Australian Organic Advisory Committees

In 2019 Australian Organic Limited convened nine advisory committees to cover a range of sectors in the organic industry.

This includes establishing what research and development, events and activities the industry requires, as well as addressing key industry issues.

See below summary of Australian Organic’s different advisory committees including contact details for advisory chairs.

  • Allowed Inputs Advisory Committee

    Chair: Josefine Pettersson
    E: [email protected]| M:0406 330 433

    The Allowed Inputs Advisory Committee exists to allow industry and expert consultation on matters relating to the allowance and certification of inputs for use in Organic production.

    Membership consists of staff from businesses that produce certified Allowed Inputs, or are in the process of obtaining certification. Applications for membership are welcome from input companies large and small. Generally only one membership is allowed per company.

    The purpose of the Committee is to provide advice and feedback on relevant issues or topics as they arise. The Allowed Input sector is vital to the growth of the organic industry as a whole, and clear consultation and feedback will ensure this sector is adequately serviced by Australian Organic Limited.

  • Gene Technology Advisory Committee

    Chair: Niki Ford
    E: [email protected]

    The Gene Technology Advisory Committee provides a mechanism for our industry to come to grips with the significant challenges posed by the ongoing development of GMOs. Members include industry professionals with a wealth of knowledge in the field of gene technology, biotechnology, and their associated potential risks to our industry.

    Our Federal government’s deregulation of SDN-1 gene editing method, and the differing classification of this technique around the globe predominated the Group’s work during 2019. Definitions in the Australian Certified Organic Standard were updated to ensure SDN-1 methods remain prohibited. Submissions were made to the Federal government, and to National Standards Subcommittee on the matter.

    The Gene Technology Advisory Committee will continue to monitor the situation and work with government and industry bodies to find practical ways to ensure our industry, and organic consumers, are protected.

  • Grain Advisory Committee

    Chair: Grant Maudsley
    E: [email protected] 

    The Grain Advisory Committee is a voluntary committee consisting of representatives from all fields of the grain industry who are passionate organic producers, industry specialist and representatives from GRDC.

    The key objective for the Committee is to increase certified organic grain production within Australia to support the organic industry growth potential. The advisory committee was established to support the Australian organic industry and to draw on the wealth of knowledge that exists within the industry.

    The purpose of the Committee is to provide advice on relevant issues or topics as they arise.

  • Horticulture Advisory Committee

    Chair: Kelvin Free
    E: [email protected] | M: 0429 865 047

    The Horticulture Advisory Committee was established by Australian Organic Limited to support the industry by providing advice, support and expertise on fields such as R&D, biosecurity, packaging, food waste, organic fraud, robotics and future technologies such as automation.

    The Committee consists of voluntary representatives from a variety of different fields within the Horticulture sector, focusing on the most important issues currently affecting the industry.

    Certified Organic Horticulture is an active space that requires extreme efforts from producers and high expectations from consumers – therefore it is vital that the committee provides support and assistance on key issues. 2019 topics included the Federal Government deregulation of SDN-1 methods and the proposed mandatory treatment of imported brassica seed (where a positive outcome was achieved through Australian Organic’s lobbying).

    Committee chair, Kelvin Free, is a third-generational horticultural farmer who brings a lifetime of practical experience in the farming and marketing of fresh produce, alongside a history of representing the industry in working groups and committees for various government and horticultural bodies.

  • Livestock Advisory Committee

    Chair: Marg Will
    E: [email protected] | M: 0417 674 790

    The voluntary Livestock Advisory Committee is made up of certified organic producers and processors from across Australia representing ruminant and monogastric species. The committee was established to provide a consultative forum to discuss issues that affect organic livestock producers and processors, and to advise on policy and strategic pathways.

    The Committee are currently looking at strategies for increasing organic grain grown in Australia, and welcome recommendations from the broader certified organic community.

    The ability of certified organic livestock producers to sequester carbon and make a positive contribution to emissions targets make for exciting times ahead.

  • Standards Advisory Committee

    Chair: Josefine Pettersson
    E: [email protected]| M:0406 330 433

    The Standards Advisory Committee is convened from time to time to consider applications made to Australian Organic Limited for interpretations or alterations to the Australian Certified Organic Standard (ACOS).

    Membership of the Committee is not fixed, as industry experts are called upon on an as-needs basis. The Committee is chaired by Josefine Pettersson, our Technical Officer, who also has the responsibility for the upkeep of the ACOS. Wherever possible, the ACOS is kept aligned with the National Standard for Organic and Bio-dynamic Produce, which is maintained separately, via the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE), the Organic Industry Standards and Certification Council (OISCC), and their subcommittee, the National Standards Subcommittee (NSSC).

    The Advisory Committee worked during 2019 predominantly on GMO definition updates, harmonising cosmetic requirements, improving alignment with the National Standard, and drought feeding exemptions to support our industry. Work during 2021 thus far has focused on reducing ambiguity, maintaining market access, and paving the way for Domestic Regulation.

  • Vigneron Advisory Committee

    Chair: Mike Brown
    E: [email protected] | M: 0414 621 406

    The Vigneron Advisory Committee is a voluntary committee consisting of representatives from all fields of the wine industry who are passionate organic vignerons (grape growers, winemakers and brand owners) for the sole purpose of providing support and advice on particular fields of expertise such as viticulture, winemaking, brand management and national and international trade relating specifically to the organic wine industry.

    The Committee was established to support the Australian organic industry and to draw on the wealth of knowledge that exists within the industry.

    The purpose of the Committee is to provide advice to council on relevant issues or topics as they arise. Some of these issues have included advice on allowable inputs to wine, grape and cider production.

    The Committee also assists in the promotion and advocacy of organic as a better option globally. This task is in its infancy and is yet to be explored fully due to the current COVID-19 restrictions.

    The Committee currently consists of 8 members representing the wine states of NSW, Victoria, SA, WA and QLD, and is chaired by AOL Board Director Mike Brown.

For more information about each committee including how to join, please contact the appropriate advisory committee chairs.