There are two organic standards in Australia and one does not recognise the other. Products certified to one can be exported.
Products certified to the other, cannot be exported. Both are pretty well identical in their requirements and application,
except being certified to the wrong standard may prevent you from accessing lucrative markets.
Confused???? Read on...
Overview of the Standards
There are two legitimate organic standards: AS6000 is a standard developed by Standards Australia. It is copyright and
cannot be downloaded or shared unless you have purchased a license from SAI Global. It is a legitimate organic standard
however it is not recognised under the Export Control Act. Because of this, products certified to AS6000, be they whole,
part or an ingredient in a product, cannot, under any circumstances, be exported as organic.
The National Standard for Organic & Biodynamic Produce, known as the National Standard (NS) or the Export Standard,
is the organic standard of choice for most people. Products certified to the NS can be sold anywhere in Australia
and into any global non regulated market.
Non regulated? Is Australia a regulated market? No. Australia is not a regulated market. What this means is that some
countries control or ‘regulate’ what the term “organic” actually means and who can use it. These countries stipulate
that certified organic products being imported into their country, must be certified to their own national organic program.
Prime examples of regulated markets are the USA and China. Australia is a non regulated market meaning we have no control
over who uses the term “organic” and no requirement for imported product to be certified to our National organic standard.
So… how do you decide which standard is best? The answer to this is: What markets do you wish to sell your product into?
If you are a co-operative who sells direct to the consumer, a producer or processor who wishes to sell products into the Farmers
Markets or direct to consumer and has no interest or desire to export, then AS6000 may be the best way to go.
If you are a wholesaler, exporter, producer or processor who sells a product and knows that it may end up in an export
supply chain, or you are not sure where the end product really ends up, then the National Standard would be best suited to you.
More Information on Getting Certified :
Becoming Organic - A Summary of organic requirements
Information needed for an application
How to apply for certification