Farmers begin Cyclone Debbie recovery


Queensland farmers have begun the process of rebuilding and recovery from the recent damage inflicted by Tropical Cyclone Debbie and the associated flooding. The scale of the damage has been extensive from north Queensland to northern NSW.

An up to date, regional and industry specific breakdown of Queensland’s agricultural impact is available HERE.

Queensland Farmers’ Federation President Stuart Armitage welcomed the activation of Category B disaster assistance for primary producers in the Central highlands, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Isaac, Lockyer Valley, Logan and Scenic Rim. These regions join the already declared Mackay and Whitsunday.

Details on Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRAA) support payments available can be found HERE.

“In coordination with industry members, QFF has already swung into action and is ready to again play a key role facilitating support and communication between government and industry,”

“It is essential that impacted farmers collect and pass information to their industry associations that quantifies the extent of the damage to their businesses,”

“This information is used to ensure appropriate recovery processes are implemented. Regardless of the impact felt, all information is fed into the whole of agricultural sector impact assessment.”

Primary producers are encouraged to make contact with one of the following peak industry association groups: AgForceCANEGROWERS, Cotton Australia, Flower Association, Growcom, Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland (NGIQ), Pork Queensland Inc, Queensland Chicken Growers’ Association (QCGA), Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO), Queensland United Egg Producers (QUEP) and Timber Queensland.

“QFF has a dedicated website that provides postcode and industry specific advice for farmers in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The website is a ‘one-stop-shop’ to access information, updates, and to better communicate the sometimes confusing and overwhelming messages in the time after a disaster,” said Mr. Armitage.

“QFF strongly encourage farmers to use this service as it provides financial, industry and mental health support in one place,”

“It will be some time before the full extent of the damage is well understood and in some way quantified, but the initial impacts have been realised,”

“QFF will continue to work closely and constructively with government to ensure the appropriate levels of support are on offer for farmers through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRAA).”

“The journey to recovery is not one taken alone. Industry organisations and QFF are here to assist farmers through this process and are committed to ensuring our sector gets back on its feet.”


Media enquiries:
Mark Neville 0423 065 734 (Queensland Farmers’ Federation)

For Sale: ACO Certified Meadow Hay

New season meadow hay for sale.

Tight bales, net wrapped, 5×4 rolls.

ACO certified #1399.

$70 +gst.

Meadows, South Australia.

Phone: 0423 019 332


Support for Research and Development

The Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive offsets some of the costs of doing eligible R&D activities. It is broad-based, market-driven assistance for all industries. The aim is to encourage and support companies to engage in R&D. Companies must self-assess whether their activities meet the programme’s eligibility rules and lodge an application to register within 10 months after the end of their income year (30 April or 31 October). For further information please visit:

ACO organically certified property for Sale!

Located at Stanmore/Woodford Queensland, approximately 1 hour to the Brisbane Airport and 45 minutes to the Sunshine Coast.

It is 18.5 flood free acres with 2 homes, sheds and dams. Besides the income from the supply of dried and milled lemongrass, an added bonus is that one of the homes could also be rented.

Further property details and photos can be found at, property numbers 122252218 or 123946186


Boutique Organic Garlic Business  AND/ OR property for sale

Fancy a Tree Change? Farm Business venture? Or just a Relaxed Lifestyle on The Glorious New England, Northern NSW?

“Carrigbyrne”, home of Rochford Organic Garlic, is a 50 acre Certified Organic Property on the Tenterfield Creek, in a quiet location minutes from town.

The Business:  Featured on Sydney Weekender, and in numerous publications such as: Garlic by Penny Woodward; Transition Farms by Bev Buckley; The Land newspaper; Small Farms and Border Living magazines,”Carrigbyrne” has been a thriving organic garlic business for the past 26 years, with a large customer base of both retail businesses and individuals from Melbourne to Darwin.

In 2015, Rochfords won silver in the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards. The garlic crop is usually sold before it leaves the ground. There is plenty of room for expansion.

The Farm has 1185m road frontage (with subdivision possible) and 150m of creek frontage. There are about 50 olive trees. Irrigation Licence, Working Waterwheel, a large sheep shed, large storage shed, drying sheds, large working barn with power, irrigation equipment, farm implements, and smoke house. Platypus Viewing Platform overlooking the waterfall. Fishing. The property is well fenced.

The Brick Veneer Home features: 4 Bedrooms with built-ins, main with renovated ensuite. Bathroom, newly renovated. Separate toilet, newly renovated. Large timber kitchen and wood stove (hot water connected) and electric stove. Walk in pantry/storeroom. Open plan dining/family room. Separate lounge/tv room. Large front verandah. Back patio. Double carport. Workshop. 2kw Solar system. School bus passes the gate.

The home sits in beautiful established cool climate gardens designed by renowned garden designer and plants woman, Carolyn Robinson. Well established, it now has abundant wildlife – echidnas, frogs and many birds such as blue wrens, honey eaters, parrots and bower birds.

Stone from the property has been cleverly used in features such as arches, walls, stone BBQ and pizza oven, a stone multipurpose workshop, and a beautiful round stone meditation sanctuary.

The grounds also feature a covered fruit and vegetable garden with watering system, a glass house, potting shed and shade house. Chook house and run.

There is a one room cottage (unfinished) in the wood just outside the garden grounds.


What do I need to know about labelling of EU certified organic products for export?


Prior to exporting to the EU, you must have all relevant products certified to the EU Equivalency Program and meet the below labelling requirements:

EU certified operations  may use the EU leaf logo.  The logo and labelling guidelines can be downloaded from the EU website

Products carrying the EU logo or being exported to Europe must ensure:

–          At least 95% of the products ingredients are of agricultural origin and have been organically produced to a standard recognised by the EU

–          All products comply with ACO inspection and control measures

–          All products must bear either the name of the producer/preparer or vendor

–          The correct EU code of the inspection body

–          Conversion labelling is not permitted

Product exported to Europe requires the mandatory EU code to be on the label. ACO has two EU codes as detailed below:


Product which is certified to the National Standard and meets the requirements of Department of Agriculture.


Product produced in Australia – which includes wine, livestock/or livestock by-products, plant processed product which contains imported EU certified ingredients.  Product produced internationally in a country where ACO has EU recognition e.g. Fiji, China, Vanuatu (as per EU regulation 1235/2008).

Please view our ACO Labelling and Logo Style Guide here.

For further information, please contact the ACO office.

Welcome to our new ACO clients – March News

Australian Certified Organic would like to welcome the following clients who have recently attained ACO certification:

Agri Food Ingredients

Ahria Organics Pty Ltd

Aralu Farming

Aran – Oils

Ballin Organics Pty Ltd

Berry Blue Farm

Bowraville Tea Tree Farm & Produce

Bundaberg Sugar

Bunderra Australia Pty Ltd

Camms Koala Creek

Chittering 641 Organic Farm

Cup of Eden

Day’s Walk Farm

F & D Bombaci

Go Raw Desserts

Horner Wines

JR & GR Wright

Made Manufacturing Pty Ltd

Mitolo Group

Mount Hope Station

PA Jansen, DSM Kaak & JEM Kaak

Pharma Active Pty Ltd

Rumbles Paleo

Solomon Victor and Fatima Arokiasamy

Tapaulin Farm

Wildcrafted – Eridu


Two PhD Scholarships on the ARC Funded Linkage Project: The Invisible Farmer

Amy Paul of Ruby Hills Organics.
Source: Museum Victoria, Catherine Forge

Do you know anyone interested in applying for a scholarship funded by the ARC through the Invisible Farmer Project? If so, please check out this link

Candidates are to commence their enrolment as early as possible in 2017!

Candidates interested in applying for either scholarship should forward their expressions of interest to Dr Nikki Henningham via email at as soon as possible.

Common Certification Corrective Action Requests – March

Ensure supplier is certified (whole supply chain)

Please ensure all suppliers you obtain products/ ingredients from are certified organic and their certificates are made available for annual audits.

The Department of Agriculture require the whole supply chain to be certified.


Getting fumigation/irradiation and Transaction Certificates for imports

If you are sourcing products/ingredients from overseas, ensure you obtain non-fumigation and non-irradiated declarations from the importer.

These documents will be required to be made available at annual inspections.


Water testing for producers

If water comes in contact with the end certified product, it must meet potable water standards as per 4.7.25 of the Australian Certified Organic standard.

Ensure water quality tests include pathogen testing, and are made available for annual audits.


Wine additives and processing aids must contain ingredients which are compliant in the Australian Certified Organic Standard 2016, Annex III and the respective international organic standard.

For example, yeasts containing synthetic sorbitan monostearate can no longer be allowed for use in certified organic wines.

Hereford Heifers for Sale!

15 poll Hereford heifers for sale, ready to join, can deliver, central NSW.

Contact Ray Unger (02) 686 97635 

Guano Liquid Gold – Red Hot Special!

Sulphur is as necessary and just as important as Phosphorus and is considered an essential mineral. Sulphur in plants helps form important enzymes and assists in the formation of plant proteins. This all means, the more Sulphur you apply, the higher the protein in your pasture or grain crops.

When Sulphur levels are low, grasses, because of their larger root system, will compete very strongly for the available Sulphur to the detriment of the legumes. This results in a grass-dominated pasture crop and reduced pasture quality.

Plants that are not able to intake enough Sulphur will exhibit yellowing of leaves that seems similar to nitrogen deficiency. With Sulphur deficiency, symptoms tend to show up on the younger leaves first followed by the older leaves. In plants depleted of nitrogen, the older leaves at the bottom are first affected, moving upwards.

Sulphur drives up your protein, Therefore, Sulphur =  Protein = $$$…

Unlock the protein potential in your grain or fodder crops with available Guano Sulphur Gold.

Guano Sulphur Gold, contains:

P: 10.5%, Ca: 24.9%, Si: 20.8%, S: 12.7%, Zn: 0.25% and Organic Carbon: 8.6%

Ideal Starter for your Chick Peas, Lentil and Broadacre crops.

Airseeder Guaranteed and Organic-USDA Certified.

View further information here.

Important Notice to Organic Soap Makers

At ACO we are constantly working to improve our processes and protect the reputation of certified organic products.  In line with this policy of continuous improvement, we are regularly reviewing our practices to ensure they meet the high standards of integrity that our clients expect of us and that we set for ourselves.

During one of ACO’s internal reviews an error was found in the way soap organic percentages were calculated in the past.  When calculating organic percentages, only water and salt should be excluded from the calculation, however, some organic percentages for soaps have previously been calculated excluding the lye (e.g. sodium hydroxide) from the calculation.  The result of this is that some soap may have organic percentages indicated on their labels that are higher than they should be.

ACO acknowledge that this was an error on our part and are notifying affected clients and requesting them to update their labels accordingly at their next label print runs.  If you believe this may affect you and have any questions please contact John McLean at or phone (07) 3350 5706.




Certification of Cosmetic Products to the EU Regulation

Important changes have been made to the organic certification of non-food products to the EU Organic Regulation. ACO has been informed by our control body that non-food products (such as essential oils) can no longer be certified organic under the EU Organic Regulation as these regulations now only cover food products. This change is one ACO has to enact as it is a requirement imposed by the control body that allows us to offer certification services to the EU Regulations.

What this change means for you if you have non-food products listed as EU certified organic:

– Non-food products (essential oils etc.) will no longer be certified organic to the “EU” on your certificates of compliance;
– Any exports of non-food products to the European Union will have to go on a transaction certificate stating compliance with the ACO Standard rather than the EU Regulation;
– Labels and product approvals for non-food products given to the EU Regulations are no longer valid;
– You must cease using the EU logo on any product labelling, marketing materials or otherwise for any non-food products.

If you believe your products can be classified as food products (such as natural flavours or similar) you may have these products certified organic under the EU Regulation if you are able to supply documentation to this effect. Please contact Janine or Jenny via email (by clicking on their names), or phone (07) 3350 5706 to obtain further information.  For products not meeting this requirement, please request the updated Transaction Certificate and accompanying letter.

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact ACO Exports contacts above for clarification.

Certified Organic Cattle for Sale: NSW

10 – 11 Heifers in Calf :

  • Breed:  Jersey/Friesian; Friesian/Swiss Brown; Jersey/Swiss Brown Cross Breeds (all dehorned).
  • Born September 2012 on Binowee Dairy, Oura, NSW
  • 17 September 2012 Bought and raised in accordance to Australian Certified Organics/Dairy Industry Protocol for health and well being and disease prevention on Beracah, Lake Albert, NSW.
  • September 2016 moved to Green Grove Organics, Ardlethan, NSW to run with their Red Poll Stud Bull.
  • Shiny and healthy.

For further information, please contact Honor Lee: Mobile:  0450 254 500 or Email:

Grosset Wines on board Best Ship 2016, The World, Residence at Sea.

the-world-wine-listThe World, Residences at Sea has been bestowed two prestigious accolades in The World of Fine Wine magazine’s World’s Best Wine Lists 2016 for a second year in a row. The private residential Ship received three stars, the highest possible and lead its category as Best Ship 2016.

Grosset Wines’ Polish Hill Riesling has been included on The World’s prestigious list for some time now, but when it sails tomorrow, the Grosset Springvale, Grosset Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Grosset Apiana, GrossetPinot Noir, Grosset Gaia, and the new Grosset Nereus will be added to this list.

Congratulations to Jeffrey Grosset and the team at Grosset Wines!

To read more, please visit the website here.

A day in the life of an Auditor

By Owen Gwilliam

The recent audit of FAME Pharmaceuticals was a pleasure. Despite their name, they produce a range of herbal medicines, with the final processing occurring at a factory in Yangon. The factory is certified by Myanmar Organic Agriculture Group, and their demonstration farm, where they grow some 58 medicinal species, is also USDA, EU and IFOAM certified by ACO. The finished products aren’t actually sold as ACO certified, but they want the farm to have the highest levels of organic certification available.

Garlic crop, with marigolds for harbouring beneficial species.


Marigold, Lychee and Jackfruit corridors.


The management team are predominantly young ladies who are highly educated, with excellent (written) English.


Bees for pollination. Queen bee pointed out. I did not get stung.


State of the art drying and packing.


The old “overwhelm your auditor with heaps of folders” technique.


How the locals travel.


