Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by country standards

  • Organic regulations/standards by region
    • Demeter International Standard
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Animal fodder, animal origin - Demeter International 2005
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Feeding stuffs of animal origin other than milk and milk products cannot be given to herbivores. (DI production standards, 5.5.2. Feeding of dairy cows, sheep, goats and horses; DI production standards, 5.5.4. Feeding of replacement calves, calves for fattening, foal, lambs and kids)
The DI standards restricts feeding stuffs of animal origin for herbivores. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 fish and other animal products derived from the sea can be fed. Feeds must be appropriate to the class of animals and its physiological needs.
Animal fodder, conventional/organic feed, poultry - Demeter International 2005
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Poultry can be fed with up to 50% organic feed, if Demeter certified feed is not available. No bought in conventional feeding stuffs may be fed. Conventional feed can be used up to 10% in the ration for poultry, if the feed was produced on an area of the Demeter farm itself, which was newly acquired and has not yet completed the first year of the conversion period. (DI production standards, 5.5.9. Feeding of poultry)
The DI standard contains further restrictions. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 poultry can be fed with up to 15% of conventional feed if listed in the corresponding annex and organic quality feed is not available. This applies until 31.12.2007, after that the percentage will decline by 5% in two years until reaching 5% in 2012. The quality of the feed influences the quality of the animal product. Additionally, to enhance independence of the farm from outside inputs and to avoid contamination with objectionable substances.
Animal fodder, in-conversion animals, calves - Demeter International 2005
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Brought in organic calves must be fed and managed according to Demeter standards and can be marketed using the Demeter trademark at the earliest 6 months after weaning. (DI production standards, 5.5.4. Feeding of replacement calves, calves for fattening, foal, lambs and kids)
DI has specific provisions for brought in organic calves whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not cover this aspect. The quality of the feed influences the quality of the animal product.
Animal fodder, origin - Demeter International 2005
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At least 50% of the feed must originate on the farm itself or in cooperation with another Demeter farm. (DI production standards, 5.5. Feeding; DI production standards, Appendix 7, APP 12)
Demeter requires 50% home-grown feed for any kind of animal. The EU Regulation 2092/91 requires this only for herbivores. To strive for a circular flow economic system and independence from outside inputs, to enhance the farm individuality
Animal fodder, origin - Demeter International 2005
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Brought in feed should originate from Demeter production if possible, certain quantities of feed may come from not fully certified but biodynamic areas and from organically farmed areas. (DI production standards, 5.5.1. Brought in feeds and in conversion feeds; DI production standards, Appendix 7, APP 11 and 12)
The DI standard is more detailed in this aspect. The EU Regulation 2092/91 requires organic feed and admits feeding of up to 10% brought in feed of conventional origin if this is listed in the corresponding annex and not available in organic quality. Nothing is stated about the percentage of in conversion feed in the daily ration. In order to produce high quality products; the quality of the feed influences the quality of the animal product.
Animal fodder, origin, nomadic livestock - Demeter International 2005
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Nomadic livestock, to be marketed with reference to the Demeter trademark, must be fed with 2/3 fodder from own production. Additional fodder can come from extensively managed areas (not certified). (DI production standards, 5.5.5. Nomadic livestock and summer grazing on uncultivated areas)
The percentage of home grown fodder required by the DI standards is higher. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 50% of the feed for herbivores should be produced in the same farming unit or in another cooperating organic farm. This is not required during transhumancy periods. The quality of the feed influences the quality of the animal product.
