An expert explains how to become certified organic

Natural beauty is progressively evolving as consumers become more conscious of what they put in and on their bodies. Further to this, consumers are increasingly coveting products that use fewer harsh ingredients and are certifiably organic.

To find out what it means to be a certified organic product, BD interviewed Australian Organic’s general manager Sue Willis. Read on to discover Willis’ advice on how to become “Australian Certified Organic”; the significance of the Bud logo; and what it means to be a truly organic beauty brand.

With the growing interest among the Australian population in choosing organic, how does the Australian Certificated Organic cosmetic logo, highlighting the Bud, differ from other certification logos?
The Bud logo is the most recognised organic certification mark in Australia; and Australian Certified Organic is the first Asia-Pacific based certifier accredited under the COSMetics Organic and natural Standard (COSMOS). This means we are an approved certifier for organic and natural cosmetics as well as cosmetics raw materials, following an accreditation process through the International Organic Accreditation Service (IOAS).

How many beauty and personal care brands currently feature the Australian Organic Bud logo on their packaging?
Approximately 2000, and this figure is continuing to grow with the demand for certified organic growing across all sectors – particularly in the beauty industry. The community are becoming increasingly educated on the benefits of certified organic and brands are fighting to keep up.

What are the key reasons for beauty and personal care brands seeking to feature the certified organic Bud logo on their packaging?
The Bud is the oldest Australian organic certification mark still in the country still currently in use, having commenced in 1989. It represents Australia’s leading certification program, ‘Australian Certified Organic’ – ensuring integrity of organic products in the marketplace. The Bud logo is the product of integrity earned from annual audits, product testing and formulation approval in accordance with applicable standards.

What are the key characteristics of organic certification that consumers can expect when they see the Bud logo on packaging?
Organic cosmetics and skincare products should be primarily composed of certified organic raw materials; be minimally processed to preserve the natural properties and not include harm to animals or involve animal testing.

Purchasing products that carry the Australian Certified Organic logo assures the product to be non GMO, water efficient and biodiversity friendly as well as grown free from synthetic pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibodies.

What is the process for a brand registering to apply for certification by Australian Organic?
A comprehensive process of certification for organic products has been developed to meet national and international accreditations. The stepwise process includes application, review of processes and products, on-site inspections based on application documents, review, and certification issue.

The organic certification is an annual process that includes an onsite audit and review of each brand’s management plan in compliance with standards. Currently,  the turnaround time for a cosmetic processor is 16 weeks.

Should a brand want to apply for Australian Certified Organic accreditation, documents – that can be found here – need to be completed before applications are emailed to

For more information on the COSMOS Standard, information can be accessed here.