A procession for the children, the cattle and elephants intricately decorated.


A school group at the last kings palace. When the British invaded in 1824, and eventually took control (after three wars) in 1885, the king escaped to India, where he remained in exile until his death. Japan then invaded in 1942, then pulled out after the Hiroshima disaster and the resultant end of WWII. Aung San Suu Kyi’s father was in charge breifly, until his assasination in 1947. Independence was granted in 1948, but they still don’t have a king. Aung San Suu Kyi was elected as leader in 1990, however the military didn’t like that and put her under house arrest for 21 years. She is now leader again, however fighting – including genocide of the muslim minorities, continues. Some areas of the country are off limits for foreigners and extremely dangerous. Despite all of this, the locals are so friendly and welcoming.


And selfies are all the rage!


A food forest in a local tourist park.


What a view!





Feed & Grain for sale – Central NSW

ACO Certified Organic and Biodynamic Wheat -11% protein

ACO Certified Organic and Biodynamic Schooner Malt Barley

ACO Certified Organic and Biodynamic Cereal Hay (8x4x3 bales)

Contact details:  Ray Unger – 02 68697635  Central NSW

What is biodynamic?

Cullen Wines - Winter Solstice 2
Pictured: Cullen Wines, WA – preparing for Winter Solstice 2016.

Biodynamic is a form of organic farming. The concept originated with the 19th Century Austrian philosopher, Rudolph Steiner. He was interested in the interdependence of all of nature, including the effect of the lunar cycle on nature. He also understood the essential nature of biologically active soils. He coined the term “biodynamic” to encapsulate the healthy natural farming environment and encouraged the development of farming techniques to optimize natural systems, using a lunar calendar as a reference for timing of critical activities.

All our farmers are ACO or OGA certified organic, however, if biodynamic principles are added to the farming program, then the term biodynamic can apply.  It takes three consecutive years of audits for the farms/vineyards to be certified as ‘A-grade certified’ organic; in the second and third years, they are certified as ‘in conversion’ prior to full certification.

Today, more than ever before, it is commercially attractive to use “green”, “eco” or “sustainable” claims on products. Organic certification  is the only protection for consumers and producers, as is stops non organic producers from falsely marketing themselves as organic. Always remember to look for the Bud!

Wanted: Organic Fruit

Juice production facility in Adelaide Hills want organic fruit for juicing. Minimum quantity 5 tonnes. Fresh or frozen, both accepted.

Please contact our office for further details: (08) 8389 6966 or

Cessation of OGA Certification


Organic Growers of Australia (OGA) started as the Northern Rivers Herb Growers Association in 1987 in the Northern Rivers region of NSW when a small group of enthusiastic farmers came together to discuss herb growing at a time when it was practically non-existent in Australia. With a growing interest in organic production, name changes and the program steadily evolving, OGA quickly developed into a body which audited not only herb growers, but farmers and processors Australia-wide.  In 2006, the OGA certification program merged with the Australian Organic Limited Group (formerly BFA). Since 1 July, 2007, Australian Organic Limited has offered OGA certification as a dedicated program servicing smaller, domestic only, producers.

The OGA program has played a very important role in Australia by providing small producers access to a low-cost certification service and we recognize that our small producers, have been dedicated and committed to providing consumers with confidence about the honesty and integrity of the products they sell and welcomed scrutiny of their claims by a highly-reputable certification organisation. The program itself has not changed or adapted for many years, however, with the rapid expansion of the certified organic industry, we want to ensure we are providing all our clients with the best possible certification program.

On 24 September, 2015, a letter was circulated to all OGA clients requesting feedback on improving the OGA program. Thank you to all who provided feedback.

After considerable discussion and exhausting all avenues, the review has been finalised and the results determined. The review determined three major flaws associated with the OGA program:

  • The OGA program does not conform with the National Standard as physical audits are not conducted each year;
  • The OGA domestic only program provides significant risk to the export supply chain; and
  • The ongoing costs associated with the OGA program are unsustainable.

Due to the limitations of the OGA program, it is no longer viable to continue with the OGA small producer program after 30 June, 2018. In order to allow the opportunity to make changes to business plans, we are providing significant notification of closure of the program, as well as options available to our valued OGA clients to ensure their best interests are maintained.

We encourage all our our small producers to contact Janine Heinemann on (07) 3350 5706 or via email, as she has been entrusted to assist with the cessation of the program and to provide any support you may require at this time, including transitioning to the ACO certification program.

ACO Service Desk Important Info

service-desk-clients-portal-for-blogClients please be advised that as of 1 January, 2017, all approval requests must be forwarded via service desk. Please ensure you use your client portal or alternatively, email For further information or assistance, please contact us via phone (07) 3350 5706.

Welcome to our new clients – December quarter

ACO-logo-SMALL2 (video)Australian Certified Organic would like to welcome our most recent clients who have received ACO certification:


Mansfields Pty Ltd

Alchemy Agencies Pty Ltd

Paradise Floras Pty Ltd

DW & CE Paterson

FertPro Manufacturing Pty Ltd

Lindsay Grazing Pty Ltd  ATF Lindsay Investment Trust

JAC Corporation

MWT Foods Pty Ltd

JM Schmidt & MA Schmidt

R & T Smith

Interested in Hort Connections 2017?


AUSVEG and PMA Australia-New Zealand Limited (PMA A-NZ) have united to deliver the joint industry conference and Trade Show, Hort Connections 2017, marking an historic partnership between two of horticulture’s leading organisations. Also joining forces with AUSVEG and PMA A-NZ will be Australian Organic, Irrigation Australia and Onions Australia. This list of prominent co-hosts ensures that there will be value for the entire supply chain.

Hort Connections will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre 15-17 May 2017, with the event catering to growers and whole-of-supply-chain companies and organisations alike. Combining the acclaimed National Horticulture Convention and PMA Fresh Connections, Hort Connections is set to become the most influential space for networking, education and business for the entire fresh produce industry.

Registrations for 2017 are now open! Attached here, please find a copy of the Trade Show Exhibitor Form for further details.

We’re hiring!

Australian Organic logo CMYK

Would you like to work for Australia’s largest and most recognised organic certification body?

We are seeking a dynamic person to join our team with a particular focus on customer service, to assist our General Manager of Client Services in the day-to-day provision of support to a large and diverse client base both across Australia and internationally.

The role involves the following:

  • Providing assistance to new clients throughout the certification application process (which will be taught to the candidate); and
  • Assisting the General Manager of Certification with their reporting to the Chief Executive Officer on operations, customer service and growth relevant to the role; and
  • Reviewing and providing responses to complaints from clients and customers, and investigating and following through concerns in relation to other certification bodies.

The successful candidate will have:

  • Completed high school education;
  • Experience in administration;
  • Experience in customer service, sales or client management;
  • Excellent communication and client-management skills;
  • Problem-solving capabilities;
  • Strong writing and communication skills;
  • Excellent attention to detail.

Salary 40-45k plus Super, dependent on experience and qualifications.

If you are interested in the position please contact us at or (07) 3350 5716.

Common Certification Corrective Action Requests – December

corrective-action-requestAre you compliant? Below are some of the most common certification corrective actions raised from audits.


CAR response documentation:

Please always forward CAR response documents to the ACO office, not the auditors. CAR responses can be emailed to


The use of Quaternary Sanitisers:

Quaternary sanitisers on food contact surfaces are not permitted unless you have a documented need to use the sanitiser. You will need to ensure that you have a procedure and records to show that you have removed all traces of the quaternary sanitiser (rinse with water and swab test) after seeking approval from ACO to use such a sanitiser.

See Appendix IV of the ACO Standard 2016.


Compost records:

If you make your own compost on farm, you need to keep records or ingredients, turning and temperature to ensure it is compliant with the standard.

See section 4.3 of the ACO Standard 2016 for details.


Gross Organic Sales are not available at audit:

Gross Organic Sales are not being made available at the audit, this figure is used to assign your Industry Development Levy (IDL) tier.

Australian Organic Annual Awards thank you!

PrintAustralian Organic would like to thank all our amazing clients who contributed to the success of our 3rd Australian Organic Annual Awards night, held in Melbourne on Thursday 10th November, 2016. The awards night, hosted by Olympian and Health and Wellness Consultant, Matt Welsh, was our most successful so far, with the event sold out.

To view the winners and awards night photo gallery, please visit this link:

Thank you to our gift bag contributors, who provided samples and flyers for our guests to take home:

Activated Nutrients, Angove Family Winemakers, Barambah Organics, Bellamy’s, Biodynamic Agriculture Australia, Bubs Australia, Cocolife, Cosmetic Manufacturers (Aust) Pty Ltd, Divinita, Dr Grow It All, Eclipse Organics, El Cress Agra Products, Four Leaf Milling, Gourmet Organic Herbs, Guano Australia Pty Ltd, Kunara Organic Market Place, Lawrie Co, Little Innoscents, Love Organic Living, Murray River Organics, New Directions, Nutrisoil, Pure & Green, Real Foods, Remedy Kombucha, Sanmik Natural Food Pty Ltd, Savi Organics, Shiralee Meats, The Linen Press, Thrive Traders, Tom Organic, Uni Organics, Wetfix Pty Ltd, Yates.

Thank you to our drinks/wine suppliers:

919 Wines, Angove Family Winemakers, Battle of Bosworth, Cape Jaffa Wines, Cullen Wines, Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Co., Gemtree Wines, Grosset Wines, Harris Organic Wines, J & J Wines, Kalleske Wines, Krinklewood Biodynamic Vineyard, Macquariedale Organic Wines, Mount Avoca Vineyards, Mountain Goat Beer Pty Ltd, Organic One Wines Pty Ltd, Prince Albert Vineyard, Remedy Kombucha, Restdown Wines, Salena Estate Wines, Small Fry Wines, Strumans Organic Beer Company, Yangarra Estate Vineyard.

Feedback re the gift bags and wine selection on the night has been fantastic, so please support these amazing businesses.

Thank you also to everyone who contributed and attended, and congratulations to all our finalists and winners on the night. 

We look forward to celebrating again next year for our 30th Anniversary in 2017!



Interested in a SA Grant for non-GM or additional certification?


Could a grant for non-GM or additional organic certification help your business grow and contribute to South Australia’s growing $18.2 billion dollar food and wine industry? 

In 2013, the market research company Organic Monitor estimated the US organic market to be worth $34.6 billion, Germany $10.8 billion, France $6.27 billion and China $3.42 billion (and growing fast) compared with $1.7 billion in Australia.  Would you like a grant to help you access big international markets by gaining organic certification to US, European, Japanese, Korean or Chinese organic standards?

Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) are currently taking applications for ‘Building South Australia’s Premium Food and Wine Credentials Grant Program – Non-GM and Organic’ (Round 3).  The applications close 5:00pm Wednesday, 9 November 2016.

As noted in PIRSA’s newsletter ‘Demand for non-genetically modified (non-GM) foods is expected to double by 2019, providing a huge economic boost for South Australia.’

‘The non-GM market value is growing more rapidly than the global food market value – with a value of $678 billion in 2014, which is expected to reach more than $1,234 billion by 2018. Our non-GM status is a significant selling point for South Australia’s food and wine international markets, and we want to ensure we continue to capitalise on this growth’

The PIRSA grants are dollar for dollar voluntary contribution grants, and their purpose is to offer ‘support in assisting food and beverage businesses and industry associations to help attain industry standard third-party certifications that will support achievement of either or both of the following aims: (a) accessing new or higher value markets for product, or (b) contributing to premium positioning and achieving superior prices for products.’   Two theme examples provided by PIRSA in their ‘Guidelines and Assessment Criteria September 2016’ document noted the example projects as ‘Achieving non-GM or organic standard third-party certification to meet the requirements of an identified new or potential customer(s)’ and ‘achieving non-GM or organic standard third-party certification on products to distinguish optimum qualities from other similar competitors.

Australian Certified Organic has recently released Australia’s only non-GMO certification standard and is offering non-GMO certification to all clients currently certified organic.  Please contact us on 07 3350 5706 to talk to one of our certification officers about our non-GMO certification and what it can offer you.

Please read the Guidelines and Assessment Criteria September 2016 (linked here) and Application Form (linked here), for more detailed information.  The PIRSA article on non-GM growth can be read in full at

For full details on the grant guidelines and any queries, please contact Marc Jones from Primary Industries and Regions SA on 08 8429 0497 or

AOAA 2016 Winners

AOAA 2016

The 3rd Annual Awards for Excellence hosted by Matt Welsh, Olympian and Health and Wellness Consultant, were held at the Collingwood Children’s Farm, Melbourne on Thursday, 10th November 2016.

Every business or producer who ventures down the certified organic path commits to going above and beyond what is expected of other businesses. Amongst the shortlisted, there were many who were deserving of these awards. Unfortunately there could be only one winner in each category. Generally the winners were exemplified by not only having a high quality product and a strong commitment to organics, but also by their outstanding commitment to community, staff, customers, suppliers and the environment. In other words all things that are part of an ethical and caring world.  It’s important that in recognising the winners that we also acknowledge all the organic growers and producers who work so hard to make our world a better place.

And the winners are ………..

Young Organic Leader

Bernadette Favis, Cocolife, QLD

This young organic leader has developed a range of exciting high quality organic coconut products that now have sales all over Australia. At the same time she encourages her customers to lead healthy lives with recipes and tips, as well as contributing 1% of her sales to environmental initiatives and through speaking engagements promotes organics and organic lifestyles. All packaging is minimised and recyclable.

The judges congratulate Bernadette on achieving so much in a relatively short time.

Export Market Leader

Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co, Qld, NSW

Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co. is one of the world’s largest organic meat exporters and they have worked hard and innovatively to have their brands accepted and selling well into 9 different countries. All certified organic meat is sourced from Australian family farms and labelled as such demonstrating transparency to overseas markets. The judges commended their strong partnerships with their organic producers.

 Farmer of the Year

Murray River Organics, NSW

Murray River Organics was chosen as farmer of the year because of their dedication to organics on a very large scale. Not only does their certified organic business convert distressed vineyards in the Sunraysia region to organic dried fruit resulting in more than 4,300 acres of organic farmland, but they also process and package their own fruit in organic facilities in Mildura and Dandenong. They are strongly committed to environmental sustainability but they also work towards improving the lives of people both locally and overseas through their social commitments.

