Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by country standards

  • Organic regulations/standards by region
    • Europe
      • France
        • Nature et Progres
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Animal fodder, conventional/organic feed - Nature et Progres Standards 2002
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For all animal species, the ration must be 100 % organic feed. For herbivores, conventional feedstuff is allowed up to 10%, under exceptional climate conditions (dryness, fire, etc.), but concentrates must be 100 % organic.
Nature et Progres standards require a 100% organic ration for all species (except under exceptionnal climate conditions), and 100 % organic concentrates for all species, whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 allows conventionnal feedingstuff in the annual ration of organic livestock (10% for herbivores, 20% for non herbivores). 100 % organic feed is an important goal for organic breeding: It is a question of consistency, independence, traceability, precaution with regard to GMOs, and maintenance of consumer confidence. In France organic cereals are widely available.
Animal fodder, in-conversion feedstuff - FR Nature et Progres Standards 2002
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On average, up to 20 % of the feed formula of rations may comprise in-conversion feedstuff.
Nature et Progres standards allow 20 % of in-conversion feedingstuff in the annual ration of organic livestock whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 allows 30 % of in-conversion feedstuff (up to 60 % if coming from a unit of the own holding). The use of a too large amount of in-conversion feedstuff in rations could prevent organic feedstuff, widely available in France, to be used.
Animal fodder, roughage requirement - Nature et Progres Standards 2002
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A minimum proportion of the dry matter in daily rations of herbivores has to consist of roughage, fresh or dried fodder : 80% for cattle, 70% for sheeps and goats.
Nature et Progres standards require at least 70 % of roughage, fresh or dried fodder in the ration of sheeps and goats, and 80% in the ration of cattle, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 only requires 60 % for all herbivores, or 50 % under certain conditions. This requirement is to satisfy the physiological needs of ruminants which need a certain amount of fibres to have good digestion.
Animal fodder, silage - FR Nature et Progres Standards 2002
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Silage is forbidden in the ration of herbivores.
Natures et Progres standards forbid the use of silage for herbivores whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 allows it. Silage makes an unbalanced ration, creating bad sanitary conditions for the livestock. It also has a bad influence on the quality of milk products such as cheese or yoghurt. Furthermore in organic farms it is desirable to avoid systems based on maize silage, which is bad for the environment as maize requires a lot of water and leads to long periods of bare soil, and these systems often have short rotations.
Cosmetics and cleaning materials - FR Nature et Progres 2001
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There are standards for organic cosmetics and cleaning materials. Nature et Progrès standards include mainly use of organic ingredients, forbid use of petrochemical molecules and synthetic constituents, ensure a high biodegradability of products, etc.
Nature et Progrès standards include standards for cosmetics and cleaning materials whiel the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. There is now a huge "organic" or "natural" cosmetics industry in Europe, but there are no EU rules or standards for these. If we want organic cosmetics to be really organic and avoid consumers being misled there is a need to define standards.
Fertilization, intensity - Nature et Progrès Standards 2001
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The organic nitrogen input from external sources (composted manure or fish fertilizer) is limited to 40 kg per ha and per year.
Nature et Progrès standards limit the organic nitrogen import to 40 kg per ha and per year, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 limits it to 170 kg per ha and per year. The fertility and the biological activity of the soil must be maintained or increased, in the first instance, by cultivation of legumes, green manures or deep-rooting plants in an appropriate multi-annual rotation programme. Too much nitrogen in soil causes water pollution and crop diseases.
Fertilizers, certification rules - Nature et Progres standards 2002
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There are rules for certification of organic fertilizers with regard to allowed raw material and level of application. Nature et Progrès standards also include environnemental management in the production units and maximum information for users.
Nature et Progrès standards include further details than EU Regulation 2092/91. It is necessary to certify fertilizers according to organic farming requirements (allowed raw materials) and to monitor their pollutant content as well as the environmental impact.
Full farm conversion - Nature et Progrès Standards 2002 Under Nature et Progres standards, when the farmer starts the conversion period, he has 5 years to get the whole farm certified organic. Nature et Progres standards require that ultimately the whole production of the farm be organic, whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 accepts the presence of non-organic productions. Presence of organic and conventional products on the same farm is not consistent and a source of potential fraud or accidental pollution. However, each farmer needs time to adapt his farm system and therefore five years are given to satisfy this obligation.
Labelling claims, processed products - Nature et Progrès Standards 2005
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All the ingredients of agricultural origin in a product must be organic, with two exceptions : wild gathered/collected fruits and environment-friendly fisheries.
Nature et Progrès standards have additional requirements to EU Regulation 2092/91. Nature et Progrès standards require that all the ingredients of agricultural origin in a product must be organic (except wild gathered/collected fruit and fish products from environment-friendly fisheries, which are not under EU Regulation), whereas EU Regulation allows 5 to 30% non-organic ingredients. Organic ingredients are widely available in France. Non-organic products may contain pesticides or GMOs. Moreover, allowing non-organic ingredients may slow down the development of organic agriculture.
Livestock housing, area, pigs - Nature et Progres Standards 2002
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The size of pig production units is limited in all cases up to 500 pigs per year. Furthermore the size of the unit must be calculated as a function of the application capacity of the soil of the farm.
Nature et Progres standards limit the size of pig production units, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. To limit the size is to limit the environmental pollution, noise and odour. It is a way of encouraging small farms of human scale, with diversified productions, socially acceptable and easier to hand down to the next generation.
