September News – ACO

Testing 

Spotlight on testing!

As part of ACO’s Market Testing Program, ACO purchases common certified organic produce and products from popular consumer outlets and sends these products for testing. Under this program, in June 2017, ACO tested 96 different certified organic products for pesticides, herbicides, fungicides as well as carried out commodity specific testing. The results from these tests were astoundingly positive with no detection of any prohibited substances in any of the products tested.

ACO has also tested imported and Australian honey for pesticides, herbicides and antibiotics and the results obtained showed there were no pesticide, herbicide or antibiotics present in honey.

ACO is required by the Department of Agriculture to carry out testing on 10% of operators we certify, but ACO is vigilant and constantly exceeds these requirements and focuses on high risk products, especially imported products, to ensure products wearing the ACO logo are truly certified organic.

Di -ammonium Phosphate in Wine 

Just a reminder that the use of Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP)  in wines certified to the National Standard is not permitted. This means those wines containing DAP are not eligible for export unless they are ACO-EU certified and bound for Europe.

Methionine in Livestock Feed 

Methionine in feed for livestock such as chickens and pigs is permitted under the National Standard and the ACO Standard but still requires a derogation from the ACO office. This change has been in effect for just over two years, but it is important to note that methionine is the only synthetic amino acid permitted in livestock feed as it is essential for the growth and well being of the animal.

Exporting to the EU

Equivalencies 

Did you know there are two equivalency’s in use to get product to the EU?

  • The National Standard has equivalency for plant and plant products grown in Australia.
  • The ACO Standard has equivalency for wine, livestock products and products that contain imported ingredients.

Both exports need to be lodged on a Certificate of Inspection via the exports portal on the ACO website!

Essential Oils & Cosmetics 

Did you know that the EU organic regulations only applies to products which are food? This means cosmetics being exported to the EU don’t require a Certificate of Inspection (OPC). COSMOS is the recognised cosmetic standard in the EU for Organic Cosmetics so if you are looking to export cosmetics to the EU, please get in touch with ACO about COSMOS certification.

On the other hand if you have essential oils that you are wanting to export to the EU, these need to be proven as food grade or otherwise intended to be used in food in order for the Certificate of Inspection to be issued. If you have any questions, please contact the ACO office.

TRACES 

From 19th October 2017, ACO will only be issuing electronic Certificates of Inspection for EU exports. The European Commission has rolled out the TRACES system whereby ACO is required to lodge approved export certificates online to allow real time tracking of imports into the EU.

Reminder “ACO” Logo for Imported Products 

In line with the Australian Governments food labelling law changes, ACO implemented the “ACO” logo which is to be used on all products which are imported or contain imported ingredients. This change is mandatory on 1 July 2018. ACO is not charging for label approvals where the logo is being updated. If you need to obtain a copy of your logos please contact the ACO team! This is a very important change to assist consumers to identify which products are Australian and which contain imported ingredients.

The use of the “ACO” imported logo applies to all organic products ACO certifies. ACO was requested by the ACCC to ensure that consumers were not being confused by the use of the “Australian” certified organic logo. In response to this request ACO now requires any product (food or cosmetic) to bear the correct logo in line with the origin of the ingredients.

Australian made logo

Imported product logo