The department's role in the domestic organic and biodynamic food industry
The department's Agricultural Policy Division is the contact for issues concerning domestic organic policy matters.
Certification of organic produce in Australia
There is no mandatory requirement for certification of organic product sold domestically in Australia. Many organic businesses however choose to be certified by an organic certification body to underpin truth in labelling requirements and promote consumer confidence.
Organic standards used in Australia are generally owned and managed by private organisations. Domestically marketed organic products are commonly certified by one of Australia’s six private certifiers who base their certification standards on the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce Edition 3.4 July 2009 (the export standard which is also referred to as the National Standard) used by the department for export certification.
The voluntary Australian Standard for Organic and biodynamic products, AS 6000-2009 (Australian Standard), was released on 9 October 2009. Standards Australia developed the Australian Standard through a representative committee comprising organic stakeholders, including certifiers, retailers, manufacturers, consumer groups and government agencies. The Australian Standard, along with the associated publication MP100-2009, Procedures for certification of organic and biodynamic products, is available at SAI Global
Labelling of organic and biodynamic produce for Australia's domestic market
All foods produced or imported for sale in Australia and New Zealand, including organic food, must be labelled in accordance with the
Food Standards Code developed by
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).
FSANZ protects the health and safety of the people in Australia and New Zealand by maintaining a safe food supply. It is a bi-national independent statutory authority which develops food standards for composition, labelling and contaminants, including microbiological limits. These standards apply to all foods produced or imported for sale in Australia and New Zealand.
The Commonwealth’s Competition and Consumer Act 2010 protects against fraudulent and misleading practices (including for food labelling).
The Organic Federation of Australia and the Australian Organic Traders Association are both member-based organisations that seek to represent the diverse interests of the organic industry.