Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
Eco Landuse Systems, 3 Ramage Place, Flynn, ACT, 2615, Australia
Activities in organic farming in Australia have increased marketly over the last five years. Land under organic production and the market value for organic produce has more than doubled, while the estimated number of organic farmers has increased by 50 per cent. However, the total picture of organic farming is that it remains a rather fringe activity in total agriculture, with less than 1 per cent of farmers being organic, and 0.2 per cent of total food sales originating from organic production.
Most (three quarters) of the organically certified producers are horticulturalist, more than half of whom produce fruits and nuts. The 12 per cent of organic farmers who produced on a broadacre base work on three quarters of the total area under organic management. Consumption of organic products varies across the states, from $0.13 to $0.04 per week per head. Some supermarket chains stock a selected range of products, but none stock a wide range, largely due to the absence of security of supply. In Australia very few policies exists to encourage organic farming. Policies such as assistance with conversion towards organic farming, organic certification, taxation of inputs used in conventional farming associated with negative off-farm effects, extension services for organic production. Research into organic methods per se is almost non-existant.