Friday, 9 October 2009


“Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.” - William Ruckelshaus

A new national standard was introduced in Australia today assuring consumers that food labelled “organic” really is such. The standard that was adopted outlines the minimum requirements that are needed to be met in order get the “organic or biodynamic tick of approval”. It also simplifies the criteria and lessens the categories of certification from eight to three. The standard makes provision for production, preparation, transport, marketing and labelling practices and also requires the maintenance of strict records by producers and marketers.

The voluntary standard requires the organic label to be held off for at least three years after the required farming practices are adopted. Similarly the same period must be allowed for the use of organic or biodynamic livestock feed. This of course ensures that any traces of “non-organic” contamination are dissipated before the truly organic product reaches our table. Once these procedures have been carried out and once the certification is attained, the product can be certified organic.

It is hoped that this new standard will help the consumer answer this question: “How can I trust organic?” The new standard suggests that this will be easy as the consumer can look for a “certified organic” logo on the product to be absolutely certain a product is truly organic. Unlike claims such as “green”, “sustainable” and “natural”, which are often misused and falsely applied, the certified organic industry relies on recognised standards and most importantly independent auditing and certification to back those claims.

More information is available from the Australian Food News (AFN) site.


  1. I always try and buy organic, but as you say Nic you cant be sure of always getting the real thing. Having a certified product protects the consumer. And the producers of the real stuff I guess.

  2. I find the thing with organic produce is that it is often significantly more expemsive than other foods, so I don't tend to go out of my way to buy it...and aye! There has been a lot of controversy regarding whether 'organic' foods are truly organic.

    I do always dish out the extra money and buy free-range eggs, though, particularly since watching a programme showing farmed hens all cooped up and distressed.

  3. Certification is a good idea, provided it is regulated well. I guess that any system can be taken advantage of and there always dishonest people that will try to cheat the system. But it's better than nothing.
    I agree about the eggs as Fi said!