Industry Watch Newsletter


Subscribe Now




Australia: Inquiry into Certification Schemes Begins


New Zealand: Anchor Organic Milk Launched


Australia: Indian Investment for Organic Cosmetics Firm




Australia: Inquiry into Certification Schemes Begins

South Australian Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has achieved his ambition to secure an inquiry into certification of halal, kosher, organic and genetically modified food.

Bernardi moved a motion in the Senate to launch an investigation into food certification schemes, including whether the public was given enough information about certifiers' financial records.

Senators voted 34 in favour to 30 against the six-month inquiry by the Senate's economic references committee. It passed with the support of the government along with six crossbenchers: Jacqui Lambie, Bob Day, Glenn Lazarus, David Leyonhjelm, John Madigan and Ricky Muir. The Labor party and the Greens opposed the motion. Bernardi said the inquiry would not be confined to halal alone.

"There seems to be a number of concerns about some certification schemes that are operating and in the interests of transparency and establishing the facts and being able to act in the national interest I think it's wise for the parliament to consider all certification schemes and how they operate," the conservative backbencher said.

"I keep getting told any number of things about certification schemes and I don't know what's true and what's not true, so I want to establish the facts."

Several high-profile companies have been targeted by anti-halal campaigners. In January, the head of one of Australia's largest certifiers launched defamation proceedings in the New South Wales supreme court after a campaigner made allegations about a financial link to terrorist organisations.

The parliamentary inquiry will be asked to examine "the extent of food certification schemes and certifiers in Australia including, but not limited to, schemes related to organic, kosher, halal and genetically-modified food and general food safety certification schemes".

The terms of reference include labelling requirements, certification fees paid by food producers, and "whether current schemes provide enough information for Australian consumers to make informed purchasing decisions".

Tony Abbott has previously played down calls by several members of his own party for an inquiry into halal certification. During a visit to a halal-certified meat producer in Tasmania in March, the prime minister said he was "really pleased that a business like this is growing its exports all the time, particularly to the Middle East".

"If we want to export to the Middle East, we have to have certain procedures in place and this is just part of exporting to the Middle East and if we want our exports to grow all the time, this is what we need to do and I think that's what Australians want," Abbott said at the time.

The agriculture minister, Barnaby Joyce, has also warned his colleagues against against "picking a fight that we never needed to have" because of consequences for Australian exporters.

"Unless it's halal certified, we can't sell it. That means the whole processing line becomes unviable," Joyce, the deputy leader of the Nationals, said last month. "If we didn't have the halal market in beef, that could really affect thousands of meat workers in Australia."

Sustainable Foods Summit
The future direction of eco-labels and certification schemes, such as Organic, Fairtrade, UTZ Certified, etc. are featured in the Sustainable Foods Summit. The European edition will be hosted in Amsterdam on 4-5 June. In 2016, the summit will also take place in North & Latin America. More details are on the website

Source: The Guardian



New Zealand: Anchor Organic Milk Launched

Fonterra is launching organic milk under its Anchor brand.

Blue (whole) and Trim (skimmed) Anchor Organic milk - packaged in Anchor's two-litre 100% recyclable lightproof bottle - will be available in supermarkets across New Zealand, as well as to cafes, foodservice outlets and dairies.

In a statement, Fonterra said it is responding to growing demand from baristas and households in New Zealand, where it claims organic milk sales have increased more than 50% in the last year. 

Organic milk is, however, "very expensive" in New Zealand and availability is limited to certain regions, it said. Accordingly, the Auckland-based dairy cooperative set itself the "mission" to make organic milk more widely available "at a fair price."

"We've done just that through our nationwide distribution and providing Anchor Organic at an everyday price that works out at only about 20 cents extra per glass compared to our standard Anchor milk," said Tim Deane, managing director, Fonterra Brands New Zealand. 

"We're confident of a good response from consumers," he said. "72% of Kiwis tell us that if organic milk was more affordable they would buy it more often. A further 25% told us that it it was available in their regular supermarket that would also make a difference."

Anchor Organic will be sourced from Fonterra farmers in Manawatu on New Zealand's North Island.

Source: News Release



Australia: Indian Investment for Organic Cosmetics Firm

South Australian organic personal care company Fravin Ltd, now majority owned by Indian cosmetic giant Emami, will be transformed into a AUS $100 million manufacturing business over the next decade.

Fravin founder Peter Francis, who completed the estimated AUS $4 million-plus sale of 67 per cent of his business to Emami this year, said the deal was a "captain's pick" by Emami's founders RS Agarwal and RS Goenka.

The state will be at the heart of Emami's push to expand its global multibillion-dollar empire into organic skin and hair care products, Mr Francis said.

"Emami's plans are to build a AUS $100 million manufacturing business out of South Australia over the next decade through our company. It's a strategic move by the Indian company, which has more than 260 products in its portfolio, to enter the premium organic care markets in India and overseas."

"Fravin's existing range of salon products and the kids range will work well in India. We will also be expanding Fravin's existing range to push exports using Emami's extensive networks overseas and in India.

"I will also be helping Emami create a new Ayurvedic organic product range that will be manufactured there," he said.

Private label manufacturing is also likely to receive a boost under the new co-ownership deal. Mr Francis, who studied trichology - health of hair and scalp - at TAFE, founded Fravin more than 30 years ago.

Fravin's Abache Organics and eco.kid brands are made at a Melrose Park factory using 70 per cent organic ingredients and are certified by the US Department of Agriculture and are Australia Certified Organic. The company employs 25 staff in Adelaide but is likely to need more at its factory as it gradually expands.

They are currently sold through retail chains Hair House Warehouse and Price Attack and the company-owned hair salon at Glenelg, which also houses an R&D laboratory.

The diversified Kolkata-based "fairness" product manufacturer Emami Group, established in 1974, operates in more than 63 countries, employing over 2000. Cosmetic products form one part of its business, which also includes making ball pen tips, edible oil, infrastructure and development, cement and biodiesel and owning hospitals. Emami appointed a new financial and operations controller to Fravin, Rahul Sharda, who moved to Adelaide a few weeks ago. He will assist Mr Francis, who remains managing director.

Mr Sharda, who has links with the Agarwal family, said his focus was currently on consolidating and integrating the businesses. "Appointing distributors is the next step as we look at setting up the business for future growth," Mr Sharda said.

Mr Francis said there was a "great deal of buzz and excitement" with the Emami deal, which would also involve research partnerships with Flinders University, including working with green chemistry and nanotechnology expert Professor Colin Raston.

"Emami wants to partner with Australian research, our clean, green image and our expertise to help us both grow," Mr Francis said. "That's helping us get lots of new ideas in the pipeline."

OM Comment
By coming under the Emami umbrella, Fravin will benefit from the Indian company's investment. The Australian company will be able to expand its manufacturing capacity and access new export markets. Emami will also benefit from the 'green chemistry' of the Australian firm. The Abache Organics brand won the Green Formulations award at the 2014 Sustainable Beauty Awards. More details are on the website

Related Report:
#5001-60 The Asian Market for Natural & Organic Cosmetics

Source: The Advertiser (Australia) / OM














Copyright 2015 Organic Monitor. All rights reserved.