THE organic industry's regulatory framework is up for discussion with a consultation process underway.
Consumers, organic farmers, food manufacturers and exporters are encouraged provide input to the consultation which will focus on potential regulatory or non-regulation options across all players in the supply chain, including small businesses
The federal department of agriculture already regulates the export of Australian organic produce to overseas markets.
Currently, Australia is one of the only developed nations in the world without a mandatory domestic standard, meaning products that are not certified may be labelled organic.
Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud said the consultation will focus on regulatory and non-regulatory options to manage the importation, production, and sale of organic products within Australia.
"We want to support growth in the industry, as well as give consumers the confidence the products they purchase are genuinely organic," Mr Littleproud said.
"Improving the regulatory framework will focus on growing our industry, improving market access, minimising red tape, and saving money.
"Australia's organics industry creates jobs, particularly in rural and regional areas, and contributes to the broader agriculture sector's goal of a $100 billion industry by 2030.
"It's not just great organic Aussie food, our industry also produces textiles, cosmetics, and other products. Improving the regulatory framework will focus on growing our industry, improving market access, reducing red tape, and saving money.
"Earlier this year I asked the Organics Industry Advisory Group to explore a range of options to advance Australia's domestic regulatory framework. I want to be clear about the costs, and what will work best for the organics industry."
Australian Organic Limited (AOL) chief executive officer Niki Ford praised the Australian government for its action and said it followed significant lobbying efforts on behalf of the organic industry over the past three years.
"Establishing a mandatory standard for organic will help ensure our burgeoning industry is well positioned to capture growing demand both here domestically and in export markets around the world," she said.
"For an industry that spans horticulture to livestock, apiary to cosmetics and from wine to desserts, it's important that consumers can make a confident informed choice when they are making purchases."
"We are so pleased this important consultative process has now formally begun.
"Over the next few weeks, and during the public consultation process, we will focus on supporting our industry members, producers, manufacturers, exporters and consumers to provide their views on this topic that is critical to customer confidence and the future growth of organics in Australia."
Australia has the largest organic agricultural area in the world (35.7 million hectares) contributing about $2.6 billion to the Australian economy each year with revenue projected to grow at 14.6 per cent annually from 2020-2021 to 2024-2025.
For more information on the consultation, click HERE.
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