September is Australian Organic Awareness Month 2021 and the official ambassador, MasterChef Australia judge and renowned chef Andy Allen is calling for Australian households to 'swap in' certified-organic products.
Mr Allen came to prominence during season four of MasterChef in 2012, when the apprentice electrician became the competition's hardest-working underdog and went on to win the contest.
Since then, he has dedicated his life to food, joining the iconic Three Blue Ducks restaurant group where his journey into discovering the merits of organic production began.
"From working at Three Blue Ducks I learned the flavour of food produced organically is mind-blowing," Mr Allen said.
"Our restaurants try to source organic where possible and we prefer food that is taken straight from the farm to our restaurant.
"You can't get anything fresher or with a better taste than this, and you really don't have to do much more than simply put the product on a plate to see how amazed people are by the flavours."
You can't get anything fresher or with a better taste than this, and you really don't have to do much more than simply put the product on a plate to see how amazed people are by the flavours.
Certified organic produce must meet strict standards and regular audits to ensure it's free from synthetic chemicals and pesticides, from paddock to plate.
"I have learned so much during the last few years, and one of the biggest things I hope for during Australian Organic Awareness Month 2021 is that people become aware that the organic industry is more than just food," Mr Allen said.
Throughout Australian Organic Awareness Month, which is organised by Australian Organic Limited (AOL), shoppers are encouraged to swap conventional products for certified organic alternatives, whether it's food to stock the pantry, wine for the cabinet or even a skincare or makeup item for the bathroom.
"I have a personal philosophy of always trying to do better, and I think swapping in one organic product in September is a great start in helping the environment," Mr Allen said.
AOL CEO, Niki Ford, said swapping in just one organic item goes a long way to support organic farmers and producers who were dedicated to environmentally-sustainable practices.
"In 2020 more than nine million Australian households purchased an organic product, which is a trend we believe will continue to develop," Ms Ford said.
"Around the world, consumers are moving towards Australia's organic produce because we have a clean, healthy reputation.
"We are eager for customers on home soil to experience this difference for themselves."
Research from the Australian Organic Market Report 2021 found 56 per cent of Australian shoppers have purchased an organic product in the past year, with most citing personal health or environmental health as their key motivator.
"We are incredibly proud of our industry," Ms Ford said.
"We are also so thrilled Andy has partnered with us during this very special month."
Mr Allen is encouraging all Aussies to join in by making one small 'swap' but stressed the importance of making sure the product was certified organic.
"You can make sure your purchase is legitimate by looking out for The Bud logo, or an official organic certification mark on the label," he said.
"If you can see that sign then you know you are getting the real deal."
Australian Organic Limited (AOL) is the peak industry body engaging with government and industry to promote the commercial and social interests of those who are certified and protect the integrity of the certified industry against fraud and misleading organics.
AOL has been at the foundation of organics since 1987 and is identified by the most recognised mark in Australia, the Australian Certified Organic Bud trademark.
This trademark signals the highest of integrity and is recognised by 62 per cent of Australian shoppers.
AOL will host a special competition, 'What's your Swap?' on their consumer platform Bud Organic Club, to celebrate Australian Organic Awareness Month.
For the chance to win a suite of great weekly organic prizes, participants need to share their 'swaps' on Instagram and sign up to The Bud Organic Club.
Full terms and conditions are available on the Bud Organic Club website.
- Visit: www.budorganic.com.au