Growing numbers of Australian consumers are opting for organic products, and should be able to feel confident that the ingredients are in fact organic.
Many products carry a symbol, logo or other trade mark to show that they are certified organic. This certification is currently performed by 7 private bodies that are accredited by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) under the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce.
The ACCC warns that the minimum standards required to get organic certification may vary, and advises consumers to:
- read labels carefully to see which ingredients in the product are organic.
- Ask the sales staff about the certification used and do some research if you are unfamiliar with it.
Products labelled as organic generally attract a premium price compared to those produced using artificial fertiliser, chemicals or pesticides and non-essential food additives or processing aids. Businesses that make organic claims must be able to substantiate those claims.
As affluence in international markets rises, so does demand for premium products like organics. Access to premium markets is one of the most important ways for Australia to grow our agricultural industries. Improving standards for organic certification will also have direct benefits for Australian consumers.
DAFF have developed an action plan to improve access to premium markets for organics. The action plan is composed of three elements:
- reviewing the regulations and standards that underpin exports
- creating a national voice for the organic sector
- developing an organics market access strategy
They are seeking feedback from the general public on changing the current approach to regulation and standards for the export of organic products.
Have your say by completing the questionnaire or uploading your own document.
Read the Organic Orders Review Consultation Paper here.