Animal fodder, origin, pigs - Demeter International 2005
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The amount of bought in feed for pigs may not exceed 50%. This rule applies to farms where an equivalent of more than 5 livestock units in pigs are kept. Feeding stuffs of conventional origin cannot be brought in. Conventional feed can be used up to 10% in the ration, if the feed was produced on an area of the Demeter farm itself, which was newly acquired and has not yet completed the first year of conversion period. In case of proven unavailability of Demeter certified feed, the respective organisation can allow the feeding of maximum 50% organic feed. (DI production standards, 5.5.8. Feeding of pigs)
The DI standard contains further restrictions. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 pigs can be fed with up to 15% of conventional feed if listed in the corresponding annex and organic quality feed is not available. This applies until 31.12.2007, after that the percentage will decline in steps of 5% in two years until reaching 5% in 2012. In order to produce high quality products. The quality of the feed influences the quality of the animal product. Additionally to enhance independence of the farm from outside inputs and to avoid contamination with objectionable substances.
Animal fodder, roughage requirement - Demeter International 2005
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At least 60% of the diet of herbivores must consist of roughage. In summer most of the diet must be fresh green feed, preferably pasture. In winter herbivores (except beef cattle) must be given hay (exemptions can be approved). A feed ration based on silage over the whole year is not allowed. The ration for beef cattle can be based on silage but green material must be given additionally in summer. (DI production standards, 5.5.2. Feeding of dairy cows, sheep, goats and horses; DI production standards, 5.5.3. Feeding of beef cattle)
The DI standard is more detailed. The EU Regulation 2092/91 solely requires the feeding of roughage (60% respectively 50%) and pasture (young herbivores). Feeds must be appropriate to the class of animals and its physiological needs. There are also aspects of product quality, e.g. for milk.
Animal fodder, waterfowl - Demeter International 2005
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Waterfowl must be given moist feed. (DI production standards, 5.5.9. Feeding of poultry)
The DI standard is more precise: The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not particularly refer to the feeding of waterfowl but requires animal feed to 'meet the nutritional requirements of the livestock'. Feed must be appropriate to the class of animals and its physiological needs.
Beekeeping, colonies - Demeter International 2005
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Colonies must not be united routinerary and queens must not be systematically replaced with the purpose of increasing the honey production. (DI production standards, 4.2 Methods for increasing Honey Production)
The DI standard is more detailed. The above mentioned methods to increase honey production are not prohibited by the EU Regulation 2092/91. It is a principle of Demeter beekeeping, that bees are kept in close accordance with their nature. "Bee keepers working in the context of biodynamics orientate themselves primarily towards meeting the natural requirements of the colony. Management is so structured that the bee is able freely to unfold its true nature."
Beekeeping, feed - Demeter International 2004
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Winter feed must contain at least 10% of honey; herb tea (camomile) and salt should be added. All feed components should be of biodynamic origin. The same feed can be used if feeding the colonies is necessary before the first nectar flow of the season, as well as to strengthen swarms and the colonies where the swarms come from. During the season only honey of Demeter quality is admitted for emergency feeding. Stimulative feeding is not permitted. (DI standards for beekeeping and hive products, 4.5 Feeding)
The DI standards are more precise. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 honey from the same unit is to be used for feeding the bees if necessary; however feeding with organic sugar can be (and is) admitted by the authorities of the member states. This is also possible during the season, if the feeding is realized between the harvest of honey and 15 days before the next period of nectar or honeydew flow. Honey and pollen must be left in the hives at the end of the season. A certain percentage is not indicated. Biodynamic quality is not regulated by the EU Regulation. It is a principle of Demeter beekeeping, that bees are kept closely in accordance with their nature. Honey is the natural feed for bees. "Bee keepers working in the context of biodynamics orientate themselves primarily towards meeting the natural requirements of the colony. Management is so structured that the bee is able freely to unfold its true nature". (DI standards for beekeeping and hive products, 1.Validity and basis)
Beekeeping, hive treatment - Demeter International 2005
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The interior of the hives can only be treated with beeswax and propolis of Demeter quality. On the exterior only non-synthetic and ecologically safe wood preservatives can be applied. For cleaning and disinfection only heat is allowed. (DI production standards, 3.1 Interior Treatment; DI production standards, 3.2 Exterior Treatment; DI production standards, 3.3 Cleaning and Disinfection)
The DI standard is more detailed. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 more substances are allowed for internal and external treatment and for cleaning and disinfection of the hives. Products of Demeter quality are not regulated. Natural substances are preferred. To avoid contamination with objectionable substances is another criterion.