Business of the Year

Eclipse Organics, NSW

Eclipse Organics, the winner of the Business of the Year fulfilled every criteria and more. From the involvement of customers and community in product and display development to the focus on the well-being of employees, the business’s enormous contribution to local community,  as well as to organics in their 215 certified organic products, Eclipse Organics richly deserved the award.

Retailer of the Year

Garden Organics, Vic

Despite many strong contenders the judges found it hard to go past this certified organic retailer, Garden Organics. Not only do they sell only certified organic fresh products but their business has been certified for 14 years. Their commitment to the Organic Industry is very strong, as is their care and respect for their staff, suppliers, customers and their local community. They donate surplus food, raise money for important not-for-profits as well as donating produce to local groups and more.

Best Certified Product of the Year, Beverage

Daylesford and Hepburn Mineral Springs Co. Organics range, Vic

The Daylesford and Hepburn Mineral Springs Co. stood out because of a very real commitment to innovation and strong environmental practices, in both the production of their organic drinks as well as their sustainable packaging. Judges also noted their  involvement in the local community and commitment to sustainable business models.

Best Certified Product of the Year, Cosmetic

Savi, Soothe – All skin types, Savi Organics, WA

Savi Australia achieved the award for best cosmetic for their endeavours in using organic Australian products wherever possible as well as their commitment to research and constant striving to make their products the best they can be. Their commitment to organics is seen in their diligence in vetting all their suppliers to ensure only high quality and truly certified organic and environmentally friendly ingredients are used. The judges also noted the way the local community was involved trialling and testing product.

Best Certified Product of the Year, Food

Barambah Organics Pure Cream and Lactose Free Milk, Barambah Organics, Qld

Barambah Organics stood out not just for its excellent product but also for its commitment to service, to their customers, staff, suppliers and the wider community. Particularly in their regular contributions to community events and individuals in need of help. The judges also noted recognition of their exemplary food safety standards. Their commitment to organics is displayed by their longevity as well as the range and quality of organic products produced and distributed all over Australia.

Best Certified Product of the Year, Non Food Item

Nutrisoil LS, Nutrisoil Pty Ltd, Vic

The judges were impressed by the long term dedication of Nutrisoil to their product and absolute commitment to producing healthy, living soils, as well as to the organic industry. They were early adopters of internet technology to advertise their product and set up their business to directly benefit farmers and provide knowledge about how their product is produced, as well as open days, monthly Biological Farming Roundtables and a new business based on Soil Restoration Farming. It is not just about the product but about the future of farming as a whole and being part of an industry that delivers nutrient rich food.

Hall of Fame 2016

Howard Rubin

This years’ Hall of Fame recipient, Howard Rubin, has dedicated the past 30 years towards the establishment and development of the Australian organic industry. Upon arriving in Australia in 1987, Howard founded the Organic Herb Growers of Australia. This association later became known as the Organic Growers of Australia (OGA Certified). OGA were one of the original certification agencies to be formed in Australia. Howard served as its president for 14 years. 

Over the years, Howard met with several Ministers and Members of Parliament to encourage them to embrace organics. One such meeting with the NSW Minister for Agriculture, Howard introduced the concept of farmers having to identify what chemicals were used in the crops production. This was flatly refused and thus the concept of organic certification was introduced. Congratulations Howard!

Roger Pitt

Our second inductee into the Hall of Fame for 2016 is Roger Pitt, co-owner and former Executive Director of Kadac for 26 years. His role has centred on developing new opportunities and finding new products and commodities for the business within Australia and overseas.  

Roger has travelled extensively over the past 20 years to build direct relationships with farmers and brand owners, and today has a wide global network in the organic industry. From Bolivian organic quinoa farmers to cacao growers and organic chocolate producers in Peru, Roger is passionate about growing the organic industry and actively connects people throughout the supply chain. Congratulations Roger!

Chairman’s Award 2016

Andrew Cowan, Benalla Mushrooms

“I grow certified organic mushrooms, it’s not a job, it’s a life.”

Becoming certified just over 20 years ago, Benalla Mushrooms wanted to give consumers the option of being able to buy organic mushrooms, as there was no one else growing this certified organic product in the marketplace.

Andrew and his father started growing mushrooms over 25 years ago and are the first certified organic commercial mushroom farm in Australia, and the longest lasting.  Andrew receives numerous phone calls from people all over Australia, who are happy to be able to purchase certified organic mushrooms, often hearing from mums asking the difference between conventional and organic. Growing mushrooms organically is a constant challenge and keeps him thinking and on his toes, however, he is always keen and willing to assist anyone interested in the mushroom business. Andrew’s integrity and commitment to the Australian organic industry is second to none and he loves promoting certified organic at every opportunity. Congratulations Andrew!

Australian Organic Reader’s Choice Product of the Year 2016

Seasol International Pty Ltd

Australian Organic’s Annual Awards for Excellence were created to celebrate and showcase the year’s most outstanding Australian Certified Organic products, businesses and individuals. This year, as a media partner with Australian Organic – owner of Australia’s largest organic certification body – ABC Organic Gardener hosted the Australian Organic Reader’s Choice Product* of the Year Award.

Pioneers of the seaweed category, Seasol have won the Australian Organic Reader’s Choice Product of the year with their Seasol Concentrate! Congratulations Seasol!





For Sale: Chickpeas

“ CHICKPEAS” – Desi type, organic USDA, available Nov/Dec, Central Queensland.

Please contact mobile: 0419 657 245.


AOAA 2016 Finalists



Young Organic Leader (30 and Under)

Export Market Leader

Farmer of the Year

Business of the Year

Retailer of the Year

Best Certified Organic Product of the Year (Beverage)

Best Certified Organic Product of the Year (Cosmetic)

Best Certified Organic Product of the Year (Food)

 Best Certified Organic Product of the Year (Non Food Item)

Hall of Fame and Chairman’s Awards are to be announced at the AGM dinner and awards presentation in Melbourne on Thursday, 10 November, 2016. Hope to see you there!

Please click to view: Slideshow of Awards Finalists presented in Sydney 6/10/2016

Saturday, 24th September – Wray Organic AOAM Cleveland Event – Food & Wine Festival!

AOAM logo

To celebrate Australian Organic Awareness Month, Wray Organic Cleveland Store are holding a Food and Wine Festival this Saturday, 24th September from 10am – 2pm.

Join Marion, Scott and the team celebrating their 4th Birthday and taste delicious certified organic and preservative free wines such as:

  • Tamburlaine Wines
  • Angove Wines
  • Spring Seed Wines
  • Blind Tiger Gin
  • Mountain Goat Steam Ale

Plus certified organic cheese, olives, chips, crackers and chocolate!

Kids activities and much, much more!

With every $100 purchase, receive an organic sample bag of goodies (while stocks last)!

Address: Wray Organic, Ross Crt Bloomfield Street, Cleveland

Phone: (07) 3488 2288

Shirohie Millet for sale!

Shirohie Millet  for sale. Cleaned and graded into 25kg bags. Certified ACO 10475

Finley area

Ph  0358826204

Mob 0428826204

Launch of Australia’s First Globally Recognised Non-GMO Certification

Non GMO logoAt 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.

Certified operators must purchase from certified organic suppliers

Ship for exportsThe following rule impacts all certified operators regardless of whether they plan to sell domestically or internationally, as they do not have control as to where their product may end up.

The Rule:
Certified operators must purchase from CERTIFIED ORGANIC SUPPLIERS only. This means that the sales order/ purchase invoice/ transaction documents/ POC/ Shipping documents/BOL/ etc must all be constant and refer to operations (seller and purchaser) which are certified. Even if the product is shipped directly from certified supplier to organic purchaser via third party trader who issued the invoice, the organic chain of supply must be maintained, the trader must be certified.

Consequences: Certified operators purchasing via non certified suppliers/ traders/ importers will have to recall their product if making ‘certified organic’ claims.

You can see the full notice on DOA website.

Please ensure your procurement staff are trained and understand the above requirement.

If you have any questions about the above, please feel free to contact the certification team.

ACO Testing in the Spotlight

michael auditing low resACO conducts sampling of both soil and certified products during onsite inspections, as well as the marketplace. This testing looks at organochlorides, organophosphates, triazines, synthetic herbicides & fungicides and heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, chromium and mercury. The aims of these tests are to ensure that the organic certification principles are being adhered to and add another layer of third party verification for the consumer that the products they are purchasing are indeed certified organic.

ACO will also be focusing product testing on imported products and packaging contamination to ensure products coming from overseas are meeting Australian Certified Organic requirements.

Opportunity to Join Authenticateit

Authenticate It

ACO clients are currently being awarded the opportunity to join Authenticateit!

The first of its kind, Authenticateit is a complete brand and consumer protection platform, designed to track, trace and deter counterfeits and parallel importing, while increasing consumer confidence and boosting product sales. This is a free phone app which consumers can use to scan organic products to check if they are certified organic.

Authenticateit app will assist in protecting our “bud” logo as well as help educate consumers about which products are certified organic. By joining this program, ACO clients will have the opportunity to develop their own product description which consumers will see on the app. To find out more information on how to join, please view the product flyer here.

USDA (NOP) announces the publication of the final rule associated with the 2016 Sunset Review


The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) announces the publication of the final rule associated with the 2016 Sunset Review. The final rule removes five substances from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). As the substances are being removed, they will no longer be allowed in organic production or handling after September 12, 2016.

2016 Sunset Review Final Rule  
The National List identifies the substances that may be used in organic crop and livestock production. The Sunset Review is the process the NOSB follows to confirm that every substance on the National List continues to meet all evaluation criteria per the Organic Foods Production Act.

As recommended by the NOSB, following their 2016 Sunset review at the April 2015 NOSB meeting, the following five substances are to be removed from the National list:

  • egg white lysozyme;
  • cyclohexylamine;
  • diethylaminoethanol;
  • octadecylamine; and
  • tetrasodium pyrophosphate.

After considering public comments and supporting documents, the NOSB determined that the substances are no longer necessary or essential for organic handling since substances and practices exist that provide alternatives to all five substances that are more compatible with organic production and handling.

The rule is effective on September 12, 2016, the current sunset date of the substances. Organic products already in stream of commerce prior to September 12, 2016 (i.e., those manufactured, in storage, or on shelves, labeled, and ready for shipment), can still be sold as organic after the September 12, 2016, effective date. Organic products manufactured on or after September 12, 2016, need to comply with the new requirements.

For more information, see the Federal Register Notice.

Welcome to our new clients for the September quarter


Australian Certified Organic welcome our new clients:

99th Monkey

ABC Filling Pty Ltd

Allamburra Organics


Auscode Worldwide Limited

Avonleigh Group

Bingil Bay Beef Pty Ltd

Blue and Yellow Group Pty Ltd

Boothulla Cattle Company Pty Ltd

Chittering 641 Organic Farm

CJ Armstrong & KJ McGowan

Epoc Foods Pty Ltd

Freeway Collective Pty Ltd

Fruitlink Pty Ltd


Future Generation Foods

Hupco Pte Ltd

Ingredient Box Pty Ltd

JB & BL Keller

Konstantinova Olga

Kuddly Koala Organics


Limerick Farming

Longkeeper Produce Pty Ltd

Malanda Meat Co

Mama Nature 2 Pty Ltd

Mount Tamborine Organic Products

Palarang Partnership

Pharm Organics Pty Ltd

Point to Point Organic Herb and Berry Farm

Rasto Organic Food Pty Ltd

Rawthentic Food Ltd

San Elk

Sunshine Top Pty Ltd

Umtali Organics

Yellow Gully Produce Pty Ltd

Organic Beef Farm for Sale – Gippsland (Vic) 

2016-07-25_16.19.24 Chris Organic Farm for SaleWell established organic beef farm on a sealed road, close to a major regional centre with schools, hospitals and a university nearby.

  • 143 acres (57 ha) divided into 25 paddocks.
  • All the infrastructure is done with extensive shelter-belts in all paddocks.
  • Gently sloping land with clay loam soils.
  • Currently running vealers at a cow and calf per hectare.
  • Has been run by current owner whilst working full time.
  • Can be subdivided (STCA).
  • Stunning 4 bedroom home with study, ensuite and W.I.R in master bedroom, two large living areas. Two car carport U.R.L. Private spa and large el fresco area. House has town as well as tank water.
  • School bus stops at door.
  • Extensive orchard and vege garden.
  • 4 bay machinery shed as well as 2 hay sheds.
  • Owned for the last 21 years by a qualified agronomist.
  • Farmed organically for 20 years. Certified for 10 years.
  • Long history of soil testing and paddock renovation.
  • Town water to all paddocks with 4 dams as well.
  • Laneway leads to excellent yards with Norton crush.
  • Tuition available to enable continued certification.
  • Will consider selling W.I.W.O.

For further details please phone the owner, Chris, on 0408 924899


West Coast Client Visits in June

Blackwood Valley Beef - Cattle dog
Blackwood Valley Beef – Cattle dog with tag

This past June, Board Director, Kim Morgan and Australian Organic staff member Janine Heinemann were fortunate to visit some of our amazing clients (and members) on the West Coast of Australia. It was a whirlwind trip, but Kim and Janine managed to visit several clients on their journey, sometimes driving around WA’s remote parts without navigation nor reception and even having to chase emus from the road!

Diary of Kim and Janine’s WA adventures:

After our arrival at Perth Airport (Sunday, 19th June), our first stop after a long journey was Margaret River and a brief visit to Stella Bella’s cellar door. It was wonderful to chat and hear all about Margaret River from Grace who was a wealth of knowledge on the area. We were able to sample some of their wines and find out a bit more about Stella Bella Wines during this quick stop.

