There is a fair bit of miss conception, mistaken beliefs and wrong ideas about the subject of certified organic spirulina. This short article aims to clarify the subject which is somewhat of a common misunderstanding.
Understand the Certified Organic concept
“Certified Organic”, such certification is not something that can be obtained in Australia. In other words, spirulina, the produce, cannot get a certified organic certification in the country. It is the law. Here is the explanation of why,
Certified organic produce, primary production can only be organically certified if grown in soil. Since spirulina is grown suspended in water, it cannot receive certified organic certification. That is law in Australia (and so is in the U.S. and other Western countries).
In plain words, claimed certified organic spirulina is simply not true. Even if it comes from overseas.
Yes, it is possible to ask a private company, give them xx amount of dollars and be certified as organic. However, this will not change anything in the cultivation method or the fertilisers used in the process.
The certified organic spirulina loophole
How do they do it and why we cannot
We have been answering this question quite a lot over time. A common question asked over telephone conversations and email are how is it possible that I (the person over the line) see the Australian Certified Organic (ACO) seal on overseas imported spirulina? How other companies can claim then, that their spirulina, spirulina that was imported from places like China, for example, is certified organic and features the ACO seal?
The answer to that question is quite simple. In other countries, the law allows obtaining a certified organic certification for non-planted soil produce. While not confirmed with a conversation with an ACO personnel, we know that the ACO accepts other organisations’ certifications as valid. The ACO then provides, for a fee, an ACO certification and seal. The seal then is placed on the packaging and the product is claimed as certified organic. (100% legal and not questioned).
In other words, the Certified Organic organisations are recognising each other and re-certifying each other’s products. What was Certified Organic in an overseas country, will get the Certified Organic stamp in Australia even if it doesn’t meet the criteria in Australia.
Our certified organic claims
While we cannot get the ACO seal, we, however, more than anyone else can claim to be under the Australian Certified Organic Standards.
Fresh Spirulina, the farm is physically standing on an Australian Certified Organic farmland. Its water source and soil are tested frequently by ACO personnel and standards. The greenhouses the spirulina cultivated within, are also certified organic and the fertilisers we use are food grade.
Everything involved in growing the spirulina is tested to the Australian Certified Organic standards level. Spirulina itself, however, cannot receive the certification because it is cultivated suspended in water and not planted in soil. Any other claims are inaccurate.
Other companies rely on that loophole in other countries and their laws. We agree and accept that it could be manipulated and is legal, but the final product is the same.
We get to describe that our farm is physically built on Certified Organic land and is subject to all relevant Certified Organic rules and regulations of Australia including the Australia New Zealand Food Standard Code. Local codes, local standards, and local quality assurance.
Our organically grown yet not certified organically fresh spirulina powder can be viewed here.