Frequently Asked Questions
If I want to apply for certification through ACO, how can I do so?
If you’re interested in applying for certification, it is best you contact the office on (07) 3350 5716 email@example.com（周一至周五，8.30am-4.30pm）所以我们可以讨论您的操作并找出您将下降的类别（即生产者/处理器/零售商）。联系办公室后，您将收到一个应用程序套件，其中包括所有相关的申请文件，目前Fee Schedule以及当前的电子副本ACO Standard.
I’m not certified, but I sell organic products. Can I use ACO’s or other organic logos?
No. ACO and any other certification logos are registered/trademarked and permission must be granted prior to use on any print and electronic media. However, for retailers and online stores the use of claims is restricted to only pages or products these claims refer to. E.g. Product packaging states ACO logo, website product description page can reiterate the information found on the packaging as long as this information is displayed in a manner where it cannot mislead consumers to believe the information also refers to other products.
What if I don’t use organic logos, can I claim my product is ‘organic’ even though I’m not certified?
The term ‘organic’ is currently not regulated in Australia, but this is not the case for other countries so check before you export! However,‘certified organic’是澳大利亚标签规定的监管术语，这意味着如果您想使用“认证”一词anywhereon the product label (not necessarily in product name) the handling of the product must be in compliance with organic standards likeACOS., meaning the product must appear on an organic certificate and the label must be approved. If you are not certified yourself nor using certified manufacturers to produce / package/label your product, you cannot use the term“认证”as you are not complying with the Australian labelling regulations.
I am already certified organic through another certification body in Australia – can I transfer to ACO and keep my certified status? What are the costs involved in transferring?
Yes, hassle free transfer is possible. If you can provide your current organic certificate and recent audit report along with application documents, we will waive the application fee. Please contact the office to discuss your eligibility for transfer to ACO.
I am certified! When should I expect to hear from you in regards to my next annual audit? Do I need to submit any paperwork in advance?
You should receive an Annual Audit Notification letter 3-6 months prior to certificate expiry. Depending on your certification type, the Notification letter may include documentation you will be required to complete before the audit. The auditor will contact you approximately 8 weeks prior to certificate expiry to set a mutually suitable date and time for the audit.
When I’m certified, can I carry products with ‘Certified Organic’ claims as well as non-certified ‘organic’ claims?
No. The ACOS states that our clients ‘organic’ claims will refer to ‘certified organic’ products only. This is to ensure that consumers are not misled with clever labelling and marketing attempts. When you are certified as a business, any product with ‘organic’ or ‘certified’ claims must be approved by ACO and appear on your certificate.
Yes! We offer a fast track option at an additional cost. We will try to work with your time lines, however, it is important that you are organised and ready for this service. Lack of organisation and missing information can lead to delays in processing您必须联系ACO办公室，以便在住宿并支付之前快速跟踪您的申请。
The Group is separated in to two distinct parts: the advocacy work that AO conducts on behalf of our members and clients including marketing, education and market access; and the certification services that ACO provides. Although the two companies work together, ACO as an accredited body is not directed or influenced by AO.
What markets should I be looking at
You might be interested in both the domestic and international markets. ACO offers a range of services from Freshcare (on farm food safety) to meet supermarket requirements, to export certification including Japanese, US, Canadian, Chinese, Korean, IFOAM and European organic standards. It’s good to know upfront what markets you want to access, and remember to discuss this with ACO staff to make sure you bundle your services the right way. It is also important to speak with your prospective customers to ensure you can provide organic products to the standards they require. Please note that various markets, thus services, may have an impact on formulas for processed products, therefore it is important to plan ahead when formulating.
What is Organic Management?
This means understanding the fundamentals/principals/standards of organic management and reviewing the different standards involved in the markets that you are looking at selling to. Understanding how you will meet the requirements of different organic standards is one of the bases for achieving organic certification. It will be expected that you have a written plan for managing your organic business defining all aspects and related risks.
I already have a Quality Plan. Do I need to have another one for Organic?
If you have a current quality or safety plan it is best that you review this and incorporate organic into that, otherwise ACO can provide a template for your organic management plan. On this form you will be able to answer each question in regards to how you will manage your business in accordance with the Standard and the regulations required. This document is an integral part of your application and ongoing management of organic business.