Day two (Monday, 20th June) was full of adventure as we travelled all around the Margaret River. It was lovely to meet and chat with Lena (Savi Organics), Lucinda and Laryssa (Olio Bello), Vanya (Cullen Wines), Ben and Naomi (Blind Corner) and Lara and Jamie (Burnside Organic Farm) in person. On this day (and night) trip we heard all about the wonderful farms, new products, issues, expectations and insights and how their operations work. Lena from Savi Organics showed us her facility and we chatted about how she employs members of the local community to finish some of her products. We sampled beautiful coffee, drove around the property and viewed the olive oil making facilities at Olio Bello. We enjoyed an amazing lunch with Vanya, explored the spiral biodynamic garden with Matt and were even lucky enough to get to see Cullen Wines preparations for the Winter Solstice. Ben showed us his barrel storage areas at Blind Corner and we are excited to see his first organic vintages in the not too distant future. While visiting Ben and Naomi, we even managed to squeeze in a visit with a new client who we look forward to welcoming to the ACO Group! Our final visit for the day was with Lara and Jamie at Burnside Organic Farm where we discussed issues they are facing and the OGA farming program which is currently under review. We had discussions on just about every topic! Thank you to everyone who gave us directions to the beach, but our days were just too full to fit in a beach visit – hopefully next time!

The longest leg of the journey, Day 3 (Tuesday, 21st June), was from Margaret River to Boyup Brook, then onto Frankland River and returning to Perth. Holy cow, what an adventure! We headed off early for our first stop of the day visiting Warren and Lori at Blackwood Valley Beef. Unfortunately emus on the road slowed us down, or freaked us out!, so we arrived a little later than planned. At the end of a waterlogged, clay road was a beautiful large and lush organic farm! After a great chat and plenty of feedback, as well as being supplied by Lori with some goodies, we continued our journey to Frankland River. It was a little daunting as there was no reception for our phones and our navigation refused to work; it really confused matters when we noticed this road sign! We were literally sitting there looking ahead and to the right, ready to toss a coin.Which way to Frankland River Luckily, I think, we chose the shortest route (Frankland River 91), which took close to an hour.

When we finally arrived at Frankland Estate, we were greeted by Hunter, Steph and Elizabeth (thanks Steph for your concern about our safety due to our late arrival!). We enjoyed a lovely late lunch and it was wonderful to hear they all sit down together, European style, every day and eat lunch as a team. After our enjoyable afternoon talking exports, newsletters and all things organic ended, we quickly jumped back in the car and headed back towards the highway before it got too dark as kangaroos are a problem at night on the WA freeways.

After a few more hours on the road, it was great to finally get my first ever glimpse of the night view of the beautiful city of Perth!

Day Three (Wednesday, 22nd June), was my last day in beautiful WA. We left our hotel for the first stop of the day, Dimattina Coffee. We were happy to meet Simon and Toni in their beautiful coffee shop, with roasting facilities in the rear. We enjoyed a lovely brew and talked about their new organic coffee, membership and marketing.

We eventually said goodbye to Dimattina, and headed towards the airport and our next visit with Healthy Valley Organics. It was lovely to meet up with Jill and John who showed us around their great wholesale business. We talked about the shortage of supply of fresh fruit and vegetables over in WA and the need for networking was discussed by just about all our clients. We left Healthy Valley Organics with a bag of their new nut products and me heading back to the Perth airport. The nuts were enjoyed by all staff back at ACO in Brisbane the next day.

As I headed off to the airport, Kim continued on with her visits, meeting up with one our our newer clients, Alex, from La Kult. They enjoyed a great meeting and were able to discuss international business.

Day Four (Thursday, 23rd June), Kim attended meetings with the WA Government and was able to speak about issues that had been raised by the WA clients over the last couple of days.

Thank you to all of our wonderful clients for your hospitality, honesty and time during our quick trip. It was an absolute pleasure. We look forward to meeting other WA clients on future trips to the West Coast! Please take the time to view some of our WA photos below.

Eating Clean and Green!

Eating Clean logo

Georgia Bamber from Bare Bunny, is starting out on an exciting new venture to spread the word about the amazing benefits of eating a plant based diet with her new course Eating Clean and Green.  We asked her to tell us a little bit about plant based eating and her plans.

What is a plant based diet?

A plant based diet is one that focuses on whole plant foods like fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts and aims to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy.  The emphasis is definitely on fresh, whole, minimally processed, and preferably organic foods.

What’s so good about a plant based diet?

A plant-based diet is a big WIN for so many reasons.  It is hands down the healthiest diet that we can eat.   It has been proven to reverse heart disease and type-2 diabetes and also to help prevent other chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke, hypertension and autoimmune diseases, just to name a few.  Plant based eaters also tend to weigh less and live longer too.

Plant based eating is also the kindest to our planet.  Eating a plant based diet uses 1/18th of the land, 1/13th of the water 1/11th of the oil and emits 50% less carbon dioxide than a more traditional omnivorous diet.  Eating plant is the biggest individual contribution anyone can make towards mitigating climate change and maintaining a sustainable healthy environment.

The animals think it is a pretty good deal too!

Why do you think more people aren’t eating plant based?

I think in the most part it is simply because most people are unaware of the incredible health benefits of eating a plant based diet.  There is a lot of mixed messaging in the media and people find it all a bit confusing.  That being said plant based eating is currently one of the fastest growing food trends and more people are getting on board with vegan and plant based eating all the time.  This is great news for the health of our population and the planet.

What is the aim of your course?

Plant based eating can seem a bit daunting at first.  People are not sure what to eat, where to buy or how to prepare plant based foods.  They are worried about what friends and family might think and that it might make life a bit tricky.  So I created my course to not only help educate people about plant based eating, but also to show them how easy and incredibly tasty it is to eat more plant foods. The course is packed full of practical information, helpful tips, recipes and more.  For anyone who would like to know more about plant based eating or is toying with the idea of making the change, this is the course for them.

What is your top tip for our readers?

That is simple… eat more fruit and veg (and organic whenever possible).  An easy way to do this is to keep a bowl of fruit on your desk or somewhere handy, and grab a piece whenever you are hungry.  Green smoothies are another excellent way to get in more veg.  I have one every day.

To learn more about Georgia’s new venture you can find her at  and for information about the course .

Georgia would also be interested in working with any ACO businesses that have an interest in spreading the message about the benefits of healthy, organic plant strong diets.  Please get in touch at

Bare Bunny pic

Land for Sale: Irrabina certified organic property

Irrabina Front gate‘Irrabina’ is a 200 acre organically certified farm at 1,000 metres on the Gwydir River at the foot of Mt Yarrowyck (aboriginal paintings) next to Browns’ Mountain (koalas) in the New England Region of New South Wales, Australia breeding traditional Galloway cattle based on Scottish bloodlines.

Visit the website for further information on the property details with photos and a movie of the house.

Click on the link to view the Slideshow of the property.

Contact Steve Gapes
(02) 6775 5546
0428 755 546

Practical help for Queensland farmers to address labour issues

Qld Agricultur Workforce Network

By Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF)

Accessing a secure supply of local workers has long been an issue for farmers. Now, a new network of agriculture workforce officers across Queensland is working with farmers in all sectors to find labour solutions to help them grow their businesses.

A positive example of QAWN’s work in the region is “The Sweetest Job” campaign for strawberry growers in the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions in Queensland (see, which has seen more than 1400 local jobseekers register for harvest work in the strawberry industry since it began at the end of May.

The Sweetest Job campaign is a fantastic example of what can be done to support farmers to find the workers they need. QAWN is one of The Sweetest Job campaign’s collaborating partners, together with Sunshine Coast Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council, Regional Development Australia – Moreton Bay, Food and Agribusiness Network and the Queensland Strawberries Association.

The initiative is all about improving the image of farm employment and getting the message out that there are a wide variety of great employment options on farms and across the agribusiness supply chain. QAWN can assist industry attract suitable workers by raising jobseekers’ awareness about what qualifications and skill sets would help make them more job ready and employable.

If farmers are looking to upskill their existing workers, QAWN officers can assist with information about available funding and training courses.

QAWN can assist any agriculture sector and are happy to help, whether it is by providing  information on available employment options and wage subsidies, or connecting employers with local training providers and providing an update on what funding opportunities are available to upskill their workers.

Agribusiness employers are encouraged to explore what labour options are available and QAWN Officers can assist in connecting you to funded training in your region.

Contact your local QAWN officers:

: Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson (centre) with QAWN members: L-R Leanne Kruss, Janne Dipple, Michelle Templin, Kylie Jackson, Stephanie Denman, Janice Nelson and Bianca Fullarton
Pictured: Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson (centre) with QAWN members: L-R Leanne Kruss, Janne Dipple, Michelle Templin, Kylie Jackson, Stephanie Denman, Janice Nelson and Bianca Fullarton

In the Spotlight: Allowed Input company, Guano Australia

Products for GuanoOver the past 25 years, Guano Australia has grown from strength to strength to become a national fertiliser company. John Kismet Jashar commenced operations for Guano Australia Pty Ltd in the early 90s, from Shepparton Victoria. Today the company services all forms of the Australian horticulture, dairy and broadacre markets.

John Kismet Jashar

The Guano CEO / Director, John Kismet Jashar, was raised on his family’s orchards and has spent most of his life in agriculture and horticulture, as well as food and beverage production. This has provided John with invaluable experience in marketing and distribution, together with first hand experience of the shipping and transport industries. John spent 5 years prior to 1994 travelling throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the USA, researching business opportunities within the Organic Sustainable food and agriculture industries.

John’s research and studies proved that worldwide demand for chemical free, organic products is increasing, underpinning the future of sustainable agriculture.

Upon securing the exclusive long term product supply right for the Australian marketplace, the decision was taken to proceed with the launch of Madura Guano Gold Kwik-Start, which is produced according to our specific required technical standards to suit Guano Australia’s requirements and since then our Organic product range has grown to further products to suit most applications. Guano Australia Pty Ltd is 100% owned by Kismet International Pty Ltd, and as such is truly 100% Australian owned.

Direct support is provided to farmers and growers by way of comprehensive soil and tissue testing, backed up with a full package of agronomy advisory services.

“The key benefits of organic-based fertilisers are that they contain a readily available nutrient supply; they result in better nutrient utilisation; they stimulate soil micro-organisms, they reduce nutrient losses into the environment; they buffer the acidifying effect due to compost; they increase Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) of soils, and they contain naturally chelated trace elements within humus”, says Paul Baguely, PG Ag Consulting.

Guano Australia operates from its Australian Head Office based in Buderim, Queensland, from modern well equipped facilities and is strategically posed to lead the organic fertiliser industry well into the 21st century and beyond.

Mr Jashar, not forgetting the history that Guano Australia was built on, has now teamed up with local institution WB HUNTER GROUP – to service the entire Goulburn Valley region and Southern NSW/Riverina.

The Hunter and Jashar names are synonymous in the Goulburn Valley region, and this new arrangement will bode well to effectively service the target markets.

Follow GUANO GOLD-SPLIT P, on You Tube, Facebook, and in the following Agri Business papers:- The Land,  Stock & Land,  Qld Country Life,  Farm Weekly,  Stock Journal,  North Qld Register,  Good Fruit & Vegetables,  The Shepparton News-Country News.

To read more about Guano:

Country News

Country News 2

Article P1

Article P2

For all technical support and product
supplies call:

John K. Jashar at Guano Australia 0412 474 049


Graeme Talarico at WB Hunter Group
on 0427 215 744

Australian Organic Awareness Month is back…and we are looking for sponsors.

AOAM logoIt’s back!! Australian Organic Awareness Month is on again throughout September and this year it is set to bigger, better and more exciting than ever.

But time is running out – register your interest to be a sponsor NOW!

Last year we reached a massive national audience across 300+ media titles. This year we expect to make an even bigger impact!

We are thrilled to be announcing that for the 2016 campaign we have partnered with national titles ABC Organic Gardener and Nature and Health Magazine, both of which will dedicate their September issues to Australian Organic Awareness Month with editorial, advertorial and special advertising rates all just for our sponsors.

We are also increasing social media opportunities for our sponsors with even more dedicated AOAM competitions, promotional posts, boosting opportunities and tagging available.

In addition, SeaFM and Grand Broadcasters are back on board offering live call outs and sampling opportunities across the month for our sponsors and or course our annual media ‘gift bag’ opportunities will be available.

Publicity opportunities are being secured daily so don’t miss out on being part of this fantastic campaign – now in its third year!!

Celebrate Australian Organic Awareness Month with us – become a sponsor now!


Contact Joanne Barber CMO of AOAM 2016 on  0439 332 650 or (07) 3350 5706

For Sale: Certified Organic Potato Seed

Certified organic potato seed $2 per kg.

Varieties include: Sebago, Dutch Cream, Nicola, Desiree, Royal Blue, Spunta, King Edward and Russet Burbank. Also Kipfler at $3 per kg.

Available from:  J.S.Holmes & Co, Guyra NSW

Phone:  Ian on 0427 792726.

Labelling Guide and Logo updates

ACO has created a labelling guide to assist clients to better understand the labelling requirements related to logo use and organic standards.  The full labelling guide can be found here.

Earlier in May this year ACO changed the requirements for the use of the “Australian Certified Organic” logo.  The Federal Government has recently announced changes to Country of Origin labelling laws, which will commence operation on 1 July 2016.  Following this, and in consultation with clients, retailers (big and small), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and consumers, we have made the decision to make changes to our own labelling regime.

To comply with these new laws, from 1 July the current “Australian Certified Organic” logo will only be available for use on products that meet the Federal Government’s new “Australian” standard.  That is, a product must be 100% Australian; this means grown, produced and packed in Australia with no aspect of its composition, ingredients or processing coming from or taking place outside of Australia.

For all other certified products that do not meet these criteria, we have developed a new logo for use:

ACO Imported product logoMore information

More information about the upcoming changes can be found in the Federal Government’s communique, located here:

For a copy of the new logo, please contact the ACO office by telephone on 07 3350 5706 or email

What’s in Season 2016

Australian Organic are proud to showcase some of our amazing ACO farmers for our most popular social media post, What’s in Season.

What’s in Season will be updated each month throughout 2016!