Beekeeping, natural combs - Demeter International 2005
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Bees must be able to freely and naturally construct the combs in the brood area. Waxen foundations can only be used for the combs in the supers. The brood area must not be divided. Separation barriers as part of the management system are not allowed. (DI standards for beekeeping and hive products, 4.4 The Comb; DI standards for beekeeping and hive products,4.4.1 Combs in the Brood Chamber; DI standards for beekeeping and hive products,4.4.2 Combs in the Supers)
The DI standard is more detailed. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not require the natural construction of combs. Furthermore it does not prohibit the brood area to be divided or the use of barriers in the system. The comb is integral to the beehive. The colony is an entity and must not be divided. It is a principle of biodynamic beekeeping, that bees are kept closely in accordance with their nature. Beekeepers working in the context of biodynamics orientate themselves primarily towards meeting the natural requirements of the colony. Management is so structured that the bee is able freely to unfold its true nature. DI standards for beekeeping and hive products, 1. Validity and basis)
Beekeeping, origin of bees - Demeter International 2005
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Colonies and queens to be brought in must come from Demeter certified beekeeping. In case of unavailability, certified organic colonies and queens can be brought in. Other colonies can only be brought in without combs. (DI production standards, 4.1.1 Buying-in of Colonies and Queens)
The DI standard is slightly more detailed. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 approval can be given to bring in complete conventional colonies in extraordinary cases (high mortality, health reasons, catastrophy). These colonies have to be converted. Colonies and queens of Demeter quality are not regulated. In order to support independence from the continuous introduction of bees from elsewhere. To ensure Demeter quality throughout the whole production chain and avoid contamination with objectionable substances.
Beekeeping, origin of wax - Demeter International 2005
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Wax brought in must be generated from natural combs or caps and preferably come from Demeter certified beekeepers. (DI standards for beekeeping and hive products, 4.4.3 Origin of wax)
The DI standard is more detailed. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not regulate wax of Demeter quality, but allows the use of conventional wax from caps, if organic wax is not available. To ensure Demeter quality throughout the whole production chain and to avoid contamination with harmful substances.
Beekeeping, processing of wax - Demeter International 2005
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Wax must not come into contact with solvents, thinners, bleaching agents or other similar materials. Equipment and containers used must be made of non-oxidising materials or with nonoxidising coating. (DI standards for beekeeping and hive products, 4.4.4 Wax Processing)
The DI standard is more precise. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not explicitly refer to wax processing, but contains a general requirement for the careful and adequate processing of bee products. To avoid contamination with harmful substances and to ensure the high quality of Demeter wax.
Beekeeping, reproduction - Demeter International 2005
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Propagation of the colonies and selective breeding must be based on the swarming instinct of the bees. Artificial queen breeding, instrumental insemination and genetic engineering is prohibited. (DI production standards, 4.1 Colony Increase and Selective Breeding)
The DI standard is more detailed. Apart from the exclusion of genetic engineering, no specific requirements are indicated regarding the breeding techniques and propagation methods for bees in the EU Regulation 2092/91. Bee keepers working in the context of biodynamics and orientate themselves primarily towards meeting the natural requirements of the colony. Management is so structured that the bee is able freely to unfold its true nature. Swarming is a vital element of the natural behaviour of the bees. It contributes to the fortification of the bee hive, which is an important aim of Demeter beekeeping.
Beekeeping, siting of apiaries - Demeter International 2005
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Apiaries shall be sited with preference on biodynamically or organically managed or uncultivated land. The biodynamic preparations should be applied regularly in the surroundings of the hives. (DI production standards, 2. The Siting of Apiaries)
The DI standard is similar. The EU Regulation 2092/91, however, does not regulate the application of the biodynamic preparations. The application of the biodynamic preparations is a vital element of Demeter certified agricultural production.
