Organic vs Certified Organic – your questions answered

Organic Fruit

Organic Fruit

Ever wonder what the difference between organic and certified organic is? Is there even a difference? And what does certified organic really mean? Let us clear up the confusion:

What’s the difference between ‘organic’ and ‘certified organic’?

Put simply, anyone can claim to be ‘organic’ but in order to trust that they really are they need to be ‘certified organic’. In order to be certified organic in Australia a product needs to be grown or manufactured free from synthetic pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibitotics. In the case of farming, livestock must be free range, pasture feed, seed must be non-genetically modified and all processes must be water efficient and biodiversity friendly.

How do we know if something is certified organic?

Simple! Just look for a logo that says ‘certified organic’. It might look something like one of these:

Certified organic egg labels

If the product is wrapped you should be able to find this on the packaging. In the case of fruit and vegetables (or if you’re unsure) a business should have this logo displayed or be able to provide you with their certified organic certificate. When in doubt, just ask!

How does a product become certified organic?

There are seven government approved, organic certifying bodies in Australia. In order to become certified organic a business must apply to one of these bodies and go through a strict certification approval process. The process includes providing a variety of documentation as well as a visit to the business by an auditor who will observe all processes.

Once certified, a business can be subjected to random audits and tests and will need to keep their certification up to date. For an example of the types of things that a business needs to cover in order to become certified organic check out The Australian Certified Organic Standard.

Are all the products at The Organic Place certified organic?

All of our fruits, vegetables, eggs and meats are certified organic from Australian Farmers. Every Thursday after our deliveries are completed we list all the produce we purchased from the market, the farm of origin and organic certification on our social media pages. We do stock a small supply of non-organic certified grocery items (just 1%) this is because our local area does not have a health food store and we wanted to be able to provide healthy food products (some which may not be certified organic) to our customers. Rest assured though, we will always specify if something isn’t certified organic and if we wouldn’t eat it or feed it to our family it wouldn’t be in our store!

How do we know that all the fruit, vegetables and eggs we supply at The Organic Place are certified organic?

We have been provided with a certification certificate from each of our organic suppliers. We also receive availability lists from the market every Tuesday where we are able to see for each product what is certified organic, who it is certified through and the certification number.

Did you realise there was a difference between ‘organic’ and ‘certified organic’? Do you have any other questions you need us to answer? Feel free to send us an email at or head to our facebook page.

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