To be featured, please contact Janine Heinemann on (07) 3350 5706

20160101_january-whats-in-season 20160201_february-whats-in-season 20160301_march-whats-in-season 20160401_april-whats-in-season 20160501_may-whats-in-season 20160601_june-whats-in-season 20160701_july-whats-in-season 20160801_august-whats-in-season 20160901_september-whats-in-season 20161001_october-whats-in-season 20161101_november-whats-in-season


Welcome to our new clients for the June quarter


Australian Certified Organic welcome our new clients:

Acland Trading Pty Ltd

Australian Tea Masters Association Pty Ltd


Coconut Brothers

Coconut Magic

Customee Pty Ltd

Dairy Best Victoria

Essence Group Pty Ltd

G S Packaging Pty Ltd

Gelpro Australia Pty Ltd

Green Fingers Potting Mix

Medaldale Pty Ltd

Messor Ingredients Pty Ltd

Natural Ingredients Pty Ltd

Nutrition Darling

O for Organic

Olssons Industries

Penfold’s Winery and Packaging Centre

Prana Organics

Sol Ghee Byron Bay

Stolen Recipe Pty Ltd

Subway Meats

Sunup Pty Ltd

The Ginger People Pty Ltd

Trandos Farms

Treasure Hive Honey Pty Ltd

Wilson River Pecans Pty Ltd

Common Certification Corrective Action Requests

michael auditing low resAre you compliant? These are some of the most common certification corrective actions raised from audits.

Most Common CAR’s:

1. Not having ACO listed as a contact in your product recall procedure.

(a) Under section 7.13 of the Certification Agreement and section 3.4.2 of the Australian Certified Organic Standard 2013, in the event of an organic product recall you must notify Australian Certified Organic (ACO) immediately and in writing of the recall. In order to show compliance, ACO should be listed in your product recall procedure as a contact.

2. Not completing a Livestock Inventory or the Livestock Inventory not reconciling.

(a) For USDA NOP livestock producers, under section 205.406 of Part 205, National Organic Program it is important to complete and make available to both the ACO office and your auditor a Livestock Inventory every year before your audit.

(b) Livestock inventory looks at your previous year livestock numbers, your stock increases (births or purchases) and stock decreases (sales, deaths, agistment offsite).

(c) The inventory should reconcile with the current stock numbers on your property.

(d) Livestock inventory looks at your non-organic, ACO only and ACO/USDA NOP certified cattle. If an animal was to lose certification status, this should be reflected in the inventory.

(e) Livestock inventories allow ACO to ensure that only certified livestock are being sold as certified organic.

3. Not obtaining Transaction Certificates for imported products.

(a) As per section 6.1.3 of the National Standard for Organic & Bio-Dynamic Produce and section 3.4.3 of the Australian Certified organic Standard 2013, if you import certified organic products, every shipment must be accompanied by a Transaction Certificate in order to verify the products are certified organic.

(b) Transaction certificates are issued by your suppliers’ Certification Body for every shipment.

Expressions of Interest

Nature PacificNature Pacific, based on the Gold Coast, are currently looking for Australian Certified Organic farmers who are growing or developing unique foods or crops that are in keeping with their philosophy.  Their Gold Coast state of the art facility is a certified organic processor  with ACO; USDA; EU and MAFRA and include Kosher Australia and HACCP Food Standards certification.

Nature Pacific have 12 years’ experience in working with farmers in collaboration to bring raw materials to a commercial level. They currently have extensive distribution throughout Australia and overseas markets in the natural organic health industry, specialising in organic, gluten, vegan, paleo and dairy free but are open to expanding their current ranges to include all Australian content.

For more information on Nature Pacific and the current product range manufactured, please visit their website at or contact Melissa Edgar, Sales & Market Manager on 07 5575 9005.

Please see their research media release here.

In the Spotlight : Therese Kerr, Australian Organic Industry Leadership Award Winner 2015

Therese1optWhat makes a Leader? We talk to Therese Kerr, Australian Organic Industry Leadership Award winner for 2015 to find out.

Tell us about yourself….

After having had tumours in my spleen in 2001 and having had my spleen removed in 2002, and also after having had endometriosis so bad that it prevented me from having four children that I always dreamed of, I became intrigued as to what I had done to my body to cause my body to react that way.

Since 2001 I have been researching health and wellness and I take a holistic approach to health as I believe you can’t have true health if there is an imbalance in any aspect of your life.

I have had, and continue to have, the pleasure of working with some incredible medical doctors, professors and researchers, all of whom have contributed considerably to the knowledge I have obtained on well-being. Although I take a holistic approach to health, I focus predominantly on the area of toxicity within the body from the use of everyday skin, hair, beauty and personal care items. Why? Because this is an area, like myself for many years prior to having had tumours in my spleen, that few people understand the ramifications of.

Our world was once organic. Sadly, now it has to be labelled certified organic for it to be good for us. Who I am is an advocate for change, an advocate for us returning to a world that is clean, free from toxins and free from the alarming rate of illness we currently find ourselves in.

What…do you do?

I lead by example, dedicated to health and wellness and to helping educate others on the subject of chemical toxicity in particular and the impact of that on our, our children’s and the planet’s health. In Australia, compared to other countries around the world, our awareness on this subject is limited.

Currently in Australia, cosmetics (broadly defined as skin, hair, beauty, personal, baby, men’s, candles – basically any product that you find on the cosmetics floor of a department store) contain chemicals that have mostly never been tested for safety and that are used in cosmetics on the basis they are safe until proven otherwise. There is no pre-market or health testing done on any product prior to it being released onto the Australian market so the rules in relation to the manufacturing of cosmetics, in my opinion and in the opinion of many health professionals, needs to change.

I don’t just educate on what isn’t in our certified organic products; we produce the highest quality ACO (Australian Certified Organic) products that contain extremely high levels of antioxidants and nutrient-rich ingredients that support, not hinder the body.

We understand that knowing makes no difference. People can be educated on this subject but unless they take action and have the ability to take action and purchase healthier alternatives then the knowledge is useless, hence why we not only educate, but provide healthy solutions by way of the Divine Company certified organic products.


Where…are you located?

The Divine Company are an Australian-based company. We manufacture in Australia, we are Australian-owned and operated with our warehouse in Tweed Heads.

Our commitment is to always be Australian owned and operated and to only manufacture in Australia to provide the world with the most beautiful and effective certified organic products. We are perfectionists and love what we do and efficacy of products is vital to developing the certified organic industry as people will only purchase products that actually work and ours certainly do.

Why…did you become certified?

Our commitment to ourselves, our planet and to others is to provide the highest quality certified organic products at all times so that we can assist in transforming the health of people and our planet.  We create products where the efficacy of our products exceeds any conventional product.  Our products are free from synthetic chemicals, are free from GMO ingredients, are from nature as only nature intended. All of the ingredients are listed on the label, sourced sustainably (God knows we need that for our planet), are cruelty free, and have full traceability from earth to store.

Sadly under the current laws in Australia, a company can claim something is “organic” if it has one natural ingredient, yet it can contain literally hundreds of chemicals and still be classed as “organic”. Certification takes out the guess work for people but the key is not to be fooled by companies showcasing their own company-made so-called organic logos.  To be truly certified organic, the product must contain a registered logo of a reputable and recognised certification body. Australian Certified Organic is, in my opinion, the most stringent and diligent certification body in Australia and fast becoming recognized as that around the world.  We are extremely blessed in this country to have such a reputable and highly acclaimed organisation who are proactive in bringing about change in the labelling laws and ensuring consumers get what they pay for when it comes to certified organic in all aspects.

What do you love most about your business?

Making a difference to others. Having the grace of people’s listening. Being a perfectionist and creating products that have incredible efficacy far superior (and our testimonials are showcasing our product efficacy) to conventional,  as we formulate to the highest standard possible and seeing the difference our products make to people’s lives. We have received the most heart-warming testimonials showcasing incredible results with people’s skin. Amazing results with eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea and in making people feel healthy and well.

Congratulations, you were awarded the 2015 Australian Organic Industry Leadership Award for all the tireless work you do for the organic industry. Could you please let us know what you have been doing and how you feel your work is contributing to promoting certified organic in Australia and overseas?

All of the above, as I live and breathe certified organic in every aspect of my life.  Why do I do this? Because I understand that every choice I make is either moving me away from or moving me toward health so why would I take the risk of eating or putting something on my body that is not healthy for me.

I will continue to lead the way in relation to creating awareness around certified organic. Why? Because our country, our world, our kids and our future depends on us returning to organic as it used to be. When we understand what we do to our animals, to our planet and what we ultimately do to ourselves and our health, then the health of our planet will shift. The way not to do that is to have certified organic become the norm within society and we are getting there, it might take a few more years, but the world is waking up to the fact that things have to change – we can’t continue on the path we are on.

And….any good stories to share?

In August this year we are releasing the most incredible age-defying certified organic skin care – using the latest powerful plant-based botanicals to slow down the ageing process, to support life and health.  I can’t wait to share this with the world! The ingredients we are using and the results people will achieve from using our products will literally be astounding.

We have the following products available:

Divine By Therese Kerr personal care products:


Sanitising Hand Gel

Tooth Mousse (healthy Tooth paste alternative)Therese Kerr of The Divine Company 2

Mouth Rinse

Moisturising Hand Wash

Moisturising Hand and Body Lotion

Moisturising Body Wash

Naturally Bronze Self Tanner

Exfoliating Body Scrub

Fresh Breath Spray

Ylang Ylang Deodorant

Divine Man – Men’s products:

Shave Gel


Baby Products:

Calming Baby Wash

Calming Baby Shampoo

Moisturising Baby Lotion

Soothing baby Balm

Mum’s Nipple Balm

Mum’s Tummy & Body Oil

Divine Baby Hand Sanitiser


Therese & John Kerr

In the Spotlight : Australian Organic Hall of Fame 2015 Winner, Geoff Steinicke

Geoff Steinicke, Australian Organic Hall of Fame Award winner 2015, gives us an insight into how he came to be involved in the organic industry and why he was awarded one of the dual recipients of our Hall of Fame last year.

Geoff Steinicke, AO Hall of Fame Award winner 2015


Geoff Steinicke, Oil chemist and entrepreneur best describes me.


Balwyn, Victoria, a suburb about 10kms east of Melboune’s CBD.


I started Melrose Health in 1980 when the Health Food industry was at its beginnings.  In the early 1990s, a nearby Health Food store, which was the Victorian distributor for Four Leaf Milling of Tarlee,  South Australia, was changing owners.  The proprietor offered their stock of bulk organic and biodynamic grains and flours to us, and a customer list too.  I decided this would be a good addition to our range of products.  Immediately we found really interesting people coming to us.  They were well educated and enjoyed sharing  their knowledge about organics.  We placed orders to Four Leaf Milling and a few months later had the pleasure of a visit by Rosemary and Gavin Dunn, who remain close friends.


I think it’s the story about receiving our first drum of Organic Flaxseed oil from Canada.

In 1990, I found graphs that showed food manufacturers were deliberately reducing Omega-3 oils and increasing saturated oils in their products, in order to increase the shelf life of their products.  This substitution would not have a healthy outcome, as Omega-3 oils are essential to lowering the risk of cardio-vascular disease.  It was then necessary to find a supplement with a high Omega-3 content.   Flaxseed oil with 55% Omega-3 was the obvious choice.  I contacted Omega Nutrition in Canada and arranged to import 200 litres of Organic Flaxseed oil packed in a black plastic drum.  The drum was to be sent frozen.

After a few months, a refrigerated container arrived with our drum roped to the wall attachments inside the container.  In those days we had to unload in the street.  I was ready with a fork lift at the door of the container when the driver undid the ropes holding the drum, whereupon the drum and the driver started to slide on the icy floor towards the door.  The slope was fairly steep and the driver started yelling that he could not hold the drum any longer.  Fortunately, I had the fork in the right position to catch the drum and the driver, otherwise one could imagine the result if I had missed!  This was the start of Organic Flaxseed oil in Australia and the product for which Melrose is best known.


Firstly, we were fortunate to be in a niche market in which our sales increased every year over the 32 years that our family owned and operated Melrose Health.  As a product formulator, organics gave me the enjoyable challenge of developing new products that were certified organic.  Fortunately, these products had a ready sale through Health Food stores and Supermarkets.  Secondly, we joined a group of dedicated hard working people in Australian Organic (formerly the BFA at the time) and ACO who had a belief in producing clean produce and products without chemical adulteration.


Once, having discovered organics, we could see that organics would result in making a lifestyle switch,  this resulted in our actively producing and promoting organic produce and products.

halloffame-OCT15Hall of Fame 2015, Geoff Steinicke

In the Spotlight – Eco-Farms

Wholesaler of the Year 2015, Eco-Farms
Wholesaler of the Year 2015, Eco-Farms

Who…are you?

Eco-Farms is a privately owned wholesale distributor of all things organic.   Starting out in the late 80’s as an Organic Home Delivery business and growing to Australia’s leading Organic Distributor today.

What…do you do?

Eco-Farms is made up of 3 main departments – Fresh Wholesale Produce, Fresh Prepack Produce and Grocery.  We are unique in the Organic industry as the only one stop shop in Organic Wholesale, Export & Distribution.  Customers can enjoy a full range offering of Certified Organic Wholesale and Prepack Produce as well as a comprehensive range of Organic & Natural grocery lines.

Our grocery brands Absolute Organic and Eco Organics are very popular amongst consumers and can be found on shelves across Australia and also throughout the world.

Where…are you located?

Eco-Farms has 4 sites across the eastern seaboard in Sydney, Brisbane & Melbourne. Our Brisbane Operation is currently in the process of moving to a larger facility in Carole Park, almost double that of the current Rocklea site.  We also have distributors that service South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and North Queensland.

When…did you become certified?

Eco-Farms first became certified organic over 20 years ago.Ecofarms

Why…did you become certified?

Like most certified organic businesses, we wanted to give our customers reassurance of the organic integrity.  Being certified organic meant that from grower to store we are able to guarantee the certified organic status for all our organic lines.

What is your organic story?

Our story goes way back but Eco-Farms is all about making Good Clean Wholesome Organic Food available to everyday Australians.

What do you love most about your business?

The industry is made up of many amazing suppliers and customers, some of which have been trading with us for over 25 years.   What a place to work amongst a great team of people who are providing the very best fresh organic produce and groceries daily to businesses and the community.

And….any good stories to share?

There are many sto
ries but one standout was the support shown by the community, countless volunteers and many suppliers and customers when our Brisbane Site was completely destroyed by the floods in 2011.  The support shown during these dark days will be AO productsremembered long into the future.


Why not visit our ACO clients this weekend at their award winning cellar doors?

