Choosing organic cosmetics is not always easy if you don’t know what you are looking for. There are a number of organic certifiers world-wide and each one certifies cosmetic products to a different set of standards.
Consumers choosing products that are certified by Australian Certified Organic (ACO) have every assurance that the cosmetics products have been thoroughly assessed in order to guarantee that are compliant with the standard requirements.
ACO certifies organic cosmetics under the Australian National Standard, National Organic Program (USDA), and COSMOS standards. While the standards are recognised as some of the most stringent organic standards for cosmetics internationally, each has different characteristics and requirements, so it is important for manufacturers and cosmetics companies to choose the standard that better suits to their products and markets where the products will be sold.
For Processors the Organic Handling Plan (OHP) or own Quality Plan shall outline the products processed/handled; all ingredients to be sourced with plans outlined to ensure valid certification status, GMO/Nano/Fumigation/irradiation-free status; outline of record keeping system; outline of monitoring practices and procedures to ensure that the plan is effectively implemented (including regular reviews of non organic ingredients and the non GMO status of ingredients); other management practices and personnel responsible to ensure there will be no co-mingling with non certified product and that organic integrity is maintained. See Section 6 Processing/Preparation of the ACO Standard.
Processors may include Contract Processors (CP) whereby processing is conducted by a contracted party for a certified operator. Processors may also include pack-houses where primary product is (re)packed for retail sale.
Processing or handling of certified raw materials and products must occur on certified promises. Only products declared and approved as certified with certifier can be marketed as certified organic.
Some basic rules when certifying a processed product:
- Obtain valid organic certificates for all certified ingredients
- Non certified ingredients are generally permitted when certified ingredients are not available on the market.
- Non certified ingredients cannot: be of GMO origin or manufactured using GMO technology, be fumigated or treated with compounds prohibited by organic standard, cannot exceed 10% of other contamination MRL as defined by FSANZ, cannot be irradiated.
- Onus is on operator to obtain and supply ACO with proof non GMO, Irradiation and treatment statements for non organic ingredients.
- The amount of non organic ingredient(s) will affect the type of organic claim :
- 100% certified organic content, label can state “100% organic” + bud logo
- 95%-100% certified organic content, label can state “certified organic” + bud logo
- 70%-95% certified organic content, label can state “made with certified organic ingredients”, cannot use bud logo but must indicate certification number (i.e. ‘ACO 99999P’) (*exception for cosmetics)
- <70 % certified organic content cannot makeany certification claims, can only list ingredients as ‘organic’, cannot include certification number or bud logo
Use of ‘Bud’ logo
- Product label must be submitted with ‘bud’ logo for assessment
- Logo cannot be manipulated with the exception of colour and size
- Size and quality of logo must be sufficient so that registration number is legible.
- Logo cannot be used on any product or marketing medium which has not been approved by ACO
- Cosmetic ‘Beauty’ logo cannot be used on the front of product, % must be rounded down