Ep 36: Is Certified Organic Really All That Different?
Today on the podcast, I'm talking with Niki Ford, the CEO of Australian Organic. This is a not-for-profit member-owned organization. It has become more and more relevant today as so many consumers are demanding information about the differences between organic and Certified Organic.
Australian Organic works to make sure organic standards remain strong and in line with global export markets. Consumer awareness about organic food has increased these past few years and more than ever consumers need to be able to trust labels and logos while they are shopping. There is such a lot of information and disinformation around the topic with a bunch of non-certified products in the market purporting to be organic when they're not. Let's try with Niki to put some light over that topic and to establish the truth behind this word: organic. What does this really mean? What are the Australians standards and what makes this label different from others?
1. Australian Organic previously owned ACO but demerged from this 2 years ago and is now the industry peak body. The Bud Logo is still owned and operated by Australian Organic, allowing more brands and products to utilise the logo, as long as they adhere to all standards associated with this logo.
2. To be Certified Organic, you need to comply to the organic standard and be certified by an approved certification body. There is a strict set of rules and guidelines around what you can and can't do. Some examples of the guidelines are no GMO allowed, no synthetic pesticides or herbicides, and needs to have a high level of animal welfare.
3. Cosmetics and personal care is far more complicated to certify than food goods. COSMOS which is the world's largest organic standards has a very complicated process by which every ingredient is reviewed including the way it is extracted or derived.
4. When something is Certified Organic, you know it has been proven to be safe. If something isn't Certified Organic, it's not that it's harmful, it's just that it's not proven – therefore it takes the risk away for people and is the safest insurance policy that you are doing the best thing for your body. You can have a level of trust and comfort associated with the certification.
5. Under the Australian Federal Law, anyone that is claiming Organic on their packaging that is getting exported to another country is required to be Certified Organic by law. Therefore, a consumer in an international market that is buying an Australia Certified product, that has been exported to their country, has more safety and certainty in knowing that the product is definitely organic than an Australian walking into a local store. In Australia there is currently the ability to label something Organic without it being Certified.
6. When transitioning to Organic, choose the things that are most important to you. Make sure you shop food by season as it is much cheaper that way. Transition slowly for your skincare and makeup, and be mindful of the process of detoxing your skin and body.