Australian Organic Awareness Month (AOAM) is just around the corner and the main theme will be products that falsely claim to be "organic" on packaging.
Australian Organic Limited urges consumers to always look for the well-known, official Bud Certification logo, which ensures that a product has undergone rigorous testing.
Currently, the word "organic" is not defined in Australia. For the past 18 months, AOL has worked with government and industry to advance the discussion on clarification and mandatory regulation that aligns with Australian export requirements.
“Currently, certification as organic is a voluntary process in Australia. However, any manufacturer or manufacturer can claim that a product on its packaging is organic and only one ingredient is organically grown, ”said Niki Ford, CEO of AOL.
"Enforcing national regulations on this word gives manufacturers, manufacturers and consumers much more clarity that a product has been rigorously tested to a high standard of quality."
Global supplier of certified organic meat, Paul da Silva of Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co., based in Toowoomba, says the lack of binding national regulation puts organic export companies at a disadvantage.
“Every export market requires proof that an Australian organic product complies with the organic standard of its country. This is a basic requirement for market access.
“However, a lack of regulation means that we are often not up to par with standards in other markets.
“This forces us and other exporters to go through the entire certification process in every single export market. If we export to nine different countries, it can cost thousands of dollars and countless hours per country. "
Mr. da Silva emphasizes that the demand for organic products is still very high, "… even during the uncertainties of 2020. This is a great export opportunity for Australia, which is hampered by bureaucracy".
The Australian organic industry is currently valued at $ 2.6 billion and is growing every year. The strong growth was mainly driven by consumer appetites for natural, pesticide-free and synthetic chemical-free healthy foods and a growing awareness of environmentally sound practices.
For more information on Australian Organic Awareness Month, see the October issue of Retail World magazine or the Australian Organic Limited website.