around November and December.

Importantly also, saffron does not compete with other agriculture for water, and is an excellent companion crop to other agriculture since it harvests in the opposite season.

Pests, which mainly consist of rodents, are managed quite naturally with natural predators; and weeds are successfully managed by sheep grazing.

Saffron is organic and sustainable

So as well as being farmed by organic methods, most of the saffron that you buy from Iran is also very environmentally friendly and provides not only an income to many farming communities, but is also a sustainable form of agriculture which compliments perfectly the harsh climate.

Browse our range of quality saffron imported directly from Iran

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