Australian Certified Organic (ACO) has gained accreditation to the South Korean organic standard
following the negotiation of a landmark deal, BFA reports. ACO, a subsidiary of Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA), now holds accreditation for both raw and processed food certification. The accreditation means ACO can provide organic certification in accordance with the Korean regulations administrated by the South Korean Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MIFAFF).
Akiko Nicholls, Managing Director of ACO, says the agreement with MFAFF and the Director of the National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service
(Korea) is an excellent step for ACO clients who wish to expand into or are already exporting to Asian markets. “From late-November 2010, Australian Certified Organic can certify ‘organic agricultural and forest products’, ‘organic livestock products’, the ‘repacking process’ and ‘organically processed foods’ to South Korean government standards,” according to Akiko Nicholls.
ACO already holds similar accreditation with the Japanese government for the Japanese Agriculture Standard (JAS), and the United States Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (USDA NOP), among others. And while gaining ACO certification does not automatically guarantee certification to the Korean standard, the agreement will simplify the existing process, increasing trade opportunities
between Australia and Korea. “It will remain a separate process from the normal ACO certification process; however operators in Australia no longer need to go through Korean certification bodies or have auditors come all the way from Korea. Once ACO’s auditors are trained for the Korean regulations, our auditors will be able to carry out the Korean audit process at the same time as the annual ACO audit – which is more cost and time efficient!” says Akiko. Further details and information on the Korean certification process will be available shortly from the ACO website
Control Union Certification was the first international certifier that gained the accreditation from MIFAFF for the two Korean organic programms, according to Control Union Certification.