Organic beef on display

cattle muster croppedOrganic beef might be less than 2% of the total beef industry but it is experiencing faster growth and stronger financial performance.

As consumer interest in organic beef surges, so does the interest from graziers wanting to get certification.

Australia’s largest organic certifier, Australian Certified Organic, has received record numbers of applications from graziers wanting to convert to organic over the past 24 months.

Certified organic graziers can expect premiums that are 35% above conventional meat and because buyers plan supply years in advance, it also offers producers market predictability.

Graziers interested in organic farming can find out more at this week’s Beef Australia 2015 in Rockhampton, which is expected to attract 85,000 visitors. Australian Certified Organic will be represented along with one of the country’s largest organic meat suppliers, Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co.

The company’s CEO, Alister Ferguson, says the event is a great opportunity for producers to talk to them about the advantages of organic certification.

“Graziers are often surprised at how easy it can be to get organic certification. For those who are already farming with minimal inputs, it’s quite straightforward. Some are not as far away from it as they think,” Alister says.

Interest in organic certification has increased since the Organic Industry Standards and Certification Council, which sets the National Standard for Organic and Bio-dynamic Produce in Australia, approved a proposal allowing producers to be fully certified organic after one year of inspections, providing they can verify that the property has been under organic management for the previous three years. Producers will need to present farm documents and management plans as evidence.

Having recently achieved Chinese organic certification through Australian Certified Organic, Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co. is also joining eight other Aussie food companies this week at an Australian Organic exhibition at SIAL China, May 6 – 9.

As Asia’s largest food and beverage show, it attracts 55,000 visitors and will be the first time such a large contingent of Australia’s organic food industry has exhibited in Asia.