Organic Rules and Certification

Conversion, livestock and animal products - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005

Padel, Susanne and Lowman, Steve (2005) Conversion, livestock and animal products - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005. [Organic rules - Differences between other regulations/standards and EEC No 2092/91]

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Summary

There are a number of minimum conversion periods and detailed conditions regarding organic conversion of different classes of livestock: all mammalian livestock reared for organic meat must be managed as organic from birth; Permission for buying in non-organic chicks or pullets (with a plan detailing where organic young birds will be obtained in future). Soil Association standards additionally require that non-organic bought-in laying poultry must not have been caged nor had beak mutilations, and after 31st December 2005, they must have been reared to Soil Association veterinary and feed standards. In the following ways, the Soil Association complies with the standards set out in the UK Compendium of Organic Standards, Annex 1B, Paragraph 2.2.1. Soil Association rules specify that, for offspring to be sold as organic meat, the breeding female must be in organic management after mating for small ruminants and pigs, and for at least 12 weeks before birth for cattle. For milk production it is required that cattle must be in organic management for 9 months before the milk can be sold as organic, with organic feed management for at least 6 months. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 11.1.1, 11.1.2, 12.1.1-12.1.6, 13.1.3, 14.2.1-14.2.3, 20.3.1, 20.3.2, and 20.4.2-20.4.4.)

Difference

Soil Association standards mean all mammalian livestock reared for organic meat must be managed as organic from birth. EU Regulation 2092/91 requires that organic management must be for at least 12 months or three quarters of lifetime, whichever is longer, for bovines and equidae, and six months for small ruminants and pigs. Permission for buying in non-organic chicks or pullets is conditional whereas EU Regulation do not include such a condition. Furthermore EU Regulation make no mention of the management of breeding females. EU Regulation requires 6 months organic management for all milk-producing animals (and not 9 months as Soil Association).

Justification

The Soil Association livestock conversion rules aim to eliminate any consumer health risks from non-organic management by ensuring that mammals reared for organic meat have been in organic management since birth, and even during their gestation. It is also an animal welfare issue. In order to prevent organic producers from providing a market for industry sectors in which birds are mistreated, the standards aim to ensure that the market demand for organic young birds will grow and thus support growth of the organic chick and pullet production sectors.

EU Regulation

Annex I. Principles of organic production and processing > B.Livestock and livestock products - Annex I B > Conversion - Annex I B2

Item type:Organic rules - Differences between other regulations/standards and EEC No 2092/91
Subjects:Conversion
Specific animal standards
Country/Standard: Europe > UK > Soil Association Organic Standards
Principles:Principle of care
Principle of health
ID Code:189
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:18 Dec 2005
Last Modified:16 Apr 2010 08:53

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