We are proud to announce that several Australian Certified Organic clients have achieved success in their respective States at Gourmet Traveller WINE‘s recent Cellar Door competition.

If you are looking for somewhere special to visit this weekend, why not travel to one of these award winning cellar doors!



Windowrie Wines have taken out Australia’s Best Large Cellar Door Cowra/Canowindra 2016.

The Windowrie winery is certified organic and the practice of minimal intervention is a core focus. The O’Dea family owners are committed to discovering varietals that are suited to the region.  As wine producers, Windowrie strives to make affordable wines for everyday drinking. Although not a large wine producing company, their family work hard to make the best possible boutique wines using selected fruit parcels from the vineyard. Small quantities are carefully selected for limited release wines.

Windowrie’s cellar door, ‘The Mill’, is Cowra’s oldest building, circa 1861. After the O’Dea family purchased the vacant mill in 1995, it underwent major renovations and was lovingly restored using 90% recycled materials.

Windowrie Wines Cellar Door (The Mill) hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 9am-3pm.

Phone: (02) 6341 4141


Wallington Wines have achieved success for 2016 as Australia’s Best Small Cellar Door, Cowra/Canowindra. 

The Wallingtons moved from Sydney to establish their vineyard in 1990. Margaret Wallington and her 4 daughters continue to produce carefully crafted wines and have embraced the principals of organic and biodynamic agriculture. On their 400ha property, they also grow olives and raise sheep and cattle.

Wallington Wines’ cellar door is also the winery. Winemaking and tastings take place on site in their unusual Straw Bale Winery, in a commanding position overlooking the vineyard.  Owner and winemaker, Margaret Wallington, produces carefully crafted wines which embrace the principals of organic and biodynamic agriculture.

Cellar door Tastings and Sales are held at the Winery, and individuals and groups interested in tasting wine and exploring  wine making are more than welcome to arrange a private tasting and tour of the vineyard and winery.

Wallington Wines’ cellar door hours are 7 days by appointment.

Phone: (02) 63447153


Australia’s Cellar Door with Best Food, Mudgee 2016 has been awarded to Lowe Wines for 2016.

Robert Lowe was the first of the Lowe family to migrate to Australia, the land of opportunity, with his young family in 1812. He had a letter of introduction to Governor Macquarie who granted him 1500 acres of land at Bringelly, near Camden. Robert built his house, naming it Birling after his wife Barbara’s old home in Sussex. Despite early family tragedy and even a confrontation by a bushrangers, the Lowe family continued to thrive.

With a history of innovation in agriculture in the NSW Central Ranges, fifth generation David Lowe, the principal of the business, continues to question everything that he does in his vineyard, winery and farm.

The certified organic winery specialises in small batch winemaking, using innovative techniques. The Mudgee vineyards are untrellised, unirrigated and certified organic. They are leading the field with practical sustainable management in their vineyards and on the farm. The cellar door offers idyllic settings, with views over the vineyards, out across the Mudgee valley.

Lowe’s Wines cellar door and winery is located a short drive from the Mudgee CBD along Tinja Lane, are open open seven days from 10am until 5pm.

Phone:  (02) 6372 0800



Yalumba Family Vignerons have been awarded Australia’s  Star Cellar Door, Eden Valley 2016.

Samuel Smith, his wife and children departed England for South Australia, eventually settling in Angaston. By 1849, Samuel had already started to plant his own vineyard with his son, Sidney. Becoming involved in the Gold rush in 1852 netted Samuel £300 of gold and enabled him to purchase 80 hectares of land – thus cementing Yalumba’s history. By 1853, Yalumba’s first wine was released.

The Wine Room ambassadors will guide you through Yalumba’s wines and introduce you to their story. During the week you may even be able to see the cooperage in action and experience the fragrant sweet spice of their handmade barrels. The landscaped grounds framed by the Wine Room and the historic clock tower are the perfect spot to explore before throwing a picnic rug down and enjoying the Barossa’s warm afternoon sun.

Yalumba’s Cellar door is open Monday to Sunday 10am-5pm

Phone: (08) 8561 3200

Mount Horrocks

Mount Horrocks Wines is very excited to be awarded Australia’s Best Small Cellar Door in the Clare Valley in 2016.

This is the 2nd year in a row that they have been presented with this award and the third in total, also being awarded in the same category in 2013.

Owner, Stephanie Toole, re-opened the Auburn Railway station following substantial renovation, as Mount Horrocks’ cellar door. Stephanie produces outstanding quality grapes from her own vineyards. Her persistence with classic, no-compromise winemaking and a fully integrated organic approach to growing and making sets Mount Horrocks wines apart from the mainstream. Stephanie carefully crafts essentially hand-made food wines with emphasis on structure as well as generous fruit flavours. Only estate grown grapes are used and these are hand-picked and gently handled under conditions that ensure the varietal and site-specific flavours in the resultant wine, as well as its organic status, are retained.

Pop in and enjoy all the new releases and the occasional museum wine carefully selected by Stephanie for cellar door customers.

Mount Horrocks is open for tastings and cellar door sales every Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays from 10am-5pm.

Phone: (08) 8849 2202


Petaluma Wines were awarded Australia’s Best Large Cellar Door, Adelaide Hills 2016.

Petaluma, founded in 1976, crafts ultra-premium wines by carefully selecting the best sites within a particular region suited to a chosen variety. This is their ‘distinguished vineyards’ philosophy.

In 2015, Lion officially opened its new Petaluma Winery and Cellar Door in the Adelaide Hills, set on 30 hectares of land complete with an expansive view of Mount Lofty. Petaluma’s new Winery and Cellar Door are a fantastic addition to South Australia’s vibrant tourism industry and they look forward to welcoming visitors from near and far to explore the vineyards and, of course, taste their wines. Their 2015 certified organic Shiraz and White Label Shiraz will soon be available.

Petaluma’s Cellar Door is open to visitors for wine tastings four days a week from Friday to Monday.

Phone: (08) 8339 9300


Stefano Lubiana

Stefano Lubiana Wines have been awarded Australia’s Star Cellar Door, Southern Tasmania, in 2016.

Established in 1990 in the village of Granton in the South of Tasmania, resides Tasmania’s first and only certified organic biodynamic vineyard, Stefano Lubiana have established a modern, well equipped, gravity fed winery.

Steve and Monique Lubiana’s vineyard has been the source of some of Tasmania’s most refined boutique wines for more than 25 years. The wine portfolio is large and growing, but is handmade by the Lubianas in small quantities. Their state-of-the-art onsite facilities enable them to ensure the highest quality is retained at each stage of the process, from grape sorting to bottling and packaging.

Their recently built Osteria, a small Italian farmhouse eatery with rustic menu, is a must see.

Cellar Door & Osteria Hours: Thursday to Monday 11am-4pm

Phone: (03) 6263 7457


2016 Cellar Door Awards Certificates WA15 Cullen

Awarded Best Additional Experiences (Restaurant, Biodynamic Spiral Garden) Margaret River, 2016 was Cullen Wines.

Wine growing began on the Cullen property in Margaret River over 40 years ago. Chief Winemaker and Managing Director, Vanya Cullen, has been working on the farm most of her life and has been winemaking at her family’s Wilyabrup estate since 1983.  During that time she has been rigorously experimenting in the vineyard (especially with soil and trellis management) and in the winery all the while looking to give her wines greater complexity. Cullen Wines, while remaining family owned, has since evolved making quality wine from a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate.

Cullen Wines Biodynamic Spiral Garden Tour – In response to the level of interest in biodynamics from visitors to the winery, in 2013 the Self-Guided Spiral Garden Biodynamic Tour was installed. As the name suggests, the intention is for people to be able to stroll through the garden at their leisure and follow the fascinating biodynamic process that is employed throughout the winery and the gardens at Cullen. Visitors can touch, feel and read about the actions and concepts for themselves, from the development of Steiner’s preparations, to the flowform series of vortexes.

Cullen Wines Cellar Door is open 7 days per week 10am – 4:30pm

Phone: (08) 9755 5277

Queensland Farmer Disaster Support

FDS sharable 1
During times of natural disaster and drought, farmers don’t have time to waste sifting through the often confusing levels of support services available.

Farmers need access to information presented all in one place to get them support during difficult times.

The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has launched a new website, designed to assist Queensland farmers and primary producers with simplified and localised support during natural disasters and drought.

The website was built by industry for industry. It presents a full cross-section of postcode-specific financial and social wellbeing support available.

The website allows you to input your postcode, select your industry and then see results and services specific to your area which prioritises local, on-farm and industry specific advice and support.

QFF has worked closely with the Queensland Government and its industry member organisations to ensure we have delivered a service that will help everyday farmers access the support that is available to them.

QFF has 150 magnets to send to Australian Certified Organic producers, so please contact Janine Heinemann to obtain yours.

Please see QFF’s facebook post here:


The Queensland Farmers’ Federation is the united voice of intensive agriculture in Queensland. It is a federation that represents the interests of 17 of Queensland’s peak rural industry organisations, which in turn collectively represent more than 13,000 primary producers across Queensland. Visit the website now:

For further information, please call Mark Neville on (07) 3837 4722.

FDS sharable drought

In the spotlight : Don Murray, Australian Organic Annual Awards Gold Farmer of the Year

Don Murray, Nature's HavenWho…are you?

My name is Don Murray and I am the founder and General Manager of Nature’s Haven; producer of quality, great tasting Certified Organic vegetables. I built up the business from scratch over the last 14 years to now be one of the largest Organic producers in Australia.  And, of course, I’m the 2015 Australian Organic Farmer of the Year!

What…do you do?

Nature’s Haven offers a wide variety of vegetables; our produce lineup includes zucchini, pumpkin, sweetcorn, tomato, onions and other produce we are currently trialling. We supply to the domestic wholesale and retail market, as well as indirectly to the international market including Asia although we are currently negotiating direct export opportunities.  I oversee both production regions, but am also actively involved in farm operations on a day to day basis, travelling between our NSW and QLD locations regularly to trouble shoot and fill staff shortages.  I am also head of a dynamic research, development and innovation team which is one my passions, but also a necessity due to the huge growth in organics as there is a lack of reliable and practical know how in the organic farming system. Being one of the largest certified organic vegetable growers in Australia, the responsibility falls to us to be at the forefront of the industry in this and many other areas.

Where…are you located?

We have two locations; 4 farms in Coleambally, in the Southern Riverina District of NSW and 4 farms in Dimbulah, Far North Queensland which is where I am based along with our Head Office.  Being in two locations enables us to supply our sought after produce year round to consumers, something we were asked to do for many years before it became a reality.

When…did you become certified?

Our NSW location has been under Organic management since 2002 and fully certified since 2003.  Our FNQ location has been certified since 2009.  Both locations are also fully certified with Freshcare and our key staff are HACCP trained.

Why…did you become certified?

It was always our intention to be certified with Australia’s leading certification body when we began in 2002. We believe in our produce and want consumers to recognise it as high quality, grown and certified to the highest standards available.

What is your organic story?

I have a passion for agriculture, particularly food production. I achieved my dream through obtaining tertiary qualifications in agriculture which gave me an excellent grounding and experience for the business we have now developed. I gained extensive experience with a wide range of vegetable crops, and subsequently as a Regional Agronomist. Through various career opportunities I enhanced my leadership and natural pioneering skills which gave me the grounding to realise my ultimate goal – growing organic vegetables. Nature’s Haven came about because of a love and passion for growing plants without unnecessary chemicals. In 1999, my wife Elaine and I purchased our first property in Coleambally, NSW and began trials and the certification process.  As I had been employed with Coleambally Irrigation in many guises, but most recently as the Irrigation Distribution Manager I was very familiar with the high quality irrigation water and soils of the district and applied this knowledge to my farming techniques. Over the years, as our business grew and room for crops ran out we purchased another three adjacent farms.  Elaine began working full time for the business in 2006, bringing with her extensive industry experience and knowledge.  In 2009 our son Brendan joined the business, enabling us to expand our operation to Dimbulah, Far North Queensland and Elaine and I relocated permanently, leaving Brendan to run the NSW operation while we concentrated on setting up our northern operation.  This expansion finally gave our customers what they’d been asking for; our high quality produce all year round.  During the last 5 years, due to the integrity of our farming techniques and business model, as well as Brendan’s skills in Sales and Marketing, our business has experienced massive growth, necessitating the employment of key staff to help develop our business and continue expanding our Research, Development and Innovation projects.

Nature’s Haven’s philosophy is that if you provide healthy soils, adequate water, good nutrition and a balanced ecosystem, plants will be in an environment where they can look after themselves. We do not use artificial fertilisers and chemicals, and also limit nitrogen use and maintain a natural balance of insects and beneficial organisms above and below ground. This organic agriculture is great not only for crops but also for the environment. We also take all necessary steps to protect the environment. This includes minimising run-off, contamination, erosion or leaching. In addition, properties belonging to Nature’s Haven conserve areas of natural vegetation benefiting both the native and protected fauna and flora.

What do you love most about your business?

I love being considered a leader in my field, where I have the opportunity to meet with people who share my values and be able to develop ideas and technologies.

And….any good stories to share?

I’m passionate about playing around with vegetables, and over 20 years have developed a variety of pumpkin called Amber Sweet™ which is registered with Plant Breeder Rights.  It’s proving popular in the domestic marketplace, but we’re particularly excited about the export market as it seems to be sought after by Asian buyers due to its sweeter flesh and soft peel.  One of our RD&I team is currently in Hong Kong at the Lohas Vegetarian Food Expo developing business relationships and promoting this product so it’s quite exhilarating seeing the produce grow from its infancy to the possibility of export to Asia.

As we are constantly being asked where to source our product, we decided to develop a retail brand called LongLegs Certified Organic to make it easier for consumers to recognise Nature’s Haven product in the marketplace.  We have been developing the brand over the last couple of years and are thrilled to have LongLegs Certified Organic Zucchini currently sitting on Coles supermarket shelves.  This has been a journey for us, culminating in a quality brand discerning customers can now look for at their local supermarket.  Hopefully this brand recognition will continue to grow in leaps and bounds, with people asking for LongLegs Certified Organic produce at every store they shop at!Farmer-of-the-Year-GOLD




In the spotlight : Loving Earth

Manufacturer of the Year 2015, Loving Earth
Manufacturer of the Year 2015, Loving Earth

We recently spoke with ACO client, Loving Earth, the Australian Organic Annual Awards Gold medal winner in the Manufacturer of the Year category, so we could share their organic story.


