Link to home page Orders Chinese Language

Ambiguous "Australian Certified Organic" Spirulina?

You must think an "Australian Certified Organic product" must be a product home grown and produced in Australia right? If you say yes, you may disappointed! Production in Australia is NOT required.

Are you aware Spirulina with 100% imported ingredients can also receive Australian Certified Organic certificate? It doesn't make sense, but this is really happening in our country.

Customers may have found some Australian branded Spirulina claim their products are Certified Organic by "Australian Certified Organic Organization" (ACO).

ACO is a private organization (Non-Government) registered in Brisbane QLD who issue Organic Certicates to applicants.

In our opinion, for a product to be labelled as an "Australian Certified Organic" product it should be grown/produced in Australia. This should be the minimum requirement to apply for this label. Unfortunately this is not necessarily the case. If imported product include an "Overseas Organic Certificate", then they can apply through ACO to be recognised as an "Australian Certifiled Organic" product.

What ACO (Australian Certifiled Organic) said "

Under Section 8 "Imported product" of National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce, ACO may recognise the status of imported products or ingredients. Certified operations will need to check with ACO for compliance of any imported products" (Australia Certified Organic, 2018).

Let us have a look at a copy of an ACO Organic Certificate

click photo for full size certificate


As you can see, the scope of certification noted on the certificate is "Handler", not grower or producer. "Handler", meaning to buy, process (or packed) and then sell products only. This includes products that are entirely imported from other countries, and than packaged in Australia.

If you are searching on the ACO website, you will find 2 Spirulina companies registered as "Certified Organic".

Below are some screen captures of "Organic" Spirulina companies registered with ACO found on their website. The Operation Category and Type is highlighted in red illustrating the certifcate registers the company as "Handler" or "Processor", rather than "Grower" or "Producer" at all.

Example A:

click photo for full pages

Example B:

Click photo for full page


You may be wondering How can they be registered as Australian Certified Organic just by buying and selling imported products?" The whole concept does not make any sense but this is true. Don't ask us why or how, as we cannot answer this. This question should be directed to the companies as to how their Audit process approves a product from outside of this country.

Many people indulge and chase after products which claim to be "Organic", and are willing to pay more for authentic organic products.

In fact, consumer's good will has often been misused by some of companies and people, while consumers pay the price for a Australian Certified product. We believe that it is difficult to for people to comprehend and accept "100% imported Australian Certified Organic products".

If you value authentic Australian grown products and agree that consumers should be made aware of the above, then you can help to make a voice by advocating to ACO or ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission).

ACO website :

ACCC website:


top of page ^