Australian Certified Organic Standard

The Australian Certified Organic Standard is the rule book for businesses that are certified organic with Australian Organic’s ‘Bud’ logo.

It is reviewed every three years to ensure it meets industry expectations and changes with new practices and research. The Standard applies to a range of organic businesses – food and drink, cosmetics, fibre, farmers, processors, retailers and manufacturers of certified organic ingredients.

As one of the strictest standards in Australia, the Australian Certified Organic Standard brings together the requirements of national and international relevant standards so consumers have a simple choice when buying organic produce.

You can download your free digital edition or purchase a printed edition.


A breakdown of the updates can be found in the ‘Change Log‘, available to download below:


Australian Certified Organic Standard – Update

It is with pleasure that Australian Organic Ltd releases this latest edition of the Australian Certified Organic Standard – 2019 version 1 (ACOS 2019 v1).

This update contains changes required by regulators, and accreditation bodies, in line with Australian Organic Limited’s Quality System.

The changes in this edition of the ACOS can be grouped into three areas:

Changes for European compliance

The European Commission published regulation 2018/1584 on 22nd October 2018. This regulation is an amendment to 889/2008 – which forms the detailed rules for implementation of higher level regulations.

The ACOS is equivalent to the European regulations, and is assessed for this equivalence by the International Organic Accreditation Service (IOAS). This provides Australian operators producing organic wine and livestock products with access to the lucrative European market – where the government to government equivalence agreement excludes these product categories. To ensure ongoing market access, the changes in this update were necessary.

Changes for COSMOS compliance

COSMOS is an international organisation that has become one of the most important organic and natural logos globally for cosmetic and personal care products. It is now a requirement for any COSMOS accredited certification bodies to cease use of any other private organic standards for these product types and only use the COSMOS standard (with the exception of government standards).
To create greater market access for cosmetic clients certified to the ACOS, this Standard has been harmonized to the COSMOS Standard for cosmetic and personal care products.

Note that Australian cosmetic manufacturers not wishing to become COSMOS certified can still access the prestigious Bud logo, via demonstrated compliance with the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce (National Standard).

The removal of the cosmetic section of the ACOS and the cross referencing to the COSMOS standard offers Australian operators a “best of both worlds” opportunity – being able to display the Bud logo via National Standard certification, and/or the COSMOS logo where their market demands it.

Changes required for National Standard compliance

The majority of the changes in this version are due to a process of realignment with our National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce. This full review of our ACOS against the National Standard was conducted through the last quarter of 2018, to ensure a level playing field for all of industry, and to allow impartial licensing of certification bodies wishing to offer the Bud logo to clients.

The development of the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce, and the Australian Certified Organic Standard, occur in parallel, and with ongoing liaison and consultation. However, over the years, some “drift” has occurred. This drift has been addressed in this new version, and it is our assessment that these changes should not negatively impact existing certified operators.

The recalibration process is being conducted to ensure the highest level of market access possible for ACOS users, whilst maintaining a level playing field for all Australian certified organic operators. Australian Organic Ltd looks forward to continuing to develop the standard through a transparent standards development process, and in accordance with AOL’s Quality System, and the principles outlined in ISO/IEC17065 and ISO/IEC17067.

Australian Organic Ltd welcomes feedback as part of a continual improvement process. Please forward your feedback to contact@austorganic.com.