Conversion and labelling, beekeeping - Demeter International 2004
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At the beginning of the conversion period the requirements of these standards must be met with some exemptions regarding the management system of the hives. To the earliest one year after the last application of non allowed substances the beekeeper can be certified 'in conversion to Demeter'. During the conversion period, which may not last longer than three years, the wax must be replaced completely if it cannot be demonstrated, that the wax is free from residues of prohibited substances. (DI standards for beekeeping and hive products, 8. Conversion)
The DI standard is more complex regarding the certification status of 'in conversion to Demeter' for organic honey after the first year of conversion to Demeter. It limits the duration of the conversion period to three years. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 there is no upper limit for the extension of the conversion period. However, as parallel production is not allowed, no organic honey can be sold before the conversion of all the hives is completed. Regarding the replacement of wax, the EU Regulation does not mention zero residues as pre-requisite to use conventional wax. The maximum duration of the conversion period is limited in order to safeguard credibility of biodynamic farming. The replacement of wax is required in order to avoid contamination with harmful substances.
Conversion, application of biodynamic preparations - Demeter International 2005
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Manures and composts must be treated with the biodynamic preparations. A prerequisite for the certification of the farm as "In Conversion to demeter" (Biodyn) after 12 months of farming to these standards is at least one application of the spraying preparations (cow-horn manure and the horn silica), and the spreading of prepared manures on all areas of the enterprise. (DI production standards, 4. Biodynamic Preparations)
The DI standard has additional requirements than the EU Regulation 2092/91. There is no requirement about the preparation or application of the biodynamic preparations in the EU Regulation. It is stated however, that these preparations can be used for the activation of compost. The use of the biodynamic preparations in the manure and compost is an indispensable aspect of the biodynamic method.
Crop rotation - Demeter International 2005
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Sustainable soil fertility requires sufficient legumes and a high proportion of leaf crops in the rotation. (DI production standards, 3. Arable plant production)
The DI standard is slightly more precise in the aspect of how to design an adequate crop rotation. The prerequisite for good development of leaves, flowers and fruit/seeds is a vital living soil that allows good root penetration. The design of this growing area is of greater importance for the health of the plant than are individual plant husbandry measures.
Farm diversity - Demeter International 2005
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Demeter farms are required to integrate ruminants or equidae. Exemptions can be approved by the respective certifying organisation. In market gardens and in enterprises having solely perennial crops, the requirement to have their own animals is not obligatory if manures, compost, green manures, and preparation usage is particularly intensive. (DI production standards, 5.1. Requirement to have livestock DI production standards, Appendix 7, APP 4)
Demeter farms are not regulated by the EU Regulation 2092/91, and there is no requirement to have any type of livestock on an organic farm according to the EU Regulation. Animal husbandry, with the accompanying fodder production is an important part of the agricultural enterprise. With respect to the development of the enterprise, the farm organism cannot do without livestock. This applies to the ruminant in particular. The fodder plants and the well-balanced manure that comes into being because of cattle, contribute considerably through the enlivening of the soil, to the long term flourishing of a farm. The harmonious co-operation of mankind with the three kingdoms of nature can lead to a living, ensouled farm organism.
Fertilization, biodynamic preparations - Demeter International 2005
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The biodynamic preparations should be made on the farm itself and applied regularly in manures and compost and on the whole farm area. (DI production standards, 1. Principles; DI production standards, 4. Biodynamic Preparations)
There is no requirement about the preparation or application of the biodynamic preparations in the EU Regulation 2092/91. It is stated however, that these preparations can be used for the activation of compost. The use of the biodynamic preparations is an indispensable aspect of the biodynamic method. The fabrication of the preparations on the farm itself and with ingredients collected from the farm will strengthen the development of an individuality of the farm organism and help the consciousness and understanding of the connections in nature by the farmer.
