Australian Certified Organic (and its Australian Certified Organic Standard) has achieved equivalence with the Swiss organic standards. This means Australian businesses wanting to export their Australian Certified Organic, ACO, accredited product to Switzerland can do so without having to get Swiss organic accreditation or use import permits.
The Australian Certified Organic Standard has been recognised by Switzerland as operating in compliance with their organic requirements.
Whilst the Swiss export market is relatively small this development allows exporters a more streamlined (less paperwork heavy) pathway to export without having to get import authorisation documentation.
The national organic standard in Australia has an equivalency agreement for plant and plant processed products; however because ACO has its own standard, which is stricter, ACO certified products like wine and livestock can also now be exported to Switzerland.
It’s estimated that organics has a six per cent share of the food market in Switzerland and most recent figures show it growing by 4.2% in 2011. The majority of certified organic food is sold in the Coop and Migros supermarkets and 11 per cent of agricultural land in Switzerland is certified by Biosuisse – the country’s certification body.
ACO provides certification to South Korean, Canadian and United States organic regulations and it has equivalency agreements with Japan and the European Union, giving ACO clients access to more international markets than any other organic certification body in Australia.
ACO also just signed an agreement to facilitate simpler export procedures to China.