We are a company from Melbourne, Australia, who believes in ethically sourced, minimally processed organic wholefood.


We make…organic, wholefood chocolate, from bean to bar, activated breakfast cereal, coconut and cacao productsand a whole heap more… All natural food, nothing added.


We have two facilities; one in Scoresby & the other in Campbellfield – both in Melbourne, Australia. We collaborate with small producer communities around the planet.

Deluxe Clusters (1 of 1)-2When…

We became certified in 2008?

Organic systems work in harmony with nature, keeping harmful chemicals out of our land, water and air, creating a healthy environment rich in wildlife, woodlands and nutrients. Certification is the best way to ensure that a company works in tandem with the natural environment.

What is your organic story?

Loving Earth is based on the philosophy that the earth is a living organism. This philosophy creates an immense respect for our environment as well as our own physical bodies as part of that environment.

Eating foods in their pure, minimally processed states, foods that are grown organically in a sustainable way, is one of the most significant ways in which we can live this philosophy. Not only are we nurturing our own health and wellbeing but we are also nurturing the health and wellbeing of our planet.

Organically grown wholefood is an always has been one of the most important keys to Loving Earth as a business. We want to create food that is good for our customers and good for the planet also.

What do you love most about your business?

Loving Earth was founded on a desire to be an uplifting presence in the world. As a company our greatest hope is to inspire conscious living in all those we touch.

Loving Earth_packagingManufacturer-of-the-Year-GOLD



Frequently asked questions

Kale from Spring Creek Organics

Q – I have noticed many businesses claiming to be organic but they are not certified, what does ACO do about this?

Unfortunately there is no regulation around the word “organic” in Australia, meaning that anyone growing produce or making a product can claim organic as long as they’re using natural methods or using at least one natural ingredient.

If a business is claiming their product to be “certified organic”, when in fact they aren’t, this is something ACO takes seriously and can follow up on. If a product is claiming to be certified organic, always remember to look for a certification logo to prove its status.

Q – Where can I find certified organic produce/products?

The Australian Organic website provides a Where to Buy Certified Organic? section under the Consumers tab. Within this section you’re able to specify what state in Australia you’re in to narrow your search. Search

If you’re in business and looking for supply of particular produce/products/ingredients, our Product Search on the ACO website is a fantastic tool and provides you access to ACO’s entire client database. Find the Product Search tool at

Q – I purchased a product from a supermarket recently and it has the ACO logo on the product, but the product is imported from China, how can it display the ACO logo?

The ACO logo verifies the organic status of the product and not the product of origin.  ACO ensures that the product is produced and certified to an organic standard recognised in Australia.

Q – Does ACO test products imported from outside Australia?

Yes. ACO has clients outside of Australia who are audited and tested (soil, water and product) during annual audits. Imported products are tested randomly as well as strategically based on known issues, recent contaminations and industry notices.

Q – If I want to apply for certification through ACO, how can I do so?

If you’re interested in applying for certification, it is best you contact the office on (07) 3350 5716 or so we can discuss your operation and find out what category you would fall under (i.e. producer/processor/retailer). After contacting the office you will receive an Information Kit which includes all relevant application documentation, a current Fee Schedule and an electronic copy of the current ACO Standard.

Q – How long does it take to become certified?

For a producer operation it can take up to 3 years of organic management practices to become fully certified organic, depending on the information you can provide (if you can prove the operation has been organically managed for a certain period of time, the duration can be shorter).

There is no conversion period for processors/wholesalers/retailers.  All producer and processor applications need to go through an application review, onsite inspection and certification review prior to gaining any form of organic status.

Seaweed has potential in a wide range of applications

waterfall bayMarinova Pty Ltd is a leading Australian biotechnology company that develops and manufactures innovative extracts from marine plants for use in pharmaceutical, nutritional and cosmetic applications.

Seaweed has been prized by traditional cultures for centuries, due to its superior nutritional and medicinal properties. It is only in recent decades with the advent of advanced analytical and extraction capabilities that the true nutritional and biomedical properties of seaweed has emerged. Marinova, based at Cambridge in southern Tasmania, focusses on the extraction of bioactive fucoidan compounds from brown seaweeds, particularly from the Undaria pinnatifida and Fucus vesiculosus species.

A purpose built extraction plant with state-of-the-art laboratories was opened by Marinova in 2006; the first of its kind to exist in the world. This facility, along with the proprietary Maritech® extraction process developed by Marinova, has enabled the company to lead the world in the development and production of certified organic fucoidan compounds for a variety of health applications.

What are fucoidans?

Fucoidans are a class of naturally-occurring fucose-rich polymers found in brown macroalgae. They are all subtly different in structure according to the species of seaweed they originate from and the extraction method used to isolate them. Fucoidans exhibit varying degrees of acetylation and sulfation and different combinations of the main sugar constituents, which also allows fucoidan molecules to show variations in bioactivities. In nature, fucoidans act to protect seaweed plants from external damage (such as UV radiation, marine-borne pathogens and toxins). Research on fucoidan has shown it to exhibit similar protective benefits once extracted.

How are fucoidans extracted?

Brown seaweeds, such as wakame and bladderwrack, are used to extract fucoidan. Common extraction methods involve the use of high temperatures and harsh chemical solvents, often resulting in a fractionated fucoidan molecule with reduced bioactivity.

Marinova has developed the proprietary, aqueous-based Maritech® extraction process; a solvent-free method that creates the only certified organic fucoidan extracts in the world. All extracts produced by Marinova are sourced from wild, hand harvested seaweed that grow in the cleanest ocean waters, including Tasmania, Nova Scotia and Patagonia. The superior Maritech® extraction process allows these fucoidan molecules to remain nature-identical and unadulterated in chemical structure, making them unparalleled within the marketplace.

What applications can the fucoidan extracts be used in?


Fucoidan has potential in a wide range of applications, including those that target inflammatory disorders, immune system stimulation, stem cell modulation, cardiovascular health, tumour modulation, anti-viral and antibiotic activity and gastro-intestinal health. Key industries who utilise fucoidan extracts include:

Nutraceutical: Fucoidan extracts have proved to be beneficial in a wide range of nutritional applications. Marinova is the leading manufacturer and supplier of premium extracts to this sector across the globe. The Maritech® extraction process allows the specific molecular profile of each product to be selected, resulting in significantly enhanced efficacy and bioactivity at considerably lower concentrations. All Maritech® products are easy to formulate with and are suitable for use in capsules, tablets, beverages and gels.

Skin Care: The Maritech® range of skin care extracts consists of highly purified and characterised fucoidan complexes designed specifically for cosmetic and dermatological applications. Maritech® Bright has been specifically developed for skin brightening, lightening and UV protective formulations, whilst Maritech® Reverse targets anti-aging, soothing and protective skin care formulas.

Pharmaceutical: Marinova’s expertise in the chemistry and functionality of fucoidans allows the company to collaborate with international biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and isolate discrete fucoidan compounds for specific biomedical applications.

Research Institutions: Marinova is the leading resource for highly characterised, specific fucoidan extracts for research purposes. The company is able to provide fucoidan fractions with defined physical and chemical profiles from an extensive range of seaweed species.

Functional food & beverage:  Fucorich® is a cost-effective, certified organic fucoidan ingredient that has been developed by Marinova specifically for nutritional food and beverage formulations. Marinova also supplies whole seaweed products to the food industry.

What current projects are Marinova involved in?

2015 was a record year of investment into research and development for Marinova. Currently engaged in a number of projects across the globe, the company’s key areas of fucoidan research are in cancer, anti-viral, immune modulation and gut health models. Initial results from Marinova’s integrative oncology research project has been received, with publication expected following project completion later this year.

Recent achievements?

Marinova was awarded Australian Nutraceutical Ingredients Company of the Year for 2015, in the prestigious Frost & Sullivan Best Practice Awards. These awards, now in their tenth consecutive year, acknowledge companies that demonstrate outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, innovation, customer service, and strategic product development.

Marinova achieves Zero-waste: Marinova has just completed installation of state-of-the-art evaporation technology, in order to harness the full benefits of brown seaweeds and achieve the company’s zero-waste goal. This technology will allow the company to capture and concentrate all liquid by-products of the Maritech® process, for use in agricultural and horticultural applications.

For further information, please visit extracts, credit Tony Lomas

In the spotlight : Wray Organic


Learn more about ACO client, Wray Organic, the Australian Organic Annual Awards Gold winner in the Retailer of the Year (retail store) category.

Who…are you?

Wray Organic

What…do you do?

We are a certified organic retailer and café.

Where…are you located?

Brisbane locations are Cannon Hill, Cleveland, Indooroopilly, Mt Gravatt, Newmarket & North Lakes, Palm Beach on the Gold Coast, Ipswich & Toowoomba in regional Qld and Tamworth NSW.

When…did you become certified?

In 2009

Why…did you become certified?

Independent Retailer of the Year 2015 (retail store), Wray Organic
Independent Retailer of the Year 2015 (retail store), Wray Organic

The word ‘organic’ is used a lot at farmers markets etc. We wanted to offer our customers a guarantee that when we say a product is ‘organic’ it is.

What is your organic story?

I first became interested in organic food when my son was unwell at the age of 16. A mother with a sick child very quickly learns what needs to be done to make your child well again. The more I learnt about the way food is being grown, processed and stored, the less I bought from a supermarket. The doctor suggested my son eat certified organic food so I used to shop all over the place trying to find it. The good news is my son recovered his health and for myself, I lost weight and felt an increase in my energy levels. I realised there is a higher level of living that I would never have discovered if my son hadn’t become unwell.  I sold my house and my partner sold his business and we opened our first store, a one stop organic grocery store with a huge range of certified organic fruit and veg and not full of pills & potions.

What do you love most about your business?

Children become interested in food again. So many of the families who shop in our stores notice this. Their children had stopped eating apples, grapes, lettuce, etc. Certified organic food offers lots of flavour & no bitterness from synthetic chemicals.

Also, so often people want to eat organic, but it is not easily available. By opening a store we make it convenient for people to shop every day.

Food is such an important part of our lives & through eating the certified organic foods that we offer, we change peoples lives. There are so many wonderful stories of improved health from our customers.



Profile of the Month : Bhumi Organic Cotton

Vinita pic 2Learn more about ACO client, Bhumi Organic Cotton, the Australian Organic Annual Awards Gold winner in the Retailer of the Year (online) category.

Who…are you?

Vinita Baravkar founder of Bhumi Organic Cotton

What…do you do?

Currently, I am fully committed to growing Bhumi. Our mission at Bhumi is to help you when you cross the threshold from the outside world into your home, create a sanctuary of wellness and comfort in an environment free from chemicals and toxins. We design our products for your home to reflect the natural beauty around us and provide the building blocks for greening your life and home. At Bhumi, everything we offer is designed to comfort, nurture, revive and sustain and all of our products are designed with respect for the Earth and sustainable design and manufacturing practices.

Where…are you located?

We have a physical store at 138 Commercial Road Prahran Victoria, and we are also available Online 24/7

Independent Retailer of the Year 2015 (Online), Bhumi Organic Cotton
Independent Retailer of the Year 2015 (Online), Bhumi Organic Cotton

When…did you become certified?

We became Australian Certified Organic in 2015.

Why…did you become certified?

Certification in the organic industry is paramount to ensure environmental and humanitarian standards are high. It enables legitimate ‘organic’ claims to be made on final products. So strict certification ensures Bhumi products are made (from harvest to shelf to skin) without the use of any harmful chemicals, allergens, insecticides, pesticides, toxic dyes, bleaches or finishes, does not use genetically modified seeds and uses less water than regular cotton. Overall, this results in having the lowest environmental impact, a deep sense of social justice with fair trade practices and also the purest and softest cotton, that is resilient and gentle on the skin.

What is your organic story?

My life before Bhumi was in International Public Health and it was here that I saw first hand the disastrous health and environmental impacts of traditional cotton growing with farmer suicides, child labour, pesticide poisoning, birth defects, harmful dyes and toxic water ways. I saw and knew too much about the truth behind the textile industry, things we don’t see and hear every day so after some years in the field meeting with amazing NGOs, grassroots organizations and a growing movement of organic farmers, it was time for positive change and I combined my love for the Earth, humanity and sustainable design to create Bhumi Organic Cotton.

What do you love most about your business?

I love having a dialogue with people about certification. I love talking to customers about the differences between certified and conventional cotton. People care when they know the facts.

And….any good stories to share?

I recently did a talk at a kindergarten about what is the Bud Logo and what is certified organic cotton. I loved the little sea of hands that went up when I asked whether students had seen the Bud logo and the response was wonderful with answers varying from their pasta, to weetbix to yoghurt. It was so heart-warming as young people are the key to the future and seeing how much they already knew about the logo was simply wonderful.

Bhumi Organic Cotton are offering member discounts to Australian Organic members. To read more, please visit and show your support!


Vinita pic 1

Farewell to an organic friend

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones and farmer, Rob Bauer.  Photo courtesy Rob Bauer and Trudy Townson
Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones and farmer, Rob Bauer.
Photo courtesy Rob Bauer and Trudy Townson

Australian Organic would like to pass on our condolences to  the family and friends of Lockyer Valley Mayor, Steve Jones.

Steve was a huge supporter of the organic industry and proudly promoted the valley’s produce. His dedication and selflessness will be dearly remembered.

HighTrees Estate take home seven awards at Fine Food Show!

High Tree Estate product shot

Following their massive success at the 2015 Sydney Fine Food Show, HighTrees Estate has brought home another seven awards in this year’s Fine Food Show. The estate’s certified organic coffee beans were awarded with three Silver and four Bronze medals – Congratulations, HighTrees Estate!

Espresso Blend Class: Rainforest Blend and Crazy Donkey Organic Blend both won a Silver award.

Espresso Single Origin Blend Class: Premium Single Estate won a Bronze award.

Latté Blend Class: Crazy Donkey Organic Blend won a Bronze award.

