Organic operators

​​​​​​Organic operators wishing to produce, process and/or handle organic and bio-dynamic produce for export must meet the requirements of the Export Control (Organic Produce Certification) Orders​, the National Standard of Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce and importing country requirements.

Compliance to these requirements is assessed by ​ approved certifying organisations.​

If you are a primary producer and considering organic certification you need to​ be aware that the transition, from conventional production to full organic certification, will require a minimum of three years under an organic management system, in accordance with the requirements specified in:

Frequently asked questions

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What are the requirements for organic and bio-dynamic products for export?

In order for a product to be eligible for export as a certified organic or bio-dynamic product, it must:

  • be produced in accordance with the National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce
  • be certified by one of the Department of Agriculture's approved certifying organisations
  • meet the importing country requirements

If the product is also prescribed under other export legislation such as meat, dairy, fish or egg products, then it must also comply with the appropriate legislation.

How do I become certified?

Certification must be sought from one of the approved certifying organisations.

This organisation will advise you about the processes required to become certified to meet export requirements. This includes inspecting your operations for initial certification and ongoing inspections, at least annually, to verify compliance to the National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce and importing country requirements.

What if I am already registered with the department for export?

In addition to meeting the requirements of the food export legislation which you are already operating under you must also comply with the requirements of the Export Control (Organic Produce Certification) Orders.

An authorised officers or their representatives of the department may be visiting your establishment to conduct inspections and/or audits in relation to the prescribed goods you are registered to export, however these assessments do not address the requirements for organic and bio-dynamic produce.  An assessment of the organic and bio-dynamic requirements can only be made by an officer appointed by an approved certifying organisation or a specialist department officer for the purposes of assessing compliance with these requirements.

This also means that you will need to provide export documentation under each of the appropriate export legislation, e.g. If you are producing an organic dairy product for export you will require dairy export certification and health certificates as well as an Organic Produce Certificate.

I already sell my produce as organic on the Australian market, what is different for exports?

Australia has trade agreements with importing countries; these agreements identify importing country requirements which must be met for organic and bio-dynamic produce to be acceptable to them. The National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce has been developed to identify the minimum requirements for produce exported as certified organic or bio-dynamic. Some countries have additional requirements, including compliance to their own standards. To export to these countries the products must meet these requirements.

You should discuss potential export markets with your approved certifying organisation so they can advise you if there are any specific requirements for these markets. Most markets have very specific requirements that must be addressed.

What can I put on the product label?

Labelling requirements are set out in the National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce.

The information contained on product labels must be true and correct, in relation to the product. Statements must be able to be verified and not contain unsubstantiated health claims.

If your label includes information provided in a foreign language you must be able to provide a certified translation of the statements made.