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We often look to logos on product packaging for a quick indication of their contents concerning origin, health benefit, quality etc., but when it comes to organic certification in Australia,what do all the different logos mean? Have you ever wondered why different products have different organic certification? We thought this week we should look at the different certified logos you can find in Australian supermarkets and find out what they represent!
In Australia, organic certification is performed by several organisations that are accredited by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), formerly the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) under the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce. You click here to review this national standard. Currently there are 7 registered DAFF accredited certifying bodies.
NASAA Certified Organic www.nasaa.com.au
Organic Food Chain www.organicfoodchain.com.au
Australian Certified Organic (ACO) www.aco.net.au
Bio-Dynamic Research Institute (BDRI) www.demeter.org.au
Safe Food Production Queensland (SFQ) www.safefood.qld.gov.au
The Tasmanian Organic Producers (TOP) www.tasorganicdynamic.com.au
*There are two certification bodies that work domestically and are not controlled by DAFF. These are Organic Growers of Australia who is accredited by the International Organic Accreditation Service and SAI Global which is accredited by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JASANZ).
All certifying organisations belonging to these logos must ensure that their members comply with the national standard. Each certifying organisation has variations of this standard, however these are generally extra requirements as the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce is a minimum standard. DAFF will not accredit an organisation that allows a system that is less stringent that the minimum standard. If you are interested in the varying requirements for accreditation from an individual organic certifier, visit their webpage above for explanation. For further information contact the manufacturer and producer and enquire why they selected a particular body for certification.
No, although many of the certifier titles include geographic descriptors in their titles, there is no requirement within the varying standards that certify place of origin. For consumers to be sure of that a product is Australian made for example, they will need to look for other cues on the packaging beyond an organic certification logo.
I have previously quoted Amanda our Bellamy’s Organic Quality & Compliance Specialist, I believe she sums it up best; “We choose NASAA certified organic as not only were they the first organic certifying body in Australia but NASAA’s integrity and ethical interpretation in applying various standards, is held in the highest regard”.
Are you aware of the standards that these logos represent? Do you think there should be 7 different logos? Why not tell us your thoughts!