Latté, 100% Australian Single Origin Estate or Regional Blend Class: Subtropical Blend won a Silver Award and the Premium Single Estate won Bronze.

Plunger Coffee, 100% Australian Single Origin Estate or Regional Blend Class: Premium Single Estate won Bronze.


Message from the Chair – February 2016

Flavourmakers and directors
L-R: Flavour Makers’ Toni Griggs, Culinary Development Technologist and Adrian Cester, CEO, AO Board Director Kim Morgan and Chair, Andrew Monk.

New opportunities for producers to supply 

One of the most amazing aspects of being involved in the organic movement is its incredible diversity. As a consumer you literally have a complete lifestyle of choices at your fingertips now, from clothing and cosmetics, to amazing foods – including the indulgences of chocolates, coffees and beyond.

The past month we have been busy getting around to our member producers, old and new. We hope you enjoy the photo gallery (below) tracking some of this, or check out our FB posts. There remains a theme of under supply of sufficient Australian produce for the growing demands of the markets – here and abroad. Of course this is not across the board – so producers beware and please talk to the marketplace to gain direct information on demands and needs.

Last week we were out and about visiting clients and members, including:

Kim also enjoyed dinner at a vegetarian restaurant (which had Battle of Bosworth Puritan Shiraz by the glass) with Vinita & Dushyant from Bhumi Organic Cotton.

If you are a producer thinking of expanding production, diversifying or getting involved with organics for the first time, here’s a little sample of some of the latest companies joining our group and placing the respected Australian Certified Organic logo on new products. These companies specifically want to fill the gaps where there is not sufficient Australian product right now – while wanting to make a particular statement in the marketplace about the Australian-ness of their products.

Flavour Makers are looking for farmer partners for a range of new vegetable and fruit manufactured products. Contact Toni Griggs at

Garrick and Meaghan from The Functional Beverage Company desperately want to contract large volumes of herbs and spices. Contact Garrick at

Perfection Fresh are seeking farmers wanting to produce large volumes of broccolini under licence. Contact Chris at

Oliver’s Real Food are looking to source produce. Contact Alasdair at

And there are many more.

The growing network of Australian Organic is very proud to be host to the best organic producers and leaders in our country. Watch out for notices through this year for networking events to be in touch with some of these innovative business people, to help you expand your own organic business dreams.

It is always enjoyable to get out and meet with clients and members and we thank them for taking time out of busy schedules to show us around farms, factories & premises.

Andrew Monk, Chair Australian Organic


Origin Chocolate wins Bronze at Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards!

Origin ChocolateAustralian Certified Organic client, Origin Chocolate, recently entered their chocolate in the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards and was successful in taking out Bronze!

Origin was the only organic product in its class and finished third,which is a fantastic outcome.

Congratulations Matt and the team!

Applications are now open for the Fine Food Australia Trade Show – Melbourne 15th September!

Fine food 2015 NSW STAND IMAGENSW Department of Industry is seeking expressions of interest from NSW food businesses to be part of our ‘Flavours of NSW’ stand at the Fine Food 2016. The event will bring together world-class producers and leading suppliers and is the largest trade show of its kind in Australia. The ‘Flavours of NSW’ stand will give your business a prime location to showcase your products and services and connect with buyers and distributors. The event is expected to attract close to 30,000 people visiting over the four-day period.

Applications are now open to co-exhibit with NSW Department of Industry stand.

Monday 12 – Thursday 15 September 2016

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
Melbourne, Victoria

How much will it cost?

Who can apply?
NSW producers of gourmet foods, confectionery, dairy products, packaged meat and seafood, baked goods, honey, juices, tea, coffee and other non-alcoholic beverages.

Please contact Tania Panagoda, Senior Project Officer, Manufacturing and Technology  (Phone: +612 9338 6878 ) for a full list of applicant criteria.

Please refer the attached documents and the link to complete the EOI.  Take your business to the Fine Food Australia trade show

Completed applications must be submitted by COB Friday, 18 March 2016.

Certification Update – February 2016

Shipping containerImportant Department of Agriculture Notice:
The Department of Agriculture issued a notice for certified organic clients who export which was circulated to all our ACO export clients in May 2015. Please note the below information is now being enforced by the EU import authorities.

Certification of all stages of organic chain
This is a reminder to all certified operations that all stages of the supply chain must be certified.

For manufacturers/importers/exporters/wholesalers if you are purchasing certified organic products or ingredients the supplier must be certified.

Example 1: A certified processor purchasing imported organic ingredients from an importer. In this instance the importer is still required to be certified. This is despite the importer purchasing the organic ingredient from a certified supplier in Europe and the importer providing the certified processor with their European supplier’s organic certificate.  Even though the importer is only acting as an agent and not physically handling the product, they still need to have organic certification.

Example 2:  A wholesaler purchasing certified organic fresh produce and selling to other certified operators or exporting.  The wholesaler is also required to be certified.

ACO inspectors will be looking for evidence that all stages of the organic chain are certified at annual and unannounced inspections.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please do not hesitate to call Janine or Jenny on (07) 3350 5706.

Competition Time – February 2016

Yates GiveawayThis month’s giveaway has been brought to us by Yates who gave one lucky reader the chance to WIN the complete Yates Nature’s Way range prize pack valued at $93.66.

– Yate’s Nature’s  Way Caterpillar Killer Dipel 40g

– Yate’s Nature’s Way Citrus & Ornnamental Spray 750ml

– Yate’s Natures Way Fruit Fly Control 200ml

– Yate’s Nature’s Way Vegie & Herb Natrasoap 200ml

– Yate’s Nature’s Way Vegie & Herb Natrasoap 750ml

If you understand the importance of growing food organically, then the new Yates® Nature’s Way range® is for you. It has earned the stamp of approval from Australian Certified Organic for use in organic gardens to control common garden pests. Edible produce can be used and eaten one day after application

For your chance to win email with the subject line YATES GIVEAWAY and list why you need Yates to save your garden.

The Annual Natural and Organic Super Show is back and It’s less than a month away!

Natural and Organic SupershowWe decided to chat with Australian Organic Marketing Assistant Brittany Stewart on why exactly we are exhibiting at the show, how it is benefiting our members and clients and how you can WIN two double passes!

What is Australian Organic looking forward to most about the exhibition?

We’re looking forward to the opportunity to connect and interact with thousands of consumers over the three day event to answer all their unanswered questions around organic products and the certified organic industry, as well as the opportunity to raise awareness about why it is so important to choose certified organic.

The Natural and Organic Super Show will be full of some great ACO brands and will allow you to meet the people behind the products as well as discovering new brands.

How does Australian Organic’s involvement in the show benefit our members and clients?

Australian Organic attend consumer and trade shows not only to promote ourselves and ACO’s certification services, but for the opportunity to help promote our clients who are attending and helping consumers understand why these companies/brands wear the ACO Bud logo.

How can we find the Australian Organic stand on the day?

Australian Organic will be at stand number 1611 at the Supershow. We will have a large flag with the Australian Organic logo hanging from the roof above our stand so shouldn’t be hard to miss!

How can we attend the event?

The event is at the Melbourne Convention Centre and has an entry fee of $15 (adults) per day if pre-purchased and is free for children 17 and under. All entry fee details can be found here.

What other exciting events will Australian Organic have during the event?

AO ambassador Teresa Cutter will be spearheading the kitchen throughout the show where she will be creating delicious and healthy meals. In addition at the Paleo way Kitchen, AO ambassador Pete Evans will also be cooking up a storm using ACO ingredients.

You can also head to The Natural Beauty stage to learn about the common nasties used in cosmetics and why you should be avoiding them.

How can we win tickets to the show?

You can head to our Facebook page for your chance to WIN two double passes to The Natural & Organic Supershow! Just comment why you look for the Bud logo when shopping and/or why you choose certified organic.

The Bud Buddies can walk the walk & talk the talk

Bud Buddies
Mel, Vinita, Andrew and Victoria, The Bud Buddies

Have you heard of the Oxfam Trail walker?

We caught up with Vinita founder of Bhumi Organic Cotton who along with her team have joined forces for the trail walker challenge. Their goal– to raise awareness of the bud logo and raise funds and awareness for Oxfam.

Who are the Bud Buddies?
The Bud Buddies are a team of 4, Mel Steer, Bhumi’s Creative Photographer, Andrew Monk Chairman of Australian Organic, Victoria Warden a colleague of Andrew’s and passionate healthy living advocate and myself (Vinita), Founder of Bhumi Organic Cotton.

Tell us more about Oxfam and the aim of the trail walker? One person in three in the world lives in poverty. Oxfam is determined to change that world by mobilising the power of people against poverty. Around the globe, Oxfam works to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. Oxfam saves lives and helps rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes, and they campaign so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them. Oxfam works closely with partner organisations in country and on the ground alongside vulnerable women, children and men to end the injustices that cause poverty.

Oxfam Australia holds four events each year: Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne, is being held 8–10 April 2016, and we will walk 100kms in 48hours through Warburton, the Dandenong Ranges and Melbourne’s outer suburbs whilst trying to raise money for Oxfam. We walk as a team where we all cover the 100km distance together.

Why did you decide to take part in Oxfam Walker?
This is the first time any of us have participated in the walk. For me, it is a personal journey of endurance and gratitude whilst reflecting on the vision of Oxfam – that everyone has a right to a sustainable livelihood, everyone has the right to life and security, everyone has the right to basic health and social services, everyone has the right to be heard and everyone has the right to an identity. Oxfam does amazing work around the world and we would love to be able to raise money for invaluable projects around the globe.

Why did you decide to only use ACO products?
We want to be able to cover the distance by encompassing the organic lifestyle that we each embrace. In turn, we want to showcase the organic products we use to help spread awareness across Australia of the Australian Certified Organic Bud Logo and what products are available which are an amazing healthy alternative. We want to be able to walk the walk and talk the talk and cross that finish line having been sustained by Australian Certified organic products whether it is something we wear, eat, drink or use for the whole distance! That was the inspiration behind the Team name too – Bud Buddies – that as friends we can live a holistic organic toxic free lifestyle across so many products.

What types of ACO products will you be using whilst on your walk?
We would like to open it up to all ACO groups and brands for us to show case products but some definite products we will have in the backpacks are Endota’s Muscle Magic Cream, Divine by Therese Kerr deodorant, Pana Chocolate, Loving Earth Chocolate, Parker’s Juice, Bill’s Organic Breads, FiveAM Yoghurt Power Packs, Bhumi Organic Cotton underwear, plus some foods we will make to load up on carbohydrates, for example, Sweet Potato Tahini Rice Balls made from ACO certified jasmine rice, ACO certified sweet potato and ACO certified Tahini.

View their Facebook video here.

How can you help?
We would absolutely love support for our team and donations can be made at :

Register for the 2016 Mother and Baby Awards

Mother and Baby Awards coverThe annual Mother & Baby Magazine Awards are now open for 2016. The awards are in their fifth year and incorporates over 35 different categories. If you manufacture a product suitable for mothers or babies and want to register your product, or find out  more information, click here

Wattle Farms now home of the rising superfood

Nathan Free newsACO are proud to be the certifier of the largest certified organic stone-fruit farm in Australia, Wattle Organic Farms.

They have recently secured the rights to grow the latest on the list of ‘superfoods’, the Queen Garnet plum. An antioxidant food that is surging in popularity after recent trials revealed its link to reducing obesity.

The Free family switched to a certified organic way of farming six years ago, due to it being a more natural and sustainable method of growing food. Keep up the good work! View the WIN news video here.

New Products – February 2016

Stay up to date with the latest certified organic products to hit the market recently!

To be featured, simply email Janine Heinemann with one image, along with 50 words on your latest product.


Organic Merchant Golden Chai

Organic Merchant

The Golden Chai

An exotic blend of Indian spices blended with turmeric and calendula. This traditional blend of spices supports digestion and improves circulation. Blended with turmeric, which is renowned for its superior anti- inflammatory properties, this invigorating caffeine free chai is delicious infused alone or accompanied with organic milk and honey.




Honest to Goodness Cherry tomatoes lower resHonest to Goodness

Organic Tinned Tomatoes

Sourced from only the finest quality 100% organic ripe tomatoes in Italy, then packaged for ease of use in BPA free tins. They work great in an Italian pasta sauce, a hearty casserole or stew, soup or salsa. They contain NO GMO, NO citric acid, NO artificial flavours, preservatives & NO added salt.



Honest to GoodnHonest to Goodness Organic Passataess

Organic Passatas

Made using the finest quality, freshly harvested 100% organic Italian tomatoes that have either been mashed or pureed until delightfully smooth, or crushed into a rustic, chunky, flavoursome sauce. They are ideal as the base for an Italian pasta sauce, a hearty casserole, stew or delicious soup. The passatas come in a glass bottle with a BPA free lid, and contain NO GMO, NO citric acid, NO artificial flavours, preservatives & NO added salt.

What’s been in the news – February

Michael Baker and new baby boy Alfie.
Michael Baker and new baby boy Alfie.

New addition to the ACO family

We are proud to welcome the latest addition to the Australian Certified Organic family!

Michael Baker, Chief Certification Officer, is over the moon with the safe arrival of his first son, Alfie, who was born on 30th January, 2016 weighing 3.75Kgs. Mum and bub are both doing well, and little sister Karla is thrilled to have a playmate.



Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones and farmer, Rob Bauer. Photo courtesy Rob Bauer and Trudy Townson
Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones and farmer, Rob Bauer.
Photo courtesy Rob Bauer and Trudy Townson


Farewell to an organic friend

Australian Organic would like to pass on our condolences to  the family and friends of Lockyer Valley Mayor, Steve Jones.

Steve was a huge supporter of the organic industry and proudly promoted the valley’s produce. His dedication and selflessness will be dearly remembered.






Beetroots fit for a Crown Prince


Make sure you know the difference between grass-fed and organic beef!


Wapengo Rocks Wild Organic Oysters


Banaban Nourish Now under 3 Year Functional Food Research


Natures gift receives ACA product of the year award

For Sale : Rye grass seed

For sale

Annual rye grass seed in 25kg bags to be cleaned and graded by Certified processor.

Seed analysis results:  97.8% purity, 92% germination.

$2.00/kg + GST

Finley area NSW

Ph:       (03) 5882 6204

Mob:    0428 826 204