With more than 22 million hectares devoted to organic farming, Australia is the global leader by a long shot when it comes to organic acreage – but as the vast majority of our organic-certified farmlands are open-range beef grazing land up north, this doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels.
In truth, we have a long way to go before our agricultural sector can claim to be anywhere near as ‘green’ as those of most of Europe and many other nations. Recently, Denmark, a nation with far less organic acreage (and much less arable land) than Australia, became the first nation on Earth to mandate the nationwide adoption of organic and sustainable agricultural methods.
We’re not Denmark. We are, however, in an enviable position when it comes to organic potential. Australia’s wide open spaces, comparatively clean air and untainted water sources and soils mean we have the capacity to produce some of the world’s best organic produce, if we choose to do so.
And as emerging Asian markets on our geographical doorstep embrace safer, healthier foods and beverages – China’s health-conscious middle-class shoppers are clamouring for ‘clean, green’ produce – and organic-leaning consumers are on the rise worldwide, Australian primary producers are in an ideal position to deliver.
The pay-off? Markets worldwide have shown they’re prepared to pay a premium for sustainably, organically farmed fresh produce, including plant and animal proteins, provided you can prove your organic credentials. So by going certified organic, you gain access to export markets that are both lucrative and expanding.
And as you’ll be farming more sustainably by going organic, you’re also likely to benefit from lowered chemical inputs – thus lower input costs – and, over time, better-quality soils, leading to greater yield and productivity.
So when September rolls around, make sure you check out the events and information coming out of Australian Organic Awareness Month, which aims to “celebrate certified organic across all industries, including food, beverages, skincare, cosmetics, textiles, cleaning products, garden products and even pet food”, claim the organisers.
Check out the AO’s promotional video for Australian Organic Awareness Month here.
Australian Organic Awareness Month
Australian Organic Awareness Month, which runs from 1-30 September, will consist of organics-related promotional and awareness-raising events across the country in what’s reputed to be the nation’s “largest educational campaign celebrating certified organic products” – in particular, those products that sport the Australian Certified Organic (ACO) Bud logo.
The idea, say the organisers, Australian Organics, is to raise general awareness and “educate Australian consumers by highlighting the important values you are supporting when choosing products wearing the Bud logo”.
Products sporting the ACO Bud logo include those that are certified non-GMO, ‘free to range’, biodiversity-friendly, sustainably fished, socially responsible, pasture-fed, grown without the use of harsh synthetic pesticides and herbicides, or raised without antibiotics and minus added hormones.
In 2016, Australian Organics Awareness Month has several new sponsors, including Gold sponsors Barambah Organics, Bill’s Certified Organic Health Bakery and Thomas Chipman Chips; Silver sponsors Absolute Organic and five:am; and Bronze sponsors Lotus, E3Live Australia, Gemtree, Australia’s Own Organic, Sacred Grounds Organic Fairtrade and Borderland Organics.
The event’s media partners, including Nature and Health, ABC Organic Gardener, Town and Country Farmer, and Grant Broadcasters’ nine radio stations across Queensland and NT, will feature the event and hold various organics-themed competitions (with prizes including certified organic products from the sponsors) in the lead-up to and throughout September.
If you’re keen to help Australian Organic spread the certified organic message and raise consumer awareness of the ACO Bud logo and the benefits of buying organic-certified products during Australian Organic Awareness Month, contact them asap on 07 3350 5716 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the event website.
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