What is organic?
Organic produce has been produced according to certain production standards. Before a product can be labelled organic, a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet organic standards. The basic principle of organic farming is to achieve optimum quantities of produce and food of high nutritional quality without the use of artificial fertilisers or synthetic chemicals. It does not use genetically modified foods, growth promoters or hormones.
A key factor is that organic farming is consistent with sound moral and ethical principles; it benefits the environment, the air and the soil, our children and farmers. It stores more carbon in the soil and there is less wildlife and environmental damage from fertilizer and pesticide run off. Organic farmers are rearing animals with care and attention to their welfare. They are allowed to roam free as animals should and are given the opportunity to grow and develop in the most natural and humane way possible.
What is certified organic?
In Australia, organic certification is performed by several organisations that are accredited by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), formerly the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) under the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce. Currently there are 7 registered DAFF accredited certifying bodies.
In Australia, there are seven organics certification companies that have been approved by AQIS:
Australian Certified Organic (ACO) is Australia’s largest certifier for organic and biodynamic produce and has over 1500 operators within its certification system. ACO is a not for profit fully-owned subsidiary of Australia Organic Ltd. Certified organic mean that the product contains over 95% certified organic content and can be labelled ‘organic’ or ‘certified organic’ on the front of the product, and the logo can be displayed on the front too! The remaining ingredients (5%) must still comply with the requirements of the organic Standards e.g. non-gmo, non-synthetic, non-irradiated, non-nano, etc. ACO reviews all ingredients used in products to ensure they comply with the organic Standards.
What does it 'made with organic ingredients' mean?
Products under 95% certified organic content cannot be labelled ‘organic’ or ‘certified organic’ on front, the regulated claim is ‘Made with certified organic ingredients’.
What does ACO stand for?
Australian Certified Organic (ACO) is Australia’s largest certifier for organic and biodynamic produce and has over 1500 operators within its certification system. ACO is a not for profit fully-owned subsidiary of Australia Organic Ltd.
ACO provides certification services to operators from all sectors of the organic industry. Certification ensures compliance with national production standards and allows trace back of all products to their origin.
What does COSMOS stand for?
COSMetics Organic and natural Standard (COSMOS) as an approved certifier for Organic and Natural cosmetics as well as cosmetics raw materials, following an accreditation process through the International Organic Accreditation Service (IOAS). The product must not be called “organic”, for example, “organic shampoo”, unless it is at least 95% organic, measured as a percent of the total product. For products that are less than 95% organic, it is allowed to make reference to the organic ingredients on the label and in promotional literature, such as “Shampoo with organic jojoba oil”.
What does USDA Organic stand for?
In order to label a product as, "Organic" the product must have the following characteristics.
The product contains at least 95% organic ingredients.
The remaining 5% ingredients can be non-organic allowed ingredients.
Ingredient exception - any agricultural ingredients in the product must be organic unless not available.
An "Organic" product is allowed to wear the USDA Organic Seal.