Wednesday 2 August 2017
Working Group meets in Tweed Heads to consider options for closer collaboration
The Australian Organic Industries Working Group met over two days in Tweed Heads this week to consider options for greater collaboration between organic businesses across Australia.
The Working Group agreed to undertake some regional consultations across Australia to determine the level of support for a harmonised voice for the organic industry and the services that might be provided. Details will be announced in coming weeks.
A clear and harmonised industry voice is seen by industry leaders as necessary to underpin continued strong growth.
The Working Group also discussed ways to protect the integrity of the certified organic system, in the interests of both businesses and consumers. Integrity is important for improving access to domestic and international markets.
The Working Group was welcomed to Tweed Heads by Councillor Warren Polglase on Tuesday. In opening the workshop, Councillor Polglase noted that "the Tweed area was home to many innovative organic businesses".
Local business Ozganics played a key role in organising the workshop and is typical of the innovative businesses operating in Australia's organic sector. Ozganics founder, Anni Brownjohn, said that "Australia's organics industry faces many challenges over the next year or two. In particular, its important that the industry works closely with Governments to ensure that regulations are efficient and appropriate. The workshop demonstrated how passionate and committed industry leaders are, and there was a strong commitment to presenting a harmonised industry voice."
The Working Group was formed following a round of consultations with the office of the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on how to increase the competitiveness of Australia's organic sector.
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Policy Partners has been appointed by the Working Group to manage the project.
Organisations represented at the workshop
National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia
Organic Federation of Australia
Organic Food Chain
Obe Organic Australia
Australian Organic Meats
Baw Baw Food Hub
Direct Feeds Australia
Kialla Pure Foods
Organic Crop Protectants
Organic Systems & Solutions
Peninsula Fresh Organics