Australian Standard for organic and biodynamic products

Thursday, 22 October, 2009 | Supplied by: SAI Global Limited

The first ‘Australian Standard for organic and biodynamic products has been published. AS 6000-2009 Organic and biodynamic products outlines the minimum requirements to be met by growers and manufacturers wishing to label products ‘organic’ and ‘biodynamic’. It establishes an agreed set of procedures to be followed for the production, preparation, transportation, marketing and labelling of organic and biodynamic products, including food and processed food.

The decision to develop the Australian Standard originated from the need to standardise practices within the organic industry because of the growing use of unsubstantiated claims on product labels. It was supported by a survey of organic growers, industry bodies, certifiers, associations, consumer groups, retailers and government organisations.

The Australian Standard establishes a uniform framework for how to grow, produce, distribute, market and label organic and biodynamic products. Consumers can be sure that products complying with this standard have been produced following natural, sustainable, ethical and environmentally responsible farming practices.

Tucker said the Australian Standard requires that operators must keep thorough records of their farming and production practices throughout all stages and verify their organic claims through a process of independent, third-party certification.

The Standard also requires: practices stipulated in the Standard be applied to the land for no less than three years before any products can be labelled organic or biodynamic; the almost absolute restriction of pesticides and fertilisers produced from synthetic chemicals; a complete ban on the use of genetically modified products; operators have a farm biodiversity and landscape management plan as part of their organic management plan; and the use of organic and biodynamic livestock feed for livestock products labelled ‘organic’ or ‘biodynamic’.

In addition, the appendix includes a list of permitted materials for soil fertilisers and plant and livestock pest and disease control.

The Australian Standard, which is currently voluntary, is based on the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) National Standard for Organic and Bio-dynamic Produce, Edition 3.3, which governs the export industry. Certifiers and operators are not expected to have difficulty aligning with the Australian Standard because of its close alignment to the AQIS Standard.

AS 6000 is supported by a publication outlining the procedures for certification, also developed by Standards Australia’s Committee. MP 100 Procedures for certification of organic and biodynamic products is designed to assist certifiers, operators and accreditors wishing to comply with the Standard.

Both publications were developed by Standards Australia’s Committee FT-032, Organic and Biodynamic products.

Phone: 02 8206 6000
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