Becoming Organic

Organic Requirements

Essentially, all organic standards expect zero use of harmful or banned chemicals, no synthetic inputs or fertilisers, no HGP’s and no GMO’s; treat your livestock humanely, look after your soil and water and become certified so you can prove it. The following table summarises the requirements of the standards

Farm Production The basic aim is to achieve sustainability of the natural resource. While emphasis is placed on property and land management, livestock husbandry practices that reflect the behavioural needs and ethical treatment and welfare management of livestock, are also of fundamental importance. Again, no chemicals or HGP’s are allowed.
Biodiversity and Landscape Management If your production unit is greater than four hectares, you must set aside at least 5% of that production unit, for wildlife and species diversity.
Plant Production & Protection No GMO’s and, no chemicals are allowed and you will need to use biological control for pests and weeds wherever possible. The standards will have a list of what you are allowed to use.
Livestock A general rule: a female must be on the certified property for at least the last trimester of pregnancy for the progeny to be certified organic. If the mother was born onto conventional or in conversion land, she can never be classed as being certified organic. Poultry, up to 2 days of age, can be classified as organic.

Conventional livestock, clearly identified, can be run on certified land and with certified stock (after a quarantine period) without affecting the status of the certified stock. But certified stock can never be run on non certified land without impacting on their organic status.
Livestock Breeding Natural breeding methods are preferred. AI is not recommended.
Livestock Nutrition The producer should endeavour to ensure all diets are 100% organic, however digressions from this are allowed with permission from the certifying body.
Livestock Disease Prevention and Treatment The emphasis should be on management practices for the control of pests and diseases as opposed to relying on substances.
Livestock Welfare The health and welfare of livestock is paramount. If the use of a prohibited input is in the animals best interest, you must use it. Depending on the treatment, the status of the animal is likely to be impacted as a result but there are timeframes where this may be restored.
Livestock Manure You will need to recycle the nutrients while ensuring there is no contamination of ground or surface water.
Transport and Storage, Preparation, Packaging All products must be handled, stored, prepared and packed in a manner that prevents contamination or substitution.
Use of Additives and Processing Aids Processed products from organic production systems should be composed essentially of ingredients as they occur in nature.
Cosmetics & Skincare Organic Cosmetic and Skincare products should be primarily composed of certified organic raw materials; be minimally processed to preserve the natural properties and not include harm to animals or involve testing.
Inspection and Certification All global standards require an initial inspection of your operation. Once you are certified, ongoing annual surveillance inspections are also needed. You may also be subjected to random, unannounced inspections.
Labelling and Advertising When you make claims of organic certification to your customers, all products are to be clearly and accurately labelled. Please note that National Labelling and Country of Origin Laws, overrule organic labelling rules. You must obtain permission prior to using the SXC label.
Imported Products Subject to certain requirements, organic or bio‐dynamic produce which is imported into Australia can be added to a predominately Australian product and be labelled as certified organic under the National Standard. Imported products cannot be certified to the AS6000, however they can be used as an ingredient or input into a product that can be certified under AS6000.
Retail, Wholesale, Export Generally speaking, retailers and wholesalers should be certified to maintain consumer confidence. A general rule of thumb: if you alter the integrity of the product, packaging or labels, you must be certified.

More Information on Getting Certified :

Understanding the organic standards
Information needed for an application
How to apply for certification
Certification fees

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Southern Cross Certified Australia Pty Ltd, Milton, Queensland, Australia, 4064
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