Australia’s Certified Organic (ACO) Standard is now recognised as being equivalent to the Swiss standards.
This is good news for exporters of organic beef and lamb as it means that businesses no longer need to obtain Swiss Organic certification of use import permits when shipping their products across the globe.
Prior to this development the national organic standard in Australia shared an equivalency agreement. However, this only extended to plant and plant-processsed products.
The ACO has its own stricter standard and certifies products such as meat and wine, opening up the country for the supply of these goods from Down Under.
Although the Swiss market is not large, exporters can enjoy a more streamlined process as there is now less paperwork to deal with, making it much easier to export.
According to Australian Organic, these kinds of products have a six per cent share of the Swiss food market. However, this has been growing steadily with a 4.2 per cent increase reported in 2011.
ACO currently have equivalency agreements with the United States, Canada, European Union, South Korea and Japan, making it the organic certification body in Australia with the most access to international markets.
What are the criteria for farmers to be certified by the ACO?
In order to become certified, farmers must have a focus on including biodiversity in their methods. This includes both in the farm itself as well as in the surrounding areas.
Often these farmers focus on regenerating lands and utilising the best environmental practices possible. This includes maximising recycling and biological cycles in the farming system.
The company have a focus on producing naturally safe and high quality foods that meet their nutritional guidelines.
This means farmers must try and minimise the amount of chemical inputs used in production to ensure meat is as natural as possible.