Livestock housing, area, poultry - Nature et Progres Standards 2002
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The total usable area of poultry houses for laying hens and table poultry of any production unit must not exceed 800 m2.
Nature et Progrès standards limit the size of the total area of poultry house for laying hens and table poultry to 800 m², whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 only limits it for table birds to 1600 m². Limiting the size limits environnemental pollution, noise and odour. It is a way of encouraging small farms, of human scale, with diversified productions, that are socially acceptable and easier to hand down to the next generation.
Livestock housing, flooring - FR Nature et Progres Standards 2002
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Slatted floors and grid constructions are prohibited.
Nature et Progres standards prohibit the use of slatted floors and grid constructions, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 allows a proportion of slatted floors for every species to a maximum of 50% for herbivores and to 66 % for poultry. Slatted and grid constructions are not good for animal welfare and generate highly concentrated manures, which are potentially polluting for soils and waters.
Livestock management, tethering - Nature et Progrès Standards 2002
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Certain kinds of indoor tethering are forbidden. It must not be too tight : the animal must still be able to make certain movements. For example, "dutch" tethering system is not allowed.
Nature et Progrès standards forbid certain kind of tethering, whereas the EU does not differentiate between different kinds of tethering. Certain kinds of tethering are not compatible with animal welfare.
Manure fertilizers, application - FR Nature et Progres Standards 2002
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Farmers have to compost animal manure for three months before using it as fertilizer.
Nature et Progres standards requires the composting of manure whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. Using animal manure without composting may result in high levels of nitrogen on the fields that can pollute water stocks or create disorders in plants' growth. Using manure without composting may also contaminate fields with germs and parasites.
Principles of organic agriculture, sustainability - Nature et Progrès Standards 2002 The stakeholders in organic agriculture engage themselves to progress on environmental, social and economical aims. Nature et Progrès standards require that the stakeholders work to improve their practices on environmental, social and economical topics, but EU Regulation 2092/91 does not include such a preamble with such principles. Organic production is not only the respect of technical practices but also a global ecological approach of one's activity, including environnemental, social and economical aims such as preservation of wild and cultivated biodiversity, limitation of energy consumption, use of recyclable materials, promotion of fair trade and relationships, etc.
Processing inputs - Nature et Progres Standards 2005
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The list of authorized additives and technical auxiliaries is limited to a strict minimum.
Nature et Progrès standards limit the use of food additives and processing aids. Compared with the EU Regulation 2092/91 the use of E250, E252, E300, E407, E413 E501 and others are forbidden. Some additives, authorised by EU Regulation, present risks of toxicity or are not absolutely neccesary.
Processing, general requirements - Nature et Progrès 2005
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There is a list of possible processes for each kind of food (milk, meat, vegetables). In any case, only mechanical processes, physical processes, cooking and fermentation are allowed.
Nature et Progrès standards specify a list of permitted process, detailed for each kind of food, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. Processing has an effect on the nutritional quality and taste of the final product. Organic products should aim to be both of high nutritional quality and taste. Therefore only non-agressive processes, that respect the integrity of the product, should be allowed.
Processing, milk - Nature et Progrès Standards 2005
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Organic milk processing units must be dedicated entirely to organic food processing.
Nature et Progrès standards require dedicated organic milk processing units, but EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. The aim is to urge milk processers to convert, and to avoid accidental or deliberate fraud.
Sea salt production - FR Nature et Progres 2005
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There are standards for the collection and preparation of sea salt.
Nature et Progrès standards include standards for sea salt production. EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. Salt is a major ingredient in food. Therefore, it was necessary to define organic standards for sea salt production, including manual harvest, environmental management of saltworks, use of non-polluting materials for harvesting, transport and storage, monitoring of polluants, etc..
Transport of livestock, duration - FR Nature et Progres Standards 2002
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Transport of livestock must be limited to maximum of six hours.
Nature et Progres standards limit the duration of transport of livestock to 6 hours, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not give any limit. Long transport journeys for livestock are contrary to animal welfare. Moreover, transport pollutes the environment and consumes energy. Therefore transport should be stricly limited.
Veterinary treatment, allopathic products, treatment frequency - Nature et Progres Standards 2002
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The number of treatments allowed with chemically synthetised veterinary medicines (including teatments for parasites and vaccinations) varies from one species to another and is strictly limited. For example poultry may have none, while pigs can have one.
Nature et Progrès standards give a low maximum number of chemically synthetised allopathic treatments, including parasite-treatments and vaccinations, for each species. EU Regulation 2092/91 limits chemically synthetised allopathic treatments to 3 a year (or 1 if the animal lives less than a year) for every species and puts no limit on the number of chemically synthetised allopathic treatments for parasites. Chemically synthetised allopathic treatment should be restricted if possible. Treatments for parasites should not be systematically applied, because systematic allopathic treatments are not consistent with organic farming principles. The prevention of parasite problems is encouraged. Systematic vaccinations can make the immune system of animals more fragile and then raise the use of allopathic treatments.
Viticulture, general requirements - Nature et Progres Standards 2001
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There are standards for wine-growing and winemaking.
Nature et Progrès standards include standards for winemaking. EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. he lack of winemaking rules in EU Regulation is a big problem all over Europe, and especially in France. Nature et Progres winemaking standards include environnemental management in cellar, exclusion or limitation of inputs such as SO2 and other processing aids. delete this section: it is not a justification