At our Annual General Meeting last year, we outlined a plan to expand the range of complementary certification services we offer. These ranged from food safety to areas such as “non-GMO” and “gluten free”, allowing us to keep pace with client needs and market demands. Therefore, following extensive research and development, the Australian Organic Group is very pleased to be launching Australia’s only internationally-recognisable non-GMO Certification.
We all know that being “Australian Certified Organic” is the best a product can get and a key pillar to being certified organic is that the use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited. However there has been a shift in consumer behaviours due to an increase in awareness through the media of GMOs. This shift has seen consumers, clients and in particular international markets demand clearer understanding of products that are non-GMO with certification like this becoming imperative. We understand that some of our clients are already using non-GMO certification from international companies, in order to comply with the requirements of their markets; now, they can look to us instead.
In the US (for example), due to a failure to listen to the market and very strong marketing from non-GMO groups, recent surveys are showing that non-GMO certification is considered (in some markets) to be more important in consumers choice than organic certification, and that consumers don’t understand that being certified organic is non-GMO and so much more. The Australian Organic Group certainly don’t intend to let that happen here, which is why we will only be allowing our new non-GMO certification to be used in combination with Australia’s most recognised organic certification symbol, the Australian Certified Organic “Bud” logo. This non-GMO certification is designed to build on the strict certified organic guidelines for traceability and segregation that are already in place, with the added requirements for additional testing and verification, based on the level of risk that GMOs pose to an individual product.
As for the Logo, we wanted something fresh, exciting and symbolic, and this ultimately led us to settle on the Honey Bee (the logo for which you can see above).
Should you require further information or wish to be a part of this exciting new stage in our certification history by applying for Non-GMO certification, please contact the Australian Certified Organic office for all the details.