Did you know that Australia is one of the few countries with a developed organics industry that does not have a national organic logo/mark?
Pretty crazy, right?
America has the USDA Organic symbol; Canada has the Canada Organic/Biologique Canada label; the European Union has it’s green leaf symbol, mandatory since July 2010, and Japan has the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) symbol.
Here in Australia, we have to look for not one, but one of EIGHT different logos — including O.F.C. (organic food chain), NASAA Certified Organic and Demeter and Australian Certified Organic — when seeking certified organic products.
The Organic Federation of Australia believes we need one national organic mark or logo to address the confusion amongst consumers over the plethora of logos, marks and labels in Australia, and I agree.
Our lack of a national logo primarily affects us, the retail public. Every time we want to buy organic, we have to channel Sherlock Holmes to distinguish between greenwashed products that are labelled with words like ‘organic’, ‘pure’ and ‘natural’ and those that are truly organic. The only way to do this is to go searching for one of these eight labels.
But alleviating consumer confusion is not the only benefit of a national organic logo. It’s also great for sales, and general promotion of the organics industry.
Experience from around the world shows that a single national organic mark results in exponential growth in sales of organic products. This happened in Germany and the USA.
The Organic Federation of Australia (OFA) has started a process of consultation on the issue of a national organic logo, so let’s hope we get one soon.
A national organic logo would have to be readily identifiable, easily seen, attractive to the eye, able to be printed on every type of product and work in black and white.