ACO News – October


May I take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who has made me feel so very welcome as I stepped into the biggest job in the Australian organic industry.  From AO Chair, Andy Monk to ACO Chair, Joe Siegel and all Directors and staff have made me feel very much at home.  It really is great to be back in the organic industry and I very much appreciate having been welcomed with such open arms.  Thank you all!

Overview of Month

I am very much looking forward to my time here at ACO.  The first month has been spent delving into the issues and complexities that comprise the functions of ACO that directly affect our clients.

I have spent some time in both Sydney and Melbourne meeting with existing clients and potentially new clients, as well as reading and digesting the Strategic Plan; studying financial reports; reading the complaint register; working with Kellie Lewis on a number of outstanding issues; liaising with Joe, Andy, Don Fraser, all the while trying to understand your business and how we can best serve you.

All this while moving my worldly belongings from Canberra, packing the truck while it was snowing and knowing it was 22 degrees in Brisbane!  All this whilst having the absolute pleasure of my only daughter, Annabel, being married in the Hunter Valley and then to top it off, the birth of a beautiful grandson, Alexander.  So to say the first month was a busy, happening month, is somewhat of an understatement.

The second month hasn’t been any slower, and this month we saw the organic industry consultative workshops being held in different parts of the country, with comment invited from all industry groups into the process.  As well as collaborating in the consultative workshops I have been investing valuable time into understanding ACO’s processes and developing ways to provide better service options for our clients.

In my next report, I will provide greater insight into some changes that we will be implementing to make your certification journey easier, more efficient and with greater flexibility.  Watch this space to see how we are investing our time and resources and how you will benefit.  Don’t miss November’s newsletter for the full details.

We are investing today for ACO and our client’s future.

Again, thanks to both the AO and ACO Boards; thanks to all staff and thanks to all clients and Members who have gone above and beyond to make me feel welcome here at Australian Certified Organic.  I am enjoying my new role as your CEO and excited about providing great certification services for you, our clients and members.

All the best. Ben Copeman, ACO Chief Executive Officer.


We are continually being warned by the Queensland Government, Biosecurity Queensland Control Centre, to be on the lookout for Fire Ants and as such, need to prepare ourselves for the subsequent sprayings that will inevitably follow.  Whenever we receive advice from the Department that such sprayings are planned, we will of course, forward these straight on to you.

For further information, please visit this link.

Please call us if you have any issues with the spraying.

Upgrade to Product Information Form

Australian Food & Grocery Council launched an upgrade to their Product Information Form (PIF). PIF V6.0 features updated content and has been translated to business-to-business software solutions to replace the current stand-alone Excel spreadsheet. This form is frequently requested for assessment of non-organic ingredients for use in organic products. See full description here.

Upcoming Industry Events:

A detailed program outlining times can be viewed by clicking here and tickets can be booked by clicking here