Organic Rules and Certification

Fertilizers, origin - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005

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

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Restricted to Registered users only

Restricted to Registered users only



Soil Association permission is required to use non-organic animal manure or plant waste, which must be used only as a complement to the soil fertility management. Permission will be granted only if information is provided about the material and why it is needed. The types of non-organic agricultural and food by-products that may be used are subject to detailed, specified restrictions, regarding the stocking densities and husbandry systems, as well as the stacking or composting of the material. These include straw, farmyard manure, stable manure, poultry manure (from certain production systems with specified maximum stocking densities for each), straw-based pig manure, food processing by-products, plant wastes and by-products, as well as non-organic slurry, mushroom composts and worm composts from the systems specified. Dirty water from non-organic systems may be applied to in-conversion land. In addition, the Soil Association standards specify that non-organic slurry must have been aerated, pig and poultry manure must have been properly composted, stacked for 12 months, or stacked for 6 months and turned twice, and other non-organic livestock manure and plant waste must have been stacked for half the above-mentioned times or properly composted. Soil Association may request a soil or manure analysis to check the heavy metal levels. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 4.7.5-4.7.7 and 4.7.17.)


Soil Association standards specify that only certain types of manure and plant wastes from non-organic production or processing systems may be permitted to complement soil fertility management. EU Regulation 2092/91 specifies "need recognised by the inspection body".


The Soil Association standards aim to avoid providing an organic farming demand for manure products of livestock systems where the animal welfare is compromised by lack of bedding, or by excessive stocking densities or movement restrictions. Soil Association standards try to avoid potential organic consumer health problems by requiring composting or stacking time for the degradation of residues of prohibited inputs or veterinary medicines before application of non-organic manure and plant wastes to organic crops. Consumer health and long-term soil fertility concerns are the reasons why analysis may be required for heavy metal levels.

EU Regulation

Annex I. Principles of organic production and processing > A.Plant and plant products > Fertilizing - Annex I A2
Annex II. Permitted substances for the production of organic foods > Substances for plants and plant production - Annex 2 > Fertilizers and soil conditioners - Annex II A

Item type:Organic rules - Differences between other regulations/standards and EEC No 2092/91
Subjects:Permitted inputs (positive lists) > Use of manure and nutrients
Permitted inputs (positive lists)
Pollution risks/non permitted inputs > Protection against contamination
Country/Standard: Europe > UK > Soil Association Organic Standards
Principles:Principle of fairness
Ecological principle
Principle of health
ID Code:218
Deposited On:18 Dec 2005
Last Modified:16 Apr 2010 13:00

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