In 2006 the first issue of the Journal of Organic Systems was posted on this website. This resulted from several years of discussion, prompted by the need for a peer-reviewed scholarly journal in which researchers could publish their findings on ‘Organic Systems’ in the Australasian and Pacific Regions (and beyond).
In our rapidly changing world, in which we are becoming increasingly aware of the complexities of physical, bio-ecological and health-related phenomena, ‘Organic Systems’ are gaining in stature, and being challenged, in a range of areas. These now include ameliorating global warming through carbon capture, maintenance of biodiversity through the provision of suitable habitats, reduced dependence on toxic products and associated impacts of persistent chemical residues on the environment, enhanced food quality and security with benefits for wellbeing, humane livestock management, social aspects (including trade), more aesthetic landscapes and, for some, premium prices for organic produce. This last factor is leading to two particular challenges facing the organic movement: growing competition from other ‘alternative’ systems (including minimally sprayed, ‘issues-based’ labels such as Rainforest Alliance, and genetically engineered produce), and pressures to compromise organic approaches. Associated issues include tensions between both the benefits and disadvantages of the export of organic produce from developing countries, and the post-harvest handling and processing of such produce.
All of these areas require more perceptive analysis and interdisciplinary research. We welcome submissions that address these and other areas relevant to the design, management and experiences with ‘Organic Systems’, especially within our region. As well as field studies, we are also keen to receive papers relating to our supporting institutional structures and processes, including policy, extension services, research and development, education and training, and processes of change. As this is an evolving journal, we are keen to hear your ideas about it, particularly about ways in which we might better serve those interested in and working with ‘Organic Systems’ within our region .