If it is not Certified Organic, you can’t be sure it is organic.
Formal organic certification of organic products is the producer’s guarantee to consumers that along the entire supply chain, a Certified Organic product has been produced in line with the strict national and industry Organic and Biodynamic Standards.
In Australia, the term ‘organic’ is not regulated as it is in the United States, Japan and China. It is legal to produce a product and call it ‘organic’ without providing the consumer with any proof that it is actually organic.
What makes a product Certified Organic?
If a product claims to be ‘certified organic’ the owner and the seller of that product must be able to prove the validity of the certification.
If the vendor is claiming it to be certified, and a consumer questions the validity of the certification, the vendor must by law (administered by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission) be able to show the certificate of registration that confirms the product’s integrity. Otherwise, the term ‘organic’ can be used on a product anywhere, anytime, largely without any legal consequences.
The term ‘certified organic’ can only be used on a product when the producer, processor and in some cases, the vendor, are certified by an independent third party certifier.
Product labelling is what differentiates certified organic consumer products. All certified organic products are traceable back to the producer or processor.
The operator’s certification number, written in conjunction with the certified organic label within the product label, can be looked up on the website of the certifying organisation.
Look for these certifier labels.
Principles of organic agriculture
The Principles of Health, Ecology, Fairness and Care (IFOAM) are the roots from which organic agriculture grows and develops.
They express the contribution that organic agriculture can make to the world, and a vision to improve all agriculture in a global context.
Woolworths Organic Growth Fund
Woolworths is partnering with conventional and organic fruit and vegetable growers to help either start a journey to organic farming, or grow existing organic production. Through the Woolworths Organic Growth Fund, they are offering up to $30 million over five years in interest-free loans and grants, on top of contracted purchase volumes. Woolworths intends to offer 1-2 application rounds each year.
Interest-free loans will be offered to existing organic operations for land acquisition, new varieties, new facilities and equipment. These loans are also available for eligible Australian farmers who are ready to convert their conventional operations to organic production. The Woolworths Organic Growth Fund will also award financial grants for proposed projects with a higher risk profile or with longer payback. This may include research and development (R&D) or innovative organic fruit and vegetable production methods designed to boost supply in the medium to long term.