Australia's $2.5 billion organic industry is keeping up the fight for mandatory truth in labelling laws banning the word "organic" on uncertified goods. Industry experts hope to eventually score a victory in federal parliament next year. Some 56 per cent of Australian shoppers have claimed they deliberately bought organic products last year, so for the industry, the pressure is on to get Canberra to tighten regulatory oversight of what is certified and promoted as chemical-free.
Federal legislation would require domestic foodstuffs to identify a minimum standard of organic accreditation, bringing the rules in line with long-established organic export requirements. Recent research found almost a third of consumers buying organic products in 2020 believed they had previously been misled by labels on items which were not legitimate. Also, industry body Australian Organic Limited found lack of trust in labels claiming organic status was a real barrier to buying for 30pc of shoppers who frequently sought out organic goods.
Details of a government review into organic marketing and regulatory assurance standards are still under wraps, but Australian Organic chief executive officer Niki Ford said the industry's festering concern about the cost of inadequate labelling rules would "hopefully be resolved soon".
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