Friday, September 12, 2008

Organic Standards Released in Australia for Comment

"Standards Australia has released for public comment a draft Australian Standard covering organic food.

The organic food industry says the standards will eventually mean consumers can confident that the organic products they choose are truly organic as the development of the Australian Standard for the organic and biodynamic industry nears completion.

The standard has been developed by a committee of key stakeholders and stipulates requirements for the production, preparation, transportation, marketing and labelling of organic and biodynamic products. It places particular emphasis on farming and management practices which promote the use of renewable resources and conservation of soil, water and energy resources.

Unprocessed products from plants, animals and fungi such as fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, mushroom and fibres, as well as processed products such as processed food, cosmetics and skincare products which are labelled ‘organic’ are covered in the draft Standard.

Colin Blair, deputy CEO of Standards Australia, said the draft establishes minimum requirements to be met by growers and manufacturers for products that can be labelled ‘organic’ or ‘biodynamic’, creating a level playing field for growers, retailers and consumers. “At the moment, consumers looking to buy organic products have no uniform guarantee of quality and integrity. At the same time, legitimate organic farmers have no protection against the minority of growers misinterpreting or falsely claiming to follow organic agricultural practices,” Blair said."

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