So how much is this going to cost me?
Have you reviewed what services (standards) you wish to be certified under? OurFee Scheduleshows application and ongoing costs for each service. There is a standard application fee (which can be waived if you are transferring from another certification body), and a flat rate audit fee for a 3hr audit.
- Every location handling/storing organic products must be audited at least once per year
- Locations within a 25km radius can be bundled into a single audit meaning only one audit fee.
- International inspection costs are charged at a daily rate + travel costs.
- ACO收集基于层的行业发展征税（IDL），代表澳大利亚有机有限公司（AOL）。这是基于每年在检查期间核实的有机销售额。请参考Fee Schedulefor IDL information.
Please contact the office for an estimated cost based on your specific certification needs.
请联系办公室info@aco.net.au或07 3350 5706。
Once you have lodged your paid application, the following steps will be undertaken:
- ACO will process and review your application documents once payment is confirmed. If we require additional information we will contact you.
- The office will organise the initial on-site audit with one of our registered auditors.
- The allocated auditor will contact you to arrange a time and date for the Inspection. You must be ready to present any requested documents related to organic production such as balance sheets, purchase and sales records, ACO approvals and derogations, production records, etc. You must be ready to visit all sites and provide the auditor the opportunity to take samples and/or photos should they request.
- Once the auditor lodges their audit report with ACO, the report will be reviewed. Your results along with a copy of the report will be sent you to. Any non-conformances (corrective actions) will need to be responded to sufficiently within the noted time frame.
- If no major non-conformances are found post review, your unique certification logo(s) will be issued to you for design purposes. All designed packaging and marketing materials need to be submitted to ACO for formal approval prior to printing.
What is covered during my audit?
Requests and requirements may differ based on type of operation and services applied for. The auditor has the right to requestanydocumentation related to organic management, and it is important the information is well managed so that it can be easily retrieved during audit (delays during audit can incur additional hourly fees). Important areas which are covered during audit:
- Product list, formulas, ingredients/suppliers certificates
- Segregation- preventing contamination
- 可追溯性和记录保管 - 平衡和调和
- Pest control and cleaning – procedures and products used
- Inputs – crop and livestock products
- Contamination risk (Risk Assessment) – how risks are managed
- Soil or product testing – sampling
- Management ability – training, information flow
- How well all of the above are covered in the Organic Plan
How can an international product be Certified Organic and have an ACO Logo
How to apply for a Label / How to Add Product
How long does the conversion process take?
- Pre-Certification– has the land been managed as ‘compliant’ to an organic Standard for the last 3 years leading up to your organic application? If yes, and you are able to show paddock history, and test results are negative for contaminants, In-Conversion (IC) status can be granted. If the property is deemed as contaminated or historic evidence cannot be demonstrated/proven, the initial 12 months must be managed as per organic rules without certification. The site will be reassessed at your second audit.
- In Conversion（IC）期限：根据现有历史至少12个月，这是您向我们展示您了解要求并有机管理的时间。示例：该物业已管理，尚未以任何方式对待10年 - IC被授予，财产必须在12个月内作为有机管理。在第二次审计时，如果有任何污染物，如果有任何污染物，则会再次显示土壤测试，如果是负面的“有机”的身份。
- Certified organic: The operator is now able to claim they are ACO certified and products can bare the ACO logo for relevant service/ Standard applied for. All claims must be formally approved by ACO.
I have bought recently cleared land which has not been farmed before, can I become certified quicker?
Where it can be verified that there have been no conventional farming practices previously through records and declarations for a period of 36 months, the area may be eligible for In Conversion status after the initial audit. The area still needs to go through a minimum 12 months in Conversion period prior to being reviewed for Certified Organic status.
Do you have a list of allowed fertilisers/composts/livestock feed supplements that I can use on my organic property?
是的。ACO有一个注册的输入程序，验证了农业输入对ACOS的符合性。可以找到完整列表这里或者在ACO Product Search, just select “Advanced Search”
请注意,following important points:
- TheAustralian Certified Organic Standard (ACOS)under Annex 1 and 2 lists generic materials which are allowed or restricted for use.
- Allowed inputs are deemed to be compliant to the ACOS and National Organic Export Standard, if you are also certified to other Standards you need to seek ACO approval to use any input.
