Southern Cross Certified (SXC) is waiving up to 100% of the certification and audit fees for any currently certified organic or biodynamic (BD) operator that has been affected by the devastating bushfires that have ravaged many parts of Australia since October 2019.
SXC will waive organic/BD audit and certification fees for operators who can demonstrate a direct loss of at least 30% of their ability to generate revenue.
The waiver will also be applied in the event of a loss of a major part of the production unit, or an indirect impact, such as the loss of supply chains.
Annual renewal and audit fees for currently certified SXC operators who can demonstrate loss, will also be waived for a period of 12 months.
SXC’s offer is open to all certified organic/BD operations in Australia, regardless of which certification body they are currently certified with.
This will, in most cases, involve a transfer of certification and the certification period will be for 12 months.
CEO of Southern Cross Certified, Ben Copeman said the magnitude of the fires, together with the drought, has been very tough for all people associated with the rural industry.
“When you look across a burnt out paddock or at your burnt out shop, you can be forgiven for thinking ‘Why am doing this?’,” he said.
“I remember how I felt when I was burnt out, losing some 27,000 acres and hundreds of calves in 1986. After several sleepless days and watching everything I had ever worked for go up in smoke, I was very close to walking away from it all.
“There are over 150 certified operators in the affected regions and many will be impacted by these fires. In some cases, their organic status may be affected, to say nothing of the impact on their production for the next 12 months. With everything else they will be dealing with, our offer to waiver audit and certification fees will, in some small way, help to ease the expense of rebuilding as well as help keep operators in the organic industry.”
Applicants are encouraged to go to the SXC website, log on and apply. Alternatively, growers can call 07 3088 2808 if further assistance is required.