Cost of organics regulation outweighs benefits

The Australian Government has decided not to impose further regulation on the organics industry after two separate cost benefit analyses (CBA) found the costs would outweigh the benefits.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said that he had examined the proposed domestic regulatory framework and considered a range of factors in making a decision – but ultimately the evidence showed that the costs outweighed the benefits.

“While a mandatory domestic standard could provide a range of potential benefits for organic sector, the costs of designing, monitoring and enforcing an economy-wide regulatory scheme of this nature would be significant,” Minister Watt said.

“What’s more, the CBA’s show that these costs would likely be passed through the supply chain to consumers and would add to cost-of-living pressures.

“In making this decision we’ve carefully examined the evidence and released multiple reports on the matter.

“These reports show that the absence of a domestic organic regulatory framework does not and will not in the future impact international trade in Australian organic products.

“In fact, the Albanese Government will continue to support the growth of export markets for Australian organic produce.

“We have a strong standard for organic exports, the National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce.

“Thanks to this standard we’re able to export our organic products to major export markets around the world.

“The Australian organic industry, domestic and export, is worth over $2.3 billion and supports an estimated 6000 businesses.

“This government is committed to supporting trade and market access for organic exports by negotiating equivalence with our trading partners and working towards Free Trade Agreements.

“I appreciate the effort that representatives of the organics industry have put into this issue.

“In the end though, I am not going to impose costly changes that outweigh the benefits to industry and consumers.”