Fertilization, biodynamic preparations, cosmic rhythms - Demeter International 2005
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The Biodynamic method has largely to do with the forming of living interactions, where the correct timing of measures which affect living processes plays an important role. To this belongs in particular also the conscientious and regular use of the Biodynamic preparations, and the consideration of cosmic rhythms in plant production and animal husbandry. (DI production standards, 1.principles)
There is no requirement to consider cosmic rhythms or to use the biodynamic preparations in order to individually develop the "farm organism" in the EU Regulation 2092/91. Each farm shall be developped into a "living organism" and has to be worked out in an individual way. The consideration of cosmic rhythms and the application of the biodynamic preparations are important measures to help the "farm organism" to develop. These measures have been laid down in the "Agricultural Course" of Rudolf Steiner, which is the basis of the biodynamic method.
Fertilization, intensity - Demeter International 2005
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The total amount of nitrogen fertilizer that may be used on the farm is related to the farms own capacity to produce animal manure. It must not exceed 1.4 manure units/ha (equivalent to 112 kg N/ha and 98 kg P2O5/ha). Market gardens with a high nitrogen export are allowed to use up to 170 kg N/ha after approval. (DI production standards, 3.2.1. Amount of manure)
According to the DI standards the nitrogen input allowed in general is lower than the one allowed by the EU Regulation 2092/91 (170 kg N/ha). The farm production should be based on the individual (natural and cultural) conditions of the site. It should not depend on the input of nutrients from elsewhere. This aspect refers to the principle of a circular flow economic system of organic farming and to the biodynamic principle of the individuality of a farm.
Fertilization, substrates, microbial recolonisation - Demeter International 2004
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After steam sterilisation of growing substrates the recolonisation by microbes should be guided using the biodynamic preparations. (DI production standards, 3.4.2. Manures, soils and potting mixes; DI production standards, 3.4.5.Production under glass and plastics; DI production standards, 3. Arable and Plant production)
The DI standard contains further requirements. There is no requirement or recommendation regarding microbial recolonisation of steamed growing substrates. The use of biodynamic preparations is not required by the EU Regulation 2092/91. To enliven the soil is one of the basic principles of biodynamic agriculture. To fertilize means to enliven the soil.
Fertilizer, intensity and import - Demeter International 2005
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The import of commercial organic manures is limited to the amount, that could be supplied by compost, green manure and stable manure and must not exceed 0,5 manure units/ ha (40 kg N/ha). This is not applicable to perennial crops. (DI production standards, 3.2.1.Amount of manure)
The DI standard is limiting the amount of commercial organic manures brought in. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not specifically limit the amount of commercial organic manures brought in, it only limits the total amount of farm yard manure that can be applied. The production should be based on the individual (natural and cultural) conditions of the site. It should not depend on the input of nutrients from elsewhere. This aspect refers to the principle of a circular flow economic system of organic farming and to the biodynamic principle of the individuality of a farm.
Fertilizers, origin, orchards - Demeter International 2005
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In orchards that have no animals of their own, the amount of outside organic fertiliser that may be imported is limited to 1.2 manure unit/ha of orchard area. The total amount of fertiliser used may not exceed the equivalent of 90kg N/ha of orchard area. (DI production standards, 3.5.2. Manures and soil husbandry)
The DI standard is defining a fertilizer limit for orchards in particular. There is no such provision in the EU Regulation 2092/91. The limit is given to provide good fruit quality and for nutritional aspects as well.
