The organic industry came together this week to celebrate the launch of the Love Organic Symposium, in Canberra. With the Government about to close submissions this month on the review of the only protective organic legislation in Australia, industry leaders joined forces to determine a new representative that would take the industry forward.
In agreeance to form an Acting peak body was Anni Brownjohn (Ozganics), Marg Will (Organic Systems & Solutions Pty Ltd), Owen Gwilliam (Organic Advice), Rick McDougall (Australian Organic Director), Ben Copeman (CEO ACO), Jan Denham (NASAA Chair) and Don Murray (Nature’s Haven) to name a few in the group who will collaborate over the coming months to serve as the Acting peak body while a permanent structure is being finalised. Several options were presented by a number of consultants, government personnel and industry leaders, resulting in this body being formed.
The driving force behind continued growth in the industry is Australia’s largest and most recognised industry powerhouse for organics, Australian Organic Ltd (AOL). For some time now, AOL has been vocal in urging industry members and stakeholders to join in the journey of this organic unification.
Soon to be a stand-alone, member owned, not for profit industry services group, AOL will continue to support and protect its members, ensuring their members and stakeholders from the broader have the opportunity for their collective voices to be heard.
“The AOL group will receive advice and consultation from and with the acting peak body, and our members will have their own say in this before we make further moves later this year. In the meantime, AOL will complete the demerger endorsed by its members at the AGM last November, whilst establishing the new structures that will most efficiently and professionally represent the Australian organic industry,” said Dr. Andrew Monk, Chairman of Australian Organic.
Key guest speakers included David Cunningham (Assistant Secretary, Export Standards Department of Agriculture and Water Resources), Hon David Littleproud (MP Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Mrs Nola Marino (MP) and Hon Joel Fitzgibbon (MP), with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attending the Love Organic Symposium BBQ later that evening.
A national survey conducted last year, revealed that organic food has a firm foothold in Aussie shopping baskets, with more than two out of three households purchasing organic products in the last year and this exciting growth trajectory is predicted to continue. Furthermore, the 2017 Australian Organic Market Report revealed Australia officially holds the largest amount of organically managed farmland in the world at 53 per cent – local demand coupled with increasing export opportunities will further support growth in this booming industry.