With the modern age and unlimited access to the world wide web, it’s never been easier to make more informed choices about your health and lifestyle. This is one of the many reasons why organic products have seen a surge in popularity over the past few years. The Australian organic market alone is estimated to be worth a whopping $2.6 billion, with 19% more organic operators entering the industry each year to keep up with the demand from eager shoppers.
However, there are still a large portion of consumers who aren’t quite willing to take the plunge into organics – with 66% of non-purchasers saying that ‘price and value for money’ are still the top reason why they don’t buy organic, shortly followed by 41% saying they didn’t know if they could ‘trust’ a product was organic.
These are just some of the many reasons why organic certification marks can make all the difference when it comes to organics, especially since many products claim to be organic when they could actually contain just 1% of organic ingredients! Building trust between organic operators and consumers, organic certification marks act as a ‘guarantee’ that a particular product has adhered to strict certification standards – from the sourcing of the ingredients, right the way through to production, manufacturing and getting it to our shelves.
What does Certified Organic mean?
The term ‘Certified Organic’ means the farm, product or service, has been independently, third party verified by a certification agency as being organic. This means that every part of the supply chain has been through rigorous audits and testing, and adhered to a standard, such as the Australian Certified Organic Standard (ACOS). To add to this, Certified Organic brands/companies are audited annually to maintain these strict standards.
When an organic product carries an organic certification mark (such as the Australian Organic ‘Bud’ logo – now recognised by 51% of shoppers), you can rest assured that it is truly organic and has been produced to the highest of standards.
What is a certification agency?
Australian certification agencies are accredited by the Australian Government via the Department of Agriculture, Water and Resources. They independently inspect, assess and certify products in compliance with the relevant organic standards.
What’s the difference between ‘Organic’ and ‘Certified Organic’?
Just because a product is labelled ‘organic’ doesn’t meant that it is certified. In Australia, there is little control over the term ‘organic’ – any company can use the term in their product name or labelling. ‘Organic’ products also have no regulations for minimal amounts of organic ingredients. This means a product labelled ‘organic’ could contain just 1% organic ingredients, and those ingredients may not have been sourced and processed to the same standards as a ‘certified organic’ equivalent.
Therefore, by choosing a Certified Organic product, you can rest assured that it meets strict certification standards, has been sourced and processed ethically and sustainably, and is truly organic.
The Benefits of Certified Organic Products
With this in mind, we’ve taken the time to list just some of the many benefits that Certified Organic products can have for both animals, our planet and the health of you and your loved ones.
FREE RANGE – Livestock must be free to roam to be Certified Organic. This means no caged chickens and no sow stalls.
SYNTHETIC CHEMICAL FREE – The Australian Certified Organic Standard prohibits the use of synthetic agricultural chemicals including pesticides, fungicides and herbicides.
MINIMUM ORGANIC INGREDIENTS – Certified Organic food and drink must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic ingredients.
BETTER FOR NATURE – Certified Organic farming practices are better for the environment; they conserve water, focus on soil quality, are free from synthetic chemicals and pesticides and promote sustainability.
How can I tell the difference between ‘Organic’ and ‘Certified Organic’?
Now you know the difference between Organic and Certified Organic, how can you tell the difference? Here’s a few handy tips below:
- Look for a certified organic mark or logo such as the ‘Bud’ logo.
- Check the packaging for any information about certification.
- Make sure the product states ‘Certified Organic’ not just ‘Organic’.
- Contact the brand/company to request more information or check online.
Want to learn more about organics and how you can enjoy an organic lifestyle? Join our Bud Organic Club today! It’s free to join.
(Organic industry facts and figures taken from the Australian Organic Market Report 2019)