CFA publishes submission to Domestic Organics Regulatory Impact Statement

CFA has made a submission to the consultation the on how the Australian Government can regulate organic products domestically. The consultation document examines the policy problem under consideration, as well as potential regulatory and non-regulatory options for reform.

In its submission CFA states:

  • Australian consumers should be protected from misleading and misrepresentation in relation to produce and products claiming to be ‘organic’.
  • Without clarity on what constitutes organic there is confusion about the ‘organic’ status of organic products and there is a lack of understanding about, and confidence in, products currently offered for sale as ‘organic’.
  • The current lack of regulation in the organic domestic market provides a high risk of, and opportunity for, misleading, false or deceptive conduct and unsubstantiated claims.

The submission recommends:

  1. The introduction of regulations adopting the existing Australian Standard (and its technical accompaniment). A mandatory domestic organics standard was stated to be ‘the main regulatory option identified’ during the Government’s consultation. 
  2. One standard regulatory regime for the whole supply chain which would provide consistency across the sector. CFA’s preferred option is for a regulation covering all businesses. There would also be considerable savings where one standard is used.
  3. A requirement that one logo/certification mark is used to show the product is certified. The current use of different certification logos is confusing to consumers and one logo would facilitate the promotion of organically certified products and produce
  4. The standard be developed by Standards Australia (SA) as the most appropriate organisation for developing an Australian standard for both domestic supply and export of organic produce because standards add more value to the community when developed through a balanced committee of stakeholders, consensus agreement and transparency than standards developed by organisations that represent a particular group or interests.

The full submission can be found here.

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