The state of the Australian organic industry is thriving, contributing more than $2.6 billion to the country’s economy each year. Demand for organics products is still strong, despite the uncertainties that dogged 2020.
However, the issue of lacking domestic regulation is still an ongoing one said chief executive Niki Ford of Australian Organic Limited in the presentation The State of Play in Organics at Naturally Good 2021.
The continuing call for domestic regulation
The peak industry body has been calling for strict reform of organic labelling standards and change to legislation for more than two years now.
Currently in Australia the word ‘organic’ is still not defined and is lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of regulation. “At the moment being certified organic within Australia is a voluntary process, however any producer or manufacturer can claim a product is organic on its packaging with as little as one ingredient being from organic origins,” said Ms Ford.
“Enforcing domestic regulation around this word will give producers, manufacturers and consumers much greater clarity that a product has been rigorously audited against a high-quality standard. This is why we’re constantly urging consumers to always look for an official Bud certification logo which ensures a product has gone through stringent testing. Trust is all important for consumers when it comes to organics.”
Certification can underpin greater trust
To illustrate the point Ms Ford highlighted a number of key points from AOL research:
75% of organic purchasers say that knowing certification marks are used on labels is a guarantee a product is organic. Awareness is shallower for non-purchasers at 39%.
63% of food shoppers agree that an organic certification mark can enhance the level of trust in products that display them on packaging. 81% of current organic buyers agreed, as did 41% of those not currently buying organic.
75% of all shoppers suggest that if two products were identical including price, but one carried an organic certification mark, its inclusion would have some level of positive influence on their selection.
Meanwhile, speaker Najib Lawand from Export Connect discussed the growing global market noting that in 2020, whilst global disposable income was down by 5% in retail terms, organic food value grew by more than 13%.
“The growth rate for organic packaged food was the highest among all health and wellness categories in 2020,” he said. Mr Najib outlined three main drivers of organics:
Preventative health: 53% of consumers globally consider the label ‘’organic” as trustworthy
Sustainability: 47% of consumers seek organic food for environmental concerns
Consumer priorities: Sale falls in travel, consumer food service and fashion has enabled further organic food purchase
Ms Ford added the government is now considering a number of regulatory pathways to achieve a common sense approach and align Australia with international standards.
Niki Ford, CEO, Australian Organic
Gillian Fish, Founder & CEO, The 6AM Agency
Najib Lawand, Founder, Export Connect
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