Fertilizers, substrates - Demeter International 2005
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The fertilizers which can be brought into a biodynamic farm are regulated in the chapter 3.2.2. and by a positive list in the appendix 4. Certain products (such as synthetic nitrogen sources, Chilean Nitrate, water soluble phosphate fertilizers, pure potassium salts and potassium salts with a chloride content exceeding 3%, municipal composts, sewage sludge, animal manure from intensive animal husbandry systems) are explicitly excluded from use. Others (such as natural phosphate rock, ground basic slag, potassium magnesium sulphate, magnesium sulphate, sulphur, trace elements) can only be applied if the necessity has been demonstrated and after approval. Animal manure should be prepared with the biodynamic preparations. The use of brought in fertilizers must be precisely documented. (DI production standards, 3.2.2. Brought in manures and soils; DI production standards, appendix 4)
The list of allowed fertilizers is shorter in DI standard than the EU Regulation 2092/91, i.e. conventional manure from poultry farming, liquid or semi-liquid conventional manures, meal from blood, meat and bone, pure potassium salts and potassium salts with a chloride content of larger than 3% are totally prohibited. The fertilization shall be done as far as possible with the farms own resources, and therefore the import of fertilizers is restricted. Contamination with harmful substances must be excluded.
Full farm conversion - Demeter International 2005
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The conversion of the whole farm to the Biodynamic method in one step is required and shall be completed after a maximum of five years. Exemptions can be approved if the whole farm is managed organically and the conversion to biodynamic of individual areas following the crop rotation is justified (Appendix 7, APP 20 and 22). Parallel production is not allowed. Exemptions for perennial crops can be approved (Appendix 7, APP 21). A farm manager may not manage a Demeter farm and a conventional farm in the same district. (DI production standards, 7.1. Conversion and the production manager; DI production standards, Appemdix 7, APP 20, 21, 22)
The DI standard contains additional requirements. After 5 years of conversion, conventional units are no longer admitted on the farm. The whole farm should be converted in one step. The same person cannot manage one Demeter and another conventional farm at the same time. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 separated conventional units and organic units can exist on the same farm. Conversion is a process of change encompassing the many developmental steps that the enterprise goes through on the way to a new state of equilibrium.
Honey, processing and storage - Demeter International 2004
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The temperature of honey should never exceed 35°C. Pressurised filtration is not permitted. The honey should be filled into containers of glass or metal before any solidification occurs. In some cases subsequent refilling is admitted, but certain requirements concerning the heating method and temperature, the documentation and the containers have to be complied with. Honey must be stored in a dark, cool and dry place. (DI standards for beekeeping and hive products, 5. Honey Extraction; DI standards for beekeeping and hive products, Appendix 3 Transportation, Decanting, Heating)
The DI standard is more detailed. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not explicitly refer to the extraction, further processing and storage of the honey. There is however the general requirement of careful and adequate handling of the bee products. To avoid damaging the quality of the product.
Honey, quality - Demeter International 2004
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The honey must fulfil certain measurable quality criteria in terms of water content, HMF content and invertase level: Water content - measured according to DIN/AOAC - 18% maximum and for heather honey 21.4% . The HMF content - measured according to Winkler - 10 mg/kg maximum . The Invertase level - measured according to Hadorn - must be at least 10 (except honeys with a low content of enzymes like honey from acacia). (DI standards for beekeeping and hive products, 5.3 Quality Analysis; DI standards for beekeeping and hive products, Appendix 1 Measurable Honey Quality Requirements)
The DI standard is more detailed. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not regulate quality criteria of organic honey. To make sure that only high quality honey is sold as Demeter certified honey.
Labelling claims, general requirements - Demeter International 2005
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Products can be labelled as "in conversion to Demeter" or Biodyn to the earliest after 12 months in conversion to the biodynamic method of the respective farm unit. This is only possible if the whole enterprise is under conversion. Crops harvested more than 36 months (perennial crops), or sown more than 24 months after the start of conversion can be marketed as Demeter once certification is granted. In the following cases the periods can be shortened: If an enterprise can be shown to have been managed extensively, after the second conversion year, full Demeter certification is possible. If an enterprise or part thereof is certified organic for a minimum of three years full Demeter certification can be given for the first harvest, provided that the Biodynamic preparations have been applied according to the standards. (DI production standards, 7.3. Demeter certification and use of the trademark)
Demeter labelling is not regulated by the EU Regulation 2092/91. Whereas the general conversion time for annual and perennial crops are similar to the EU regulation, additional requirements have to be fulfiled to get the Demeter certification such as the use of the bio-dynamic preparations etc. To ensure good consumer information.
