One of the world’s leading analysts of the organic farming sector says that if the Australian industry is to increase its market share, it must stimulate domestic demand through awareness and certification programs.
Amarjit Sahota, founder and president of the British company Ecovia Intelligence
Amarjit Sahota, founder and chairman of British company Ecovia Intelligence has been following the global biologics industry for over 20 years and will address Australia’s premier biologics conference this month.
He said that while Australia is the world leader in land engaged in organic farming with 35.7 million hectares – nearly half of the globe’s 74.9 million hectares – it must look to world leaders in organic food consumption.
“Organic products account for 13% of food sales in Denmark and are worth more than A$3 billion every year,” Sahota said.
Australian Organic Limited (AOL) chief executive Niki Ford said the growth of Australia’s organic industry would be further boosted by a national regulatory framework. “More than 30 years ago, Denmark was one of the first countries in the world to implement organic regulations and standard labeling for certified organic products, which has generated considerable consumer confidence. and increased demand,” Ford said.
“Here in Australia, we may have the largest area of certified organic land and export standards for organic products, but we are the last developed country in the world without a mandatory national standard for our organic industry. As the leading industry body for the organic industry, we continue to work closely with industry and government stakeholders to advocate for a regulatory framework fit for purpose.
In the absence of domestic regulations, Ford said many organic operators choose to adhere to Australian export standards for their domestic sales to build trust with customers.
“More than 3,000 hard-working companies voluntarily adhere to the country’s strict organic export certification process as they recognize certification marks, such as the ‘Bud’ logo, Australia’s most recognized organic trust mark, add credibility to their brand,” she said.
“Regulation and consistent labeling has been extremely positive for Denmark’s organic industry and the implementation of a national standard in Australia would build consumer confidence, promote operator credibility and provide economic opportunities at scale. of the industry in global and domestic markets.”
Around the world, targets are also being implemented to boost organic food production. Since launching its Farm to Fork Strategy in 2020, Sahota said the European Commission has been on track to meet its target of 25% organic farmland by 2030.
“Countries like Austria, Sweden and Estonia already have 20% of their agricultural land certified organic and although the targets are an important mechanism, other factors need to be taken into account. It is important to encourage conversion to organic farming because of its possible environmental, health and economic benefits, but converting to organic farming is one thing, creating demand for organic products is another. The way forward for Australia is to boost domestic production and demand for organic food to avoid oversupply in the market and reduce the risk for producers converting to organic farming,” Sahota said.
A range of international trends in organic markets will be uncovered at the Australian Organic Conference from July 21-22, with speakers such as:
• Michel Reynaud, vice-president of the global certifier based in France, Ecocert
• Lee Holdstock, Commercial Relations Manager of the UK Soil Association Certification, and
• Tom Chapman, CEO of the US Organic Trade Association.
Registration for the first Australian Biological Conference 2022 closes this Friday, July 15. For more information or to secure your spot, visit the Australian Organic Limited website – www.austorganic.com/events/australian-organic-conference-2022/
For more information:
Tel: 0438 389 092
Email: [email protected]