Australian Certified Organic is holding crisis meetings with organic millers over a shortage of certified organic grain and resulting price hikes.
Supplies for organic grain are at all time low, the certifier said, with seasonal difficulties, retiring farmers and water allocations reducing the number of growers in Australia.
As a result, the organisation said, organic millers are paying up to 40 per cent higher premiums for certified organic grain.
The shortfall impacts organic food manufacturers and organic livestock producers, which are required to feed certified organic grain.
Australian Organic chair, Dr Andrew Monk, says the shortfall is worrying.
“The organic industry is worth $1.7 billion in Australia and growing solidly. Export demand is also high. The settings are perfect for existing operators to expand and new entrants to innovate and diversify their current cropping and marketing practices.”
According to Australian Organic, farmers who are already using organic farming practices can achieve organic certification quicker under recent changes to the national organic standard.
Producers could be fully certified after just one year of inspections, if they can verify that the property has been under organic management for the previous three years.