Labelling claims, honey - Demeter International 2004
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n the labelling of Demeter certified honey there must be an indication regarding the definition of Demeter quality of honey: 'The special quality of Demeter honey derives from a unique, species appropriate approach to bee keeping. Due to their extensive flying range, bees cannot be expected to fly solely over biodynamically managed areas.' (DI standards for beekeeping and hive products, 10. Demeter Hive Product Identification)
The DI standard is more detailled. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not require an explanation of organic honey to be published on the label. To increase transparency for the consumer.
Labelling of animal products, milk - Demeter International 2005
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The labelling of milk is determined by the certification status of the feed: Milk may only be marketed under the label "In Conversion to Demeter" if the dairy cows are fed from areas of the farm, which have this certification level. Demeter certification of the milk is possible as soon as the feed comes from Demeter certified areas. (DI production standards, 5.7.1. Milk, dairy cows and calves; DI production standards, 5.5.1. Brought in feeds and in conversion feeds)
The DI standard is more complex. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not regulate Demeter specific labelling. The label "In conversion to Demeter" is only given to products, that have full organic certification status already. There is no possibility for animal products to be labelled as in conversion according to the EU Regulation. The quality of the feed influences the quality of the animal product.
Labelling of animal products, pigs - Demeter International 2005
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Piglets of conventional origin that are exceptionally brought into a Demeter farm to start a new herd and after approval by the respective organisation, can be labelled as 'In conversion to Demeter' or 'Biodyn' after a conversion period of 6 months. During the conversion period, they must be managed and fed according to the Demeter standards. (DI production standards, 5.7.4. Pigs; DI production standards, Appendix 7, APP 17)
The DI standard is more complex. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 there is no in conversion labelling for animals and animal products. In both cases piglets can only be brought in for breeding (to start a new herd) and not with the purpose of fattening. According to the EU Regulation those animals could be converted to organic (6 months conversion period). According to Demeter standards they can never reach Demeter status, but can be labelled as "in conversion to Demeter" after the same period. No justification available
Livestock housing and free range conditions, stocking rate, minimum - Demeter International 2005
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The stocking rate is determined by the possibilities for fodder production, as dictated by climate and the local conditions. Soil fertility should be maintained and developed by keeping animals and applying their manure. The minimum stocking rate has to be defined by the certification organisation in each country. The maximum stocking rate may not exceed 2.0 livestock units/ha, corresponding to a maximum of 1.4 manure units/ha, if feed is brought in. (DI production standards, 5.2. Stocking rate)
Compared to the EU Regulation 2092/91, the DI standards define not only a maximum but also a minimum stocking rate. Furthermore, the maximum stocking rate as defined by Demeter Interantioal is lower than the one indicated in the EU Regulation. Demeter farms must incorporate livestock, but they must be kept and fed in accordance with the given conditions of the site.
Livestock housing, general requirements - Demeter International 2005
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Changes to the building construction which are necessary from an animal husbandry viewpoint (e.g. access to pasture, bays for rearing groups of calves, rebuilding of fully slatted floors etc.) are to be completed within a maximum five year conversion period. (DI production standards, 5.4. Management; DI production standards, Appendix 7, APP 6)
The DI standard is more precise by forcing adaptions for an appropriate animal housing within a five year timeframe. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 inappropriate housing (in certain cases) can be tolerated with a derogation up to 31.12.2010. As there are only 5 years left until the end of 2010 the implementation of the rule will probably now be the same. Converting farmers must have time to adapt the given conditions of the farm to the requirements of the Demeter standards. However, in order to increase credibility of organic and biodynamic farming the necessary changes should be encouraged.
