BFA introduces “Organic Crusader”

Posted by Isobel Drake on 22nd December 2009

In the aim of protecting consumers’ interests, the Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) have created a new consumer feedback program to assist with the regulation of unscrupulous organic claims in the market.

Consumers are encouraged to provide feedback, report on dubious organic claims on products in the marketplace, (whether certified or non-certified) and to ask their questions relating to organic certification and standards. While certified organic products such as those carrying the “Bud” logo are third party audited and guaranteed, from time to time there appear products in the marketplace which do not carry the integrity of an organic certification mark, and yet flaunt the “organic” claim on labelling and in marketing.

“Common law protects consumers buying certified organic products, based on precedents in law, but the hope is that the ACCC, in concert with industry, will prosecute a non-certified operator who can’t demonstrate that their product is in fact produced in accord with a recognised organic standard,” Dr Andrew Monk, BFA Standards Convenor, reported.

He added that the BFA had followed up on several examples of unscrupulous labelling recently further to the launch of its consumer feedback line and e-link, known as the “Organic Crusader”.

“Products such as a juice product that has blatantly included a preservative in its ingredients, not permitted by any known organic standard in the world, and several similar cases for cosmetic products, once pursued and prosecuted will create a deterrent in the market for others,” Dr Monk advised. “The BFA will be aiding and abetting the ACCC to achieve such outcomes.

“In the meantime, the follow up and education process of companies regarding the ACCC’s new resolve has already proven a deterrent with several product brands now making the journey to becoming certified organic, or reconsidering their marketing strategies.”