Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum have joined international dignitaries and an array of the country’s top certified organic producers for a historic event at Parliament House to mark the formation of the Parliamentary Friends of Australia’s Organic Industry (PFAOI). Recognising the certified organic industry’s development into a major export earner and economic driver that contributes $851m directly into the domestic economy, the barbecue lunch featured a range of certified organic produce and hosted the newly formed Organic Development Group (ODG).
There is a new, united voice for Australia’s organic industry, with eleven organisations coming together to form the Organic Industry Discussion Group (OIDG) to advance the interests of the organic sector, including the pursuit of domestic regulation. The OIDG brings together all of Australia’s certification bodies and key industry groups in one forum.
Australia’s certified organic industry has been left shocked and disappointed at the decision by Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt to abandon plans to introduce domestic regulation, ignoring his own panel of industry experts and thousands of producers. In a bitter twist, Minister Watt’s decision comes on the same day New Zealand’s parliament formally passed a bill to create an organic standard, leaving Australia as the only developed country in the world without organic regulation.
As peak body for Australia’s organic industry, AOL has reacted with alarm and dismay at the move by Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt to place domestic regulation into the too-hard basket, despite his department’s own commissioned advice finding it will leave the industry and consumers worse off.
Peak representative body Australian Organic Limited (AOL) has taken its campaign for mandatory domestic regulation of the organic industry to Canberra, as organic producers and businesses grow increasingly frustrated by the protracted pathway to an urgently needed regulatory framework. AOL met with almost 20 parliamentarians and stakeholders from across the country last week, to refocus decision makers’ attention on the issue that continues to unnecessarily impede Australia’s more than $2 billion organic industry