There’s a new organic logo on the block. Yes, another one!
Unlike other countries such as the United States and Japan, which have just one organic logo, Australia has a raft of them. That’s because each certifying organisation has one. There are six certifying companies in Australia.
The States has many more than that, but they all use the same logo to show that something is organically certified. Some would like the Australian organic industry to head this way to avoid confusion.
The Organic Federation of Australia (OFA) is an industry representative group supported by most organic certifiers in the country. It’s won Australian Government approval to introduce an organic logo, shown below, that all organic producers and manufacturers can use, regardless who they’re certified with. It’s essentially an ‘Australian’ organic logo.
It’s a good thing …
If other certification logos phased out and just the one logo was worn – it would reduce confusion about what to look for. We would only need to remember one logo.
One of the main reasons it was developed was to reduce confusion amongst international buyers of Australian certified organic goods.
If it finds its place on products, they’re most likely to be exported products. OFA intends for the logo to represent Australian certified organic products, giving the international market a simpler way of identifying Aussie goods.
OFA wants countries to recognise the Australian organic logo as equivalent to their own organic standards and therefore accept products wearing the logo into their country. They will need to do some solid marketing and education internationally for this to happen.
It introduces a seventh organic logo onto the market
Organic manufacturers and producers are generally loyal to the organisation they’re certified with and wear the accompanying logo with pride.
The two largest certifiers, Australian Certified Organic and NASAA, have reputations for having stricter standards than some of the smaller certifiers and organic companies see achieving their certifications as a significant achievement. If they do adopt the new logo, they’re unlikely to ditch the old and will therefore wear more than one certified organic logo.
Will it be taken seriously?
The new ‘Australian’ organic logo isn’t very sophisticated or attractive and this is sure to inhibit its uptake, particularly in the organic clothing and cosmetic industries.
The simple design also runs the risk of not being taken seriously by shoppers who are already faced with a raft of symbols pretending to be certification marks or stamps of approvals, when they’re not.
If the new logo got the support of the majority of the organic industry and replaced existing logos it could make shopping for organic a lot easier, for international buyers and us.
But this is unlikely to happen in the near future given how the organic industry is commercially structured in Australia. The organic industry is small in Australia so there’s fierce competition between certifiers for business. This competitiveness reduces collaboration and collaboration is what will be needed to get this new logo out into the market place in a significant way.
From a shopper’s point of view, the new logo won’t make a lot of difference and you should continue to look for the logos you’re familiar with.