The demand for organic food products has expanded rapidly in the past decade on a global basis, stimulated by consumer perceptions that organic products are safer, cleaner and more ethical than conventional products. The demand for organic products was estimated to grow at a rate of 15-20 per cent per annum in key organic markets, such as the United States and Europe, which are major importers of organic foods. Australia, as a major exporter of agricultural products, stands to benefit from this expansion in demand. However, not much is known about the Australian organic industry, especially by other agribusiness sectors, because little market research and policy analysis on organics has been conducted and published. The objective of this paper is to provide a contemporary overview of the Australian organic food products industry, including production, marketing and certification of organic foods. Major supply issues, such as the small production base and the low rate of conversion to organic farming, and major demand issues, such as availability, prices and product integrity, are discussed. Areas identified for further research include collection and reporting of data on production, consumption and trade of organic products, consumer and producer attitudes towards, and expectations of, organic farming, product integrity and labelling regulation, competition from other sustainable farming systems, and future industry structure of the Australian organic sector. Outputs from the suggested areas for further research will provide additional market information to the organic industry and help identify marketing opportunities and develop strategies for meeting market requirements and sustaining industry growth


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