A world first Australia-China organic trade access agreement is predicted to boost Australia's organic and biodynamic industry by up to $100 million per year.
Australia’s premier organic certifier, the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA) has secured approval from Chinese regulators for its certification arm, NASAA Certified Organic, to inspect organic operations within Australia for exports to China.
The agreement was signed in Adelaide today between NASAA Certified Organic and Chinese organic certification body, Beijing WuYue HuaXia Management and Technique Center (CHC).
Speaking at the launch event, Australian wine industry identity Peter Simic, Chairman & Publisherof Winestate Magazine, said Australian grape growers and winemakers were among the first primary producers to see the marketing value in natural growth and production processes.
Mr Simic said: “This historic agreement is an exciting initiative to marry the strength of both countries in terms of future organic production in Australia and for consumption in China.
“With an estimated boost of $100 million per year to organic producers this takes the industry into another level, and the partnership accreditation involved is a massive reduction in previous difficulties accessing the Chinese marketplace, “ said Mr Simic.
Confirming his personal support of the organic sector, he announced Winestate Magazine’s first fully Organic wine tasting event to be held this year in conjunction with the peak organic body, NASAA.
“This watershed agreement is a toe in the water for future partnerships between China and Australia, which could one day lead to a full free trade agreement between the two countries, a very exciting prospect!”
Three years ago Winestate Publishing established an international marketing program where small to medium sized Australian wine companies accompanied a co-operative trade delegation to major wine events in China and Italy.
Australia is currently one of the top three suppliers of organic foods to China, together with the United States and the European Union, with organic beef, wine, dairy, children foods and processed foods the main items exported from Australia.
A world first
NASAA General Manager, Mr Ben Copeman said the deal was the most significant initiative to be released into the Australian organic market in 30 years.
This is the first time a foreign organisation has been approved to inspect organic products for export to China, as well as to inspect and certify Chinese organic operators to USDA NOP and Japanese Agricultural Standards in China.
“We estimate that it could add some $60 million to $100 million per year to the Australian organic sector,” Mr Copeman said.
“It will save Australian operators thousands of dollars and months of paperwork in exporting their organic products to China.NASAA trained and CHC approved inspectors in Australia will audit certified operators; write the various reports and our Chinese based partners assess and approve the application.
“This will allow Australian organic products access to the highly regulated Chinese organic market with the same ease and cost structure as access to the American, Japanese or European organic markets. “This means a considerable reduction in cost, time, and red tape,” he said.
Mr Copeman said the new agreement is expected to have a huge impact on organics, which is already the fastest growing sector of the Global Food Industry.
“World sales of organic products are now estimated in excess of US$59 billion and growing, while the Australian market was valued at $1.27 billion in 2012. The Australia market has experienced growth of up to 15 per cent year on year between 2008 and 2010 despite the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
“One NASAA certified operator has increased their turnover from $20 million to $40 million in just one year, and many other smaller operators have doubled their turnover, due to access to China.
“This deal will also help to enhance Australia’s reputation for clean and green food production with China’s rising middle class, who are demanding more Western-style, luxury food.
“China’s demand for Australia’s organic produce will continue to grow as long as China’s affluent middle classes continue to grow”, he said.
The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA) was formed in 1986 and supports the education of industry and consumers on organic, biodynamic and sustainable agricultural practices.
NASAA was Australia’s first organic certifier.
Today, its certification arm, NASAA Certified Organic (NCO), provides certification and inspection services to assist Certified Organic operators access every organic market in the World.
NCO certifies more than 1,000 operators in 13 countries, certifying some 5.5m ha of agricultural land worldwide.
Beijing WuYue HuaXia Management & Technique Center (CHC) is one of the earliest established organic food certification bodies in China.
It has been approved by the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA) and is also accredited by China National Accreditation Service For Conformity Assessment (CNAS).
It is the member of China Certification & Accreditation Association (CCAA) and IFOAM. CHC is also the executive director member of China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC). Chen ZHAO, the director of CHC, is also the executive chairman of the CCOIC’s Organic Industry Development Committee
The business scope of CHC covers all three categories of organic product certification business including plant (plant production, collection of wild plants, mushroom cultivation); breeding (livestock and poultry breeding, bees and bee products, aquaculture) and processing.
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