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What is certified organic?

Australia’s organic certification program was set up in the 1980s to ensure that what was claimed to be organic could be verified as being so. The way to ensure something is organic,  unless it is produced by yourself or you do your own intensive investigation, is to seek and rely on a certification mark to confirm that it has been independently certified. This is not to state that uncertified products are not what they say they are. Some small businesses cannot justify the costs involved with certification but their products are worthwhile on all fronts. That said, just because a product has organic on the label does not mean it is truly organic. A Green Pavilion staffer tried to purchase an “organic” shampoo in a supermarket……they found many pretty bottles with “organic” written on the main label or elsewhere on the bottle or packaging. Not one of them would they purchase. All had horrid additives one should not use……so certification is a simple way to buy organic. See AQIS approved certifiers below.

What is the difference between organic and partly organic products?

All of the following products are permitted under the National Organic Standard in Australia:

  • 100% organic.
  • Organic (which means products have at least 95% of their ingredients derived from organic production methods).
  • Made with organic ingredients (at least 70% of ingredients derived from organic production methods).
  • Products containing less than 70% organic ingredients cannot use the term organic on the display panel, but can make reference to the ingredients being derived from organic production methods in the list of ingredients.

AQIS also manages the Organic and Biodynamic Program.
Day-to-day responsibilities for certification and inspection have been devolved to the AQIS approved certifying organisations as listed below. Through its audit processes AQIS ensures that all operational and administrative procedures of the approved certifying organisations are compatible with the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce, the Export Control (Organic Produce Certification) Orders and importing country requirements. AQIS audits each approved certifying organisation together with at least two certified operators (eg farmers, processors) annually.


AQIS Organic Approved Certifying Organisations 



PO Box 3403 TINGALPA DC QLD 4173
Phone: 1800 630 890 Fax: 07 3361 9222   www.ausqual.com.au


Australian Certified Organic (ACO)


Postal Address: PO Box 530 CHERMSIDE QLD 4032
Phone: 07 3350 5706 Fax: 07 3350 5996   www.aco.net.au


Bio-Dynamic Research Institute (BDRI)


Post Office POWELLTOWN VIC 3797
Phone: 03 5966 7333 Fax: 03 5966 7433   www.demeter.org.au


NASAA Certified Organic (NCO)


PO Box 768 STIRLING SA 5152
Phone: 08 8370 8455 Fax: 08 8370 8381   www.nasaa.com.au


Organic Food Chain (OFC)


PO Box 2390 TOOWOOMBA QLD 4350
Phone: 07 4637 2600 Fax: 07 4696 7689 


Safe Food Production Queensland (SFQ)


Phone: 07 3253 9800 Fax: 07 3253 9810   www.safefood.qld.gov.au


Tasmanian Organic-dynamic Producers (TOP)


Phone: 03 6381 2004 Fax: +03 6381 2008   www.tasorganicdynamic.com.au