A new report by the Organic Food Association has revealed that consumption of organic food in Australia is rising by about 25% a year. At this rate, the organic sector could be worth A$1bn by 2006.

There is still a debate on the benefits of organic food in the country, however. It has been difficult for organic crops to ditch the negative reputation acquired in 1998 when Denis T Avery claimed that consumers increased their chances of contracting fatal bacteria eight-fold through eating organic food. Apparently this statistic came from studies carried out at the US Centre for Disease; however others dismiss the figure as biased speculation because the multinationals fund research into agriculture.

Another debate surrounds the consumers organic goods reach and whether the produce will remain a luxury or become a standard feature of the mainstream food market.