Following an Australian Government announcement today calling for public comment on the topic, Australia’s $2.6 billion organic business is celebrating a milestone in establishing a statutory standard for use of the term “organic.” Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud, a long-time supporter of improving and streamlining Australia’s organic regulatory framework, made the announcement, which will allow industry and consumers to share their thoughts on potential regulatory or non-regulatory options across the organics supply chain.
Australia is currently trailing behind worldwide markets as one of the few developed countries without a mandatory domestic standard, allowing uncertified items to be labelled as organic. In the absence of a trustworthy Australian framework, organic product exporters are also badly disadvantaged due to the red tape of having to pay separate in-country fees and comply with the requirements of buyer nations. Niki Ford, Chief Executive Officer of Australian Organic Limited (AOL), applauded the Australian Government’s move, saying it came after extensive lobbying efforts on behalf of the organic business over the previous three years.
Ms Ford said, “We are grateful to Minister Littleproud for his continued support and assistance in driving this agenda that will enable better market access, consumer trust, and industry credibility.” As the organic sector’s top industry association, these farms have worked relentlessly to support the members and provide a consistent voice to the government on this critical issue. Therefore, they are ecstatic that this crucial consultation process has now officially commenced. From here on, they will focus on helping the industry members, producers, manufacturers, exporters, and consumers to express their thoughts on this topic, which is vital to customer confidence and the future growth of organics in Australia, over the next several weeks and during the public consultation process.
Ms Ford believes that creating a statutory standard would help Australia compete for the growing worldwide demand for organic goods. Creating a mandated organic standard will assist ensure that our developing industry is well-positioned to capture growing demand both domestically and in global export markets,” she added. In an industry that ranges from horticulture to livestock, apiaries to cosmetics, and wine to sweets, it’s critical that consumers have confidence in their purchasing decisions.
Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)