- It is important that you declare all inputs prior to using them in case they do not meet one or more Standards you are certified to.
- Use of inputs is restricted based on demonstrated need and approval by ACO.
When will I receive my unique certification number and logo?
Your certification number and logo will be issued once you have been granted organic certification and will appear on your first organic certificate.
Do I need to submit my labels for review?
Yes – once you receive your unique ACO logo and have incorporated it on to your labels, you must submit the labels for approval. Please refer to theFee Schedulefor these costs.
How long does it take to become certified?
最初的Docum开始之间的时间框架ent Review and receiving your first Compliance Certificate can be approximately 6-8 weeks, assuming all documents are completed appropriately, no corrective actions are raised at review or audit stages and a mutually suitable date can be set between yourself and the auditor.
为了宣称“有机认证”在我的名单t, it needs to meet a minimum of 95% certified organic ingredients – does that mean the remaining 5% can be conventional ingredients?
Do you have any resources to assist me in searching for organic ingredients?
您可以通过搜索有机成分，产品和完整的客户端列表ACO Product Searchon the ACO website (using the ‘Advanced Search’).
Am I allowed to use “natural” ingredients that are not certified organic?
Natural ingredients in certified organic products are restricted and can be used based on necessity and organic availability. All natural ingredients that are not listed in the ACO Standard as allowed must be evaluated and approved by ACO as meeting the below requirements to be allowed:
- Not available as certified organic (if it is available as certified organic it cannot be approved as a natural ingredient);
- It can only make up a maximum of 5% of the total product to be called certified organic;
- Non-genetically modified;
- Not tested on animals;
- Produced naturally without the use of prohibited processing aids and additives
- Natural flavours must be classified as natural under the Foods Standards Australia New Zealand section 1.3.1. 11(b).
Natural ingredients are to be submitted to ACO via ouronline questionnaire.
Can I purchase organic bulk/raw materials/ingredients from anon-certifiedwholesaler/importer/ trader? They are able to provide me with their supplier certificate.
No. Certified organic products must be sourced from certified organic operators. All stages of the supply chain must be certified.
是的。Not all ingredients are made equal. Any changes to your suppliers, ingredients and/or ingredient quantities must be reported to ACO for formal approval as this may also impact the organic % and therefore labels.
Yes – if you are changing suppliers, adding suppliers or new products you must notify ACO. We will verify your supplier(s) to ensure they are certified organic to a Standard ACO recognises. Adding new products is easy and provides your customers with an up to date product listing they can trust as being certified organic.
When do I submit my recipe(s) for assessment?
When applying for certification, formulas/ recipes should be completed using the ACO template and submitted with your ACO Certification Application.
How do I know what claims can be made on labels and marketing material?
Rule number one, do not print prior to formula and label approval. Jumping the gun can be costly.
The product labels need to follow labelling regulations of the country the product will be sold in. However, here are a few points for what you can claim in addition:
- You can claimyour companyis certified with ACO, placing of this claim is key.
- You can claim the organic status and/or % as per your approval letter.
- Use of ACO logo is not mandatory, however certification details must be included on labels ( ACO certified 1234), this includes cases of “Made with..” claims where logo is not permitted to be used.
- Products under 95% certified organic content cannot be labelled ‘organic’ or ‘certified organic’ on front, the regulated claim is ‘Made with certified organic ingredients’. The ACO logo不能使用。
- Products under 70% certified organic content are not certifiable however if you choose to identify ingredients as ‘organic’ or ‘certified organic’ you must have this verified and approved.
OurService Deskis used for assessments, you can use this resource to submit additional products, labels, Inputs, Suppliers or Recipes for assessments. Your submission should include:
- Your Certification Number
- What type of Assessment it is (eg product, label, etc)
- Your business name
- Updated Product Spreadsheet and Supplier’s Certificate.
You can email an administration officer to change the names of your products when needed, provided the recipe does not change. Simply state no other changes are to be made to the product so we know an assessment is not required. Let us know the old name and the name you would like it changed to and we will complete these changes and issue an updated Certificate.
If the recipe or suppliers change an assessment will be required and you will need to submit the product spreadsheet to theService Desk去做这个。