Australia’s Nation Brand is working to strengthen Australia’s global reputation, pushing for premiumisation of our exported products. This Austrade initiative recognises that competing with commodities from countries with a lower cost structure is neither achievable nor desirable: a move towards quality produce underpinned by sustainable production is where Australia needs to be competing in coming years. Australia’s organic industry is a perfect example of how this premiumisation can be achieved.
‘… latest statistics reveal that Australia now has more certified organic agriculture hectares than the rest of the world put together. Organics is a major success story for Australia and the achievement of global majority (51%) is an important organics milestone. Organic agriculture is reported from 181 countries. Australia reported 35,645,038 certified organic hectares and the world total is 69,845,243 hectares. Australia has been the world leader in organics, based on certified organic hectares, since global statistics of organics were first collated and published in 2000’[i]
Faced with an obvious opportunity for growth but constrained by an extremely diverse industry with no effective or coordinated national representation, in 2016 a group of industry representatives from growers, processors, certifiers, industry consultants, and departmental staff founded an industry interim peak body, known as Organic Industries of Australia (OIA).
The OIA is currently working to take advantage of the national push for export premiumisation, having just released an export strategy for the organic industry.
The strategy acts as a guide for organic producers to improve current access to premium markets by providing:
- strategic, operational and tangible market knowledge for the whole of industry
- a platform for alignment of government, industry and commercial efforts to grow the organic industry
- insight to how organic exporters may improve their own strategic plan or join in collaborative export opportunities.
Developing tools to help industry is only one part of the OIA’s charter.
Perhaps even more important is its role to provide a single voice to speak for all of industry when advocating to government, and a single body to coordinate action across the huge diversity of sectors and companies that make up Australia’s organic industry.
If you’re in the organic industry, you have a role to play to support a united industry. See how you can get involved by visiting the OIA website today: https://organicindustries.com.au/.
Written by : Genevieve Kane
[i] Journal of Environment Protection and Sustainable Development Vol. 5, No. 2, 2019, pp. 70-74 http://www.aiscience.org/journal/jepsd ISSN: 2381-7739 (Print); ISSN: 2381-7747 (Online)