What the ACCC does

  • We educate consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities. This includes avoiding false or misleading claims.
  • We accept reports from businesses and consumers about possible false or misleading organic claims. We use those reports to inform our education, compliance and enforcement work.
  • We can require businesses to back up claims they make about organic products.
  • If a business makes false or misleading organic claims, we can investigate. We may take some form of compliance or enforcement action.

What the ACCC can't do

  • We don’t resolve individual disputes about misleading organic claims.
  • We don’t provide legal advice.

On this page

What is an organic claim?

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.

Organic certification is not legally required for a product supplied in Australia to be described as organic. However, businesses that make any organic claims must be able to prove those claims.

Organic product standards

There is a voluntary domestic standard for growers and manufacturers wishing to label products as ‘organic’ and ‘biodynamic’ for sale within Australia (AS 6000–2015). Businesses do not have to meet the requirements of this domestic standard to label and sell their products as ‘organic’ within Australia.

All organic claims, whether they reference a standard or not, should be able to be proved.

If a business claims to meet a particular standard, such as the AS 6000-2015, it must ensure that this claim is true.

'Certified' products

Businesses may also choose to become certified by an organic certification body. Many products carry a symbol, logo or other trademark to show that they are certified organic in this way. There are various private certification bodies. The minimum standards required to get certification may vary between these bodies.

Some certification standards for these bodies are based on the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce. The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment owns this standard and it is mandatory for Australian organic products intended for export.

Some businesses instead choose to be certified to the voluntary standard (AS 6000-2015) if only selling in Australia.

A business that labels its product as certified organic must ensure that the certification claimed on its product is genuine, and any certification mark is used in accordance with the certification requirements.

Tips when buying organic products

  • Look for any signs that the product ingredients are organic. For example, an organic certification logo, or a QR Code that links to information about the business’ processes for ensuring that the product is organic.
  • Ask the business about any certification used and do some research if you are unfamiliar with it.
  • If no certification is used, ask the business to explain how it ensures its product is organic. The business might also provide this information on its website.

Next steps if you think an organic claim is false or misleading

If you think a business is making a false or misleading organic claim, your first step is to contact the business to explain the problem.

If the business doesn’t resolve the problem, there are more steps you can take.

Get help contacting a business or taking a problem further

Report misleading organic claims to the ACCC

Anyone can report a false or misleading organic claim to the ACCC. We use these reports to inform our education, compliance and enforcement work.

Make a report to the ACCC

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