Becoming certified as a horticulture producer is dependent on the development and maintenance of a whole system approach, a process which usually takes three years. Organic production systems are guided by the following principles and outcomes:
- Production of naturally safe, high quality, nutritionally vital foods;
- Optimal production output, with rational and minimised use of inputs;
- Use of recycling and biological cycles within the farming system;
- Biodiversity protection and enhancement within the farm and surrounding areas;
- Regeneration of lands and soils and best environmental practice of farming activities.
Horticulture production covers all types of fruit and vegetable farming. Section 4 of the Australian Certified Organic Standard covers the basic requirements that horticulture producers need to adhere to. Annex 1 of the standard is a list of generic materials that can be used in organic horticulture production. There is also a list of Registered Allowed farming inputs that can be found on the ACO website which have been reviewed and deemed compliant to the Australian Certified Organic Standard, these products can be used in organic farming systems as per label directions.