Gillard govt renews commitment to organic standards

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 8th July 2010

The Gillard government today announced an election commitment of a further $33,000 to Standards Australia for the ongoing maintenance of the Australian standard for organic and biodynamic products.

The commitment serves as a reminder to voters of the Labor government’s development of the first standards for the industry, released by Standards Australia on 9 October 2009: AS 6000 – 2009 Organic and biodynamic products and MP 100 Procedures for certification of organic and biodynamic products.

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said the money was earmarked for development of a National Standard for Organic Produce, including an agreed labelling and certification system for Australian organic produce.“Having developed the standards for organic and biodynamic products in 2009, it is vital that these remain up-to-date,” said Mr Burke.

“The adoption of a single national standard for organic produce will provide greater certainty and credibility for industry and consumers and will be a major step forward in the industry’s development.

“A broad range of organic industry stakeholders were involved in the development of the standard, including organic producers, retailers, consumer groups, certifiers, processors and government agencies.

“I encourage producers, certifiers and retailers to adopt this standard.”

The Australian Standard is a voluntary standard and provides a reference for courts to draw upon in determining if there has been a breach of the Trade Practices Act 1974 regarding organic or biodynamic labelling claims.

Standards Australia is a not-for-profit organisation, recognised by the government as Australia’s peak standards body. It works with industry, government and community stakeholders to facilitate the development of internationally aligned Australian Standards in the national interest.