Peak organic industry body Australian Organic Limited (AOL) has announced the launch of solo advisory services to assist businesses and individuals looking to navigate the path to certified production.
The new service will provide end-to-end guidance in becoming certified organic and assist those who are in-conversion or looking to maintain or reinstate certification status, as well as producers, processors and allowed input operators seeking more general advice on sustainable practices.
AOL Chief Executive, Niki Ford, said certification is integral to promoting trust in the industry, but many operators are not sure where to start.
“We just want to emphasise to producers that they’re not alone – they don’t have to go about organic certification as a solo journey,” Ms Ford said.
“It can be hard to access information and advice on organic production, business development and certification requirements.
“Navigating the complexities of organic production can be a daunting process for many. We saw a real need to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ to help and so launched solo advisory services to provide highly specialised advice at all stages of the organic journey – from getting started to understanding the daily needs of ongoing organic production.
“Being a business unit within AOL means solo can provide the most complete advice from industry leaders and, as we are a nonprofit organisation, any money invested in the service is put back into the development of the organic industry.
“The Australian organic sector now contributes more than $2 billion to the national economy and demand for organic products is growing, so there is great opportunity for producers and enterprises to explore what organic could mean for their business.”
As well as advice on getting started with organic certification, solo advisory services will assist producers and operators with organic management plans, record-keeping, preparing for audits, and ongoing compliance with regulations. All services are rendered in confidentiality, with all industry encouraged to contact solo for advice on matters they need assistance with.
The service is also open to anyone looking to learn more about organic practices, entering the certification pathway, or those would like guidance around sustainability and production.
“There are definitely challenges in becoming certified, whether it’s lack of information, confusion around auditing or external pressures like climate change,” Ms Ford said.
“We want to alleviate that stress and provide services to help overcome these challenges.
“Solo will be a checkpoint for anyone who doesn’t know where to start, and also provide ongoing education and mentorship.
“The first step is to have a chat – we want to fully understand the businesses we work with and propose a more bespoke solution for them.
“Our expertise is in organic production, but we have an extensive range of experts on hand who can provide assistance in other areas like animal welfare, natural disasters and business development.
“Being curious and asking questions is the best way forward for sustainability.”
For more information or to register for an initial consultation, visit the solo advisory services website at https://austorganic.com/solo-advisory.
0421 196 004