Australia’s market leader for organic wine production has backed growing calls for the introduction of a standardised domestic regulation for the sector to protect markets and ensure consumer confidence.
Angove Family Winemakers operates across two vineyards spanning 300ha in South Australia’s rich McLaren Vale and Riverland regions, and last year experienced a lift in revenue of $5.5 million to $7.6 million due to a surging domestic and global appetite for organic wine.
Joint managing director, Victoria Angove, who is a fifth-generation wine producer, said she held concerns for consumer confidence in the entire organic sector without a regulation for the consistent use of the word “organic”.
“At the moment, there is no mandatory domestic legislation requiring producers claiming organic status in their branding or communication to be independently audited by a third- party for their products. This means that for a producer making misleading claims it is very difficult to see them being held to account,” she said.
“There is a loophole there and we would like to see it closed. We need claims of being organic validated by formal certification.”
Angove is a member of the Industry Advisory Group, which was established by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment in December 2020, to consider if Australia’s current domestic organic regulatory system is fit for purpose
Chief executive officer of peak industry body, Australian Organic Limited (AOL), Niki Ford, who also sits on the Advisory Group, said without domestic regulation, Australia could not grow existing markets to their full potential or reach new global or domestic customers.
“Australia has a thriving $2 billion organic industry that is ideally positioned to meet burgeoning demand for organic product from both local and international markets,” Ms Ford said.
“A mandatory standard will streamline exporters’ access to more markets and reduce the burden of having to pay separate fees and meet specific regulations for each individual customer nation.”
“Domestic regulation will mean that the Australian government will be better placed to negotiate equivalency agreements internationally. For organic producers and exporters this will work to reduce the double handling and dual audit processes currently running between nations,” she said.
“The benefits to Australian organic businesses will be substantial.”
Main image: Fifth-generation wine producer Victoria Angove is backing calls for a standardised domestic regulation for the organic sector.
Image Two: Angove Family Winemakers operates across two vineyards spanning 300ha in South Australia’s rich McLaren Vale and Riverland regions.