Domestic market regulation, scrutinising imports and promoting exports are three top priorities for our standards and certification teams. With your assistance as a financial member or client, we will continue to build on our recent achievements.
Domestically, we continue to act against non-conforming products, conducting tests and spot audits to protect consumers and support clients who comply with the Australian Certified Organic Standard.
Removing non-certified organic products that are marketed as certified organic – limited as they are in the market – needs our combined vigilance and action. If you know of any mislabelled products, please let us know. Based on market tip-offs, we take action against non-compliant products claiming a certified status. As the industry grows, so might the incidence of such claims. Organic certification with our group is so much more than the cost of an annual audit and an occasional product test.
To bolster these actions, we aim to achieve within the year an agreement to reinstate one industry national standard – and more importantly the regulatory infrastructure around it – for export and domestic products.
We are reviewing our approach to imports by expanding tests to higher-risk products, such as those at risk of GM, given Australia’s status as a producer of non-GM organic products. A proposed new logo for imported products that omits the word ‘Australian’ will ensure those products are distinguished from Australian certified organic products. This will give consumers clarity and also benefit Australian businesses. Members can expect a survey on this proposal.
Growing exports is a critical pillar for the long-term success of our industry, so we have partnered with nine clients to attend Asia’s largest food and beverage expo in May. SIAL China will be a first for us. Boasting all things Australian Certified Organic, our display will include a great Aussie BBQ, amazing raw chocolate, and high-quality fruits and vegetables, wines, condiments, flours and dried fruits – showcasing some of our best to the world and building on our relationships and reputation as a market access leader for organic business.
Speaking of exports, members of Australian Organic, it’s not too late to register for our April 29 webinar ‘Exporting to China’, which will cover topics such as opportunities within the Chinese market for Australian Certified Organic goods; the difference between Australian and Chinese organic certification; and the export pitfalls to avoid. Avoid missing out on a rare chance to hear from experts in this area by registering here.
Australian Organic Ltd – where you will find Australia’s organic business leaders. Network with the best at one of our upcoming events or expos.
Dr Andrew Monk
Chair, Australian Organic