Australia’s organic products market is set to reach AU$ 2 billion (US$ 1.5 billion) in 2018, based on its current growth trajectory.
The prediction comes from Australian Organic – the country’s lead organic body – in its 2017 Market Report.
In an upbeat assessment of Australia’s organic industry, the report shows that the number of certified organic operators in the country (which has 53% of the world’s organic farmland) grew by 5% between 2015-16 to 2,075. Exports, meanwhile, increased by 17% in 2016, with key markets for Australian organics being East Asia (33%), North America (34%), Europe (12%) and South East Asia (12%).
Australian Organic says there is growing consumer confidence in organic, as the category becomes ‘normalized’. Personal health, for the buyer and their family, was the strongest motivation to purchase in 2016. When asked to rank organic’s most important benefits, the top three places (in descending order) were ‘chemical-free’, ‘additive-free’ and ‘environment-friendly’ – ‘better tasting’ was ranked in tenth place.
As there is no legal requirement in Australia for products labelled ‘organic’ to be certified organic, “credible organic assurance has never been more important,” says Australian Organic, particularly with the growing problem of greenwashing and overstated provenance claims.
The report explains that, in Australia, that there is a “co-regulatory arrangement where government legislation sets the broad direction of governance, but non-government organizations are involved in the administration of the regulatory regime” (there are six government approved organic certifying organizations in the country).
Australian Organic says that there is major opportunity for Australian organic growers and processors – both at the national and international level – to meet demand in areas where there is currently undersupply – for example, organic grain, fruit and vegetables, livestock feeds and red meat. At the finished product end of supply chain, the report identifies ‘combining values’ as an opportunity to “build on organic certification by embracing other health, ethical and lifestyle values”.
• Naturally Good Expo, Australia’s leading exhibition for the natural and organic health products sector, takes place in Sydney on 4-5 June 2017.