Consumers purchasing organic products should be able to feel confident that the ingredients are in fact organic. Misleading, false or deceptive organic claims are against the law.
An organic claim is any claim that describes a product as organic, or the ingredients used to make a product as organic. For example ‘100% organic’, ‘made using organic ingredients’ or ‘certified organic’.
Products labelled as organic generally attract a premium price compared to those produced using artificial fertiliser, chemicals or pesticides and non-essential food additives or processing aids. Businesses that make organic claims must be able to substantiate those claims.
There is a voluntary Australian standard for growers and manufacturers wishing to label their products ‘organic’ and ‘biodynamic’ (AS 6000–2009). This standard is a useful reference point when determining whether a product is organic.
Many products carry a symbol, logo or other trade mark to show that they are certified organic. This certification is provided by various private bodies and the minimum standards required to get certification may vary.
A business that labels its product as certified organic must ensure that its product is actually certified.
All organic claims, whether they reference a standard or not, should be able to be substantiated. If a business claims to meet a particular standard, it must ensure that this claim is true.
- Read labels carefully to see which ingredients in the product are organic.
- Ask the sales staff about the certification used and do some research if you are unfamiliar with it.