Currently there are no laws or regulations in Australia to protect the use of the word ‘organic’. Many products carry the word ‘organic’ on their labelling, but only if it is certified organic by a recognised certifier can consumers be sure it is truly organic.
Certified organic products are grown and processed without the use of synthetic chemicals, fertilisers, or GMOs. Organic does not just mean free from positive chemical test results, it refers to how our food is grown and handled. Certified organic or biodynamic products are produced with land management practices that prohibit use of artificial fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, growth regulators, antibiotics, hormone stimulants or intensive livestock systems. Animals raised using organic methods are treated humanely and with respect.
Certification meets international standards which are assured through annual audits of all certified operators by an independent third party auditor. There are a number of approved certifiers in Australia and many more internationally. It can be confusing for consumers – there are numerous eco-labels with certifier’s symbols, and how do consumers know what the standards of each are and whether they meet the international standards.
Australian certifiers are accredited and audited annually by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS). Producers are able to choose which certifier they wish to use. Australian certifiers are authorised by the AQIS to verify organic claims. Certification bodies use the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce as minimum standards for organic certification.
Products imported from other countries may bear various international certification symbols. These and the Australian ones are listed below.
There are steps you can take to make sure you are buying food that will support your body and the social, environmental and economic system in which you live.
How do we know its organic?,