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Misleading packaging on organic products key focus
THE issue of products falsely claiming to be ‘organic’ on packaging will be the key focus of this year’s Austral- ian Organic Awareness Month.
cussion for clarification and mandatory regulation aligned to Australian ex- port requirements, which will significantly benefit agricultural producers.
rigorously audited against a high-quality standard.”
“The demand for or- ganic is still very strong – even during the uncer- tainties of 2020.
crops, but fortunately we were able to buy smaller parcels of grain in May, which meant we had suf- ficient stock to service de- mand,” Mr Kennedy said.
The annual event shines a spotlight on achieve- ments and issues within the organic industry, which this year has per- formed strongly despite the challenges of COV- ID-19.
The government is now considering a number of regulatory pathways to achieve a commonsense approach and align Aus- tralia with international standards.
Australia’s most suc- cessful global supplier of certified organic meat, Toowoomba-based A rca- dian Organic & Natural Meat Co, spokesperson Paul da Silva said lack of mandatory domestic regulation has organic export businesses playing at a perpetual disadvan- tage, particularly with this year’s challenges.
“This is a big export opportunity for Australia being hampered by red tape.”
AOAM ambassador for 2020, actor Lincoln Lew- is – who recently visited numerous Queensland or- ganic businesses includ- ing Fordsdale Organic Farms, Market Organics and Sherwood Rd Organ- ic Meats – said he was impressed with the pas- sion and commitment of all the producers.
Australian Organic Limited, the nation’s peak industry body for organ- ics, has urged consumers to always look for an of- ficial Bud certification logo, which ensures a product has gone through stringent testing.
Australia Organic Lim- ited chief executive offic- er Niki Ford said, “At the moment, being certified organic within Australia is a voluntary process, however any producer or manufacturer can claim a product is organic on its packaging with as little as one ingredient being from organic origins.”
“Each export market re- quires proof an Austral- ian organic product meets its own country’s organic standard.”
Other organic produc- ers such as poultry farmer Sonya Dowling from En- viroganic Farm in Mur- ringo, one of the main suppliers of organic poul- try to Woolworths, agree demand has not waned.
Kialla Pure Foods managing director Quentin Kennedy.
Australian Organic Limited chief executive officer Niki Ford.
Angus and Sonya Dowling from Enviroganic Farm in Murringo.
Currently in Australia the word ‘organic’ is not defined.
“Enforcing domestic regulation around this word will give producers, manufacturers and con- sumers much greater clar- ity that a product has been
“However, lack of reg- ulation means we often can’t have equivalence with standards in other markets.
“Drought, bushfires, floods, COVID-19 – none of it has actually affected our sales.
For the past 18 months, AOL has been working with government and in- dustry to progress the dis-
“This forces us and oth- er exporters to go through the full process of getting certification in each sepa- rate export market.
“If anything, recent events have boosted our sales.”
“So much effort goes into ensuring a product is certified organic.
2020 AOAM ambassador actor Lincoln Lewis.
“Drought-wise this is the third bad year in a row for
“This is a fundamental requirement for market access.
“Around 90 percent of our meat goes to Wool- worths for their Macro range and there is defi- nitely an opportunity to increase our volume because demand is so strong,” she said.
“It’s great knowing the consumer is being lis- tened to and these busi- nesses are leading the way for a healthier, sustainable future,” Mr Lewis, who has been on a health and wellness journey over the past 18 months, said.
“As we export to nine different countries this can cost thousands of dol- lars and countless hours per country,” Mr da Silva said.
Kialla Pure Foods – which produces certi- fied organic grains and flours out of Greenmount Queensland – managing director Quentin Kennedy said this year had deliv- ered their strongest ever results.
“As someone who regu- larly purchases organic, seeing the Bud logo and knowing a product is genuinely organic is reas- suring.”
Often auditors from each of those countries are brought to Australia to audit producers and pro- cessing facilities – a pro- cess not possible due to current travel restrictions.
“People are cooking more at home and have fallen in love with baking again.”
The Australian organ- ic industry is currently worth $2.6 billion and growing year on year.
“If obtaining the par- ticular certification isn’t possible for any reason, such as taking too long or being too expensive, then the business is lost – there are major opportunities just going down the drain.
“As a result, we’ve had five of the best months on record, with strong sales of wheat baking flours.
Strong growth has been driven largely by con- sumer appetite for natu- ral, pesticide-free and synthetic chemical-free wholesome food and a growing awareness of en- vironmentally sustainable practices.
“We’ve also seen a lift in other products such as polenta as people try out interesting ingredients.
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National Poultry Newspaper, October 2020 – Page 9

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