Is it really organic?.

With rising consumer demand for organic products, the ACCC is cracking down on misleading labelling claims. Before labelling your products as organic, consider the question: is it really organic?

ACCC enforcement action

Dreamz Pty Ltd (trading as GAIA Skin Naturals) (GAIA) paid $37,800 in penalties in June 2018 after the ACCC issued infringement notices for alleged false or misleading representations. The labels of 3 of GAIA’s baby products stated ‘Pure ★ Natural ★ Organic’ despite the products containing synthetic chemicals.

What does ‘organic’ mean?

In Australia, ‘organic’ is generally understood to mean chemical-free. An organic claim may contravene the Australian Consumer Law if a consumer is misled into thinking the product contains no synthetic chemicals when it does.

There is no standard definition of ‘organic’. Certifying bodies apply their own criteria for organic certification and not all ‘organic’ products are certified.

Organic certification is not required in Australia to label a product ‘organic’. This means you can use the word ‘organic’ on product packaging and in promoting those products, provided it is not false, misleading or deceptive.

What this means for you

Before claiming your product is organic, make sure it fits the general description of what consumers understand organic products to be. Organic products are generally sold at a premium price due to consumer expectations of a higher quality product.

For guidance, consider the Australian Standards AS 6000-2009 for organic and biodynamic products or get in touch with the Bespoke TTR team for an overall labelling health check.

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Get in touch about this article

Kaye Ho
Commercial & Corporate
Manufacturing, Distribution & Supply

Posted on: 4 July 2018