The companies have agreed to change the labelling on their products

The companies have agreed to change the labelling on their products

Six bottled water suppliers in Australia have agreed to remove the term 'organic' from their brand names after the country's consumer watchdog said the term is “misleading” for water.

The companies are re-labelling their products and removing the term from marketing material following discussions with the The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The commission said today (16 July) that the negotiations with the groups meant that “enforcement action” had been avoided. 

The products that have been re-branded are: 

  • Active Organic Beverages' Active Organic and Organic Nature’s Best - now Active Original 
  • DJ&A's Organic Australia - now Australian Mountain 
  • Intertrading's Organic Falls - now Aquatic Falls 
  • Lithgow Valley Springs' Lithgow Valley Springs Organic - now Lithgow Valley Springs
  • Sternwin / First Water Springs' Organic Springs - now Original Springs 
  • Water Wine & Juice's Nature's Best Organic - now Nature's Best
  • Dew South's Dew South and Latitude 40° - name remains the same, organic claims were made on its website 

An eighth producer, Mt Aqua Distribution, has withdrawn its Aqua Organic from sale altogether.

The ACCC's deputy chair Delia Rickard said: “Credence claims such as 'organic' can be used to justify higher prices and create a competitive advantage for the user. As such, it is essential that they are only used correctly."

She added: “Organic standards acknowledge that water cannot be organic. Any claim that particular water is organic would therefore be misleading or deceptive.”

The commission said it rejected the argument put forward by some producers that that the word ‘organic’ was not a representation but part of the brand name.