Organic certification is when an organic certifying group audits a business’ methods to ensure that they comply with national or international standards for organic farming and processing.
Many people have their business certified to reassure wholesalers, retailers and consumers that their produce is organic.
In Australia, organic certification is performed by several organisations that are accredited by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) under the National Standard for 0rganic and Biodynamic Produce.
The National Standard for Organic and Bio-dynamic Produce (the Standard) also known as ACO standard provides a framework for Australia’s organic industry. The Australian Certified Organic Standard clearly sets out minimum requirements for organic production, processing, transportation and labeling. The principal objectives of the Standard include the production of food of high nutritional value, the enhancement of biological cycles in farming systems and the co-existence with, and the protection of, the environment.
Organic certification is the key to ensuring that what you purchase is in fact organic. Currently, these certification bodies accredited by AQIS to implement the Standard. Each of these certification bodies is responsible for ensuring that both the general principles and specific requirements of the Standard are being adhered to by the farmers, processors, transporters and retailers certified under their inspection system. In order to ensure that those who have achieved certified organic status are complying with the Standard, certifiers audit them both periodically and randomly.
Australian Certified Organic (ACO) is Australia's largest certifier for organic and biodynamic produce and has over 1500 operators within its certification system. ACO audits are done by an independent auditor. Each certifier has its own Organic Standards and ACO is often higher than Government standards. ACO is a fully-owned subsidiary of Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA). ACO provides certification services to operators from all sectors of the organic industry. Certification ensures compliance with national production standards and allows trace back of all products to their origin.
Demeter International is the largest certification organization for biodynamic agriculture, and is one of three predominant organic certifiers. Its name is a reference to Demeter, the Greek goddess of grain and fertility. Demeter Biodynamic Certification is used in over 50 countries to verify that biodynamic products meet international standards in production and processing. The Demeter certification program was established in 1928, and as such was the first ecological label for organically produced foods.
Formed in 1986, it stands for The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia. NASAA is focused on providing quality, cost efficient organic certification services. With operations both in Australia and Overseas, the company provides certification and inspection services, which assist in facilitating market access throughout the world for NASAA certified organic product.
Safe Food Queensland (SFQ) is the most recent certification organisation to begin operating in Australia. It is run by the Queensland Government.
The Tasmanian Organic Producers (TOP) certify organic and biodynamic food grown or made in Tasmania.
The Organic Food Chain (OFC) is a grower owned and operated company.
Check out our comprehensive directory of where to source organic products around Australia Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Tasmania, Online, Farm Gate Shops