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Frequently Asked Questions

Australian Organic Ltd (AOL) is an industry body representing Australian certifiers and certified operators. AOL has played a major role in the organic industry since 1987 and is Australia’s largest member owned, not-for-profit organisation. AOL has been a major force in ensuring organic standards in Australia remain robust and are in line with global export markets.

AOL established an organic certification scheme to independently verify that farmers and processors were producing in accord with those standards and introduced the leading organic certification ‘Bud’ logo. This symbol ensures the integrity of organic products in the marketplace for consumers and is recognised by 64% of Australian consumers. The Bud logo was initially designed in 1989 by Rosemary Dunn of South Australia, one of Australian Organic’s early and still loyal members, while sitting around the Dunn’s kitchen table

Australian Organic Limited (AOL) is the leading organic industry body representing certifiers and certified operators in Australia. AOL is a not for profit, member owned organisation that advocates on behalf of the certified organic industry by lobbying government and driving awareness.

Established in 1987 and formerly Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA), AOL has been the major force in ensuring organic standards remain robust and are in line with global export markets.

Australian Organic owns the Australian Certified Organic Standard (ACOS) and license the ‘Bud’ certification logo. The most trusted organic logo in Australia, the ‘Bud’ is recognised by 64% of Australian shoppers.

Australian Organic Limited represents the interests of the organic industry through advocacy and better policymaking. Australian Organic lobbies federal and state government on key policy issues, market access and industry matters to support a prosperous future.

In conjunction with driving awareness of certified organics through strategic marketing campaigns and events, providing educational resources, hosting events and forums designed to upskill and add value, Australian Organic also collaborates with Australia’s competition regulator (ACCC) to ensure consumers are getting what they paid for.

Learn more about what we do here.

Australian Organic Limited is a proud to partner with a range of industry groups and organisations. View a list of our current partners at the link below.

During 2017, the organic industry undertook a consultative process to uncover a clear pathway to create a single voice to government. The results of this process provided a recommendation that Australian Organic Limited (AOL) could step forward as the peak body for the organic industry – however there was a list of changes that AOL would need implement to gain industry support. The largest of these changes was to separate from its subsidiary certification arm, Australian Certified Organic Pty Ltd (ACO).

As AOL is a member owned organisation, a resolution required to be passed to allow for the official separation of the subsidiary from the parent company. At the 2017 AGM, AOL’s members voted in support of the process and as at 30 June 2018 AOL demerged from its subsidiary certification arm, ACO (now ACO Certification Ltd – Australia’s largest organic certifier). ACO Certification Ltd no longer holds the exclusive license for certification to the Bud logo. AOL and ACO Certification Ltd operate under two separate Boards, organisational structures and strategic objectives.

The ‘Bud’ logo is now licensed to two of Australia’s largest certification bodies – ACO Certification Ltd and AUS-QUAL Pty Ltd. The ‘Bud’ logo is sublicensed to over 2,000 certified organic businesses and appears on over 32,000 products.

Organic operators who are certified by one of the approved, Bud licensed certification bodies to use the Bud logo will pay a sliding scale of Industry Development Licensing Fees. The sliding scale ensures operator licensing fees better align to their gross turnover.

Licensing fees help Australian Organic Limited provide the following valuable industry services:

  • Research projects such as the biennial Australian Organic Market Report
  • Export market resources via Trade Organic
  • Free educational resources via the Australian Organic Schools Program
  • Active involvement in industry groups, submissions and a variety of government and lobbying opportunities
  • Providing members and the organic industry a voice in government
  • Maintaining industry advisory committees for each sector to address current and emerging issues
  • Representing organic operators at various trade events and forums
  • Annual awareness campaigns such as Australian Organic Awareness Month in September
  • Valuable resources and updates on current industry matters
  • Much more!

Learn more about what we do at the link below

Australian Organic Limited is an industry body representing Australian certifiers (certification bodies) and certified operators. Australian Organic no longer provides certification services, however owns its own private organic standard, called the Australian Certified Organic Standard (ACOS). Australian Organic licenses certification bodies to use the ACOS and Bud logo as part of their certification services. Australian Organic no longer requires certification services.

Licensed certification bodies ensure their organic operators are adhering to the Certification Rules and relevant Standards. All Department of Agriculture approved organic certification bodies ensure compliance with the relevant standards which allows trace back of all products to their origin. If you require certification services or more information, we recommend you speak to one of the six Government approved organic certification bodies in Australia.

Generally speaking, organic always means:

  • No synthetic chemicals, pesticides or herbicides
  • Made without artificial colours or preservatives
  • Livestock are free to roam
  • No routine use of antibiotics
  • GM ingredients are prohibited


Organic Standards incorporate strict guidelines and requirements. Learn more about the Australian Certified Organic Standard here.

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