Livestock management, electrical conditioning devices - Demeter International 2005
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The use of electrical cow trainers is not allowed. (DI production standards, 5.4.1. Cattle management)
The DI standard is more detailed, the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not explicitly prohibit the use of electrical cow trainers. To enable the natural behaviour and increase the well-being of the animals.
Livestock management, perennial cropping systems - Demeter International 2004
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Farms with intensive vegetable production or perennial crops should keep animals on the farm or at least cooperate with another biodynamic farm to set up a fertilising programme based on animal manure. (DI production standards 3.4.Market gardens, field vegetables, hops and other perennial crops)
The DI standard requires that animals are being reared on farms with intensive horticulture production or perennial cropping systems; where as in the EU Regulation 2092/91 no such requirement is stated. The fertilizing programme should be based on animals kept on the farm in order to promote the development of the farm as an individual living organism by using the own animal manure. Animal husbandry, with the accompanying fodder production is an important part of the agricultural enterprise. With respect to the development of the enterprise, the farm organism cannot do without livestock. This applies to the ruminant in particular. The fodder plants and the well-balanced manure that comes into being because of cattle, contribute considerably through the enlivening of the soil, to the long term flourishing of a farm. The harmonious co-operation of mankind with the three kingdoms of nature can lead to a living, ensouled farm organism.
Livestock management, physical operations/mutilations - Demeter International 2005
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Dehorning of animals and dehorned animals are not permitted on the farm. In well-justified cases, an exemption may be approved by the respective organisation but must be reviewed annually . (DI production standards, 5.4.1. Cattle management; DI production standards, Appendix 7, APP 9)
The DI standard is more demanding but less detailed. The EU Regulation is more precisely indicating the circumstances of dehorning: According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 systematic dehorning of animals is not allowed but can be done for a couple of reasons (security, health, animal welfare or hygiene) and under certain conditions (done by qualified personnel and at an appropriate age of the animal). Furthermore EU Regulation does not prohibit the presence of dehorned animals on the farm. In practice (in Germany) very few cases for the dehorning of single animals have been approved on Demeter farms, while regular dehorning of cattle is common on organic farms. The horns of ruminants have significance for the development of life forces. They provide an opposing balance of forces to the intensive digestion and absorption processes. They are a part of the total being of the cow. In comparison to other animal types, cattle manure has a particularly stimulating effect on soil fertility. The horns also have a large significance as a sheath in the production of the Biodynamic preparations.
Origin of livestock, general requirements - Demeter International 2005
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Brought in animals must come from certified biodynamic or at least organic farms. Brought in organic animals must be converted to Demeter before being marketed with reference to the Demeter trademark. The import of conventional animals for breeding or herd expansion can only be granted in case of rare breeds, to increase herd size, when another complete farm (land and animals) is leased. Animals, that were born on conventional farms can never be marketed with reference to Demeter. This does not apply to goats and pigs, that were brought in for breeding purposes. Bovines of conventional origin can never be marketed as Demeter nor as In conversion to Demeter. (DI production standards, 5.7. Origin of animals, brought in stock and marketing; DI production standards, 5.7.2. Beef cattle for fattening) DI production standards, Appendix 7, APP 15)
The DI standard is more detailed by requiring animals from Demeter origin to be bought in and the conversion of organic animals to Demeter. Demeter quality is not regulated by the EU Regulation 2092/91. Regarding the possibilities of buying in animals from conventional origin the DI standard is less detailed. To ensure biodynamic quality throughout the whole production chain. To avoid problems with BSE in Demeter products.
Origin of livestock, smallholders - Demeter International 2005
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Smallholders are allowed to bring in fattening animals of conventional origin for home consumption if certified Demeter or organic animals are not available. The animals should be fed and kept according Demeter standards as much as possible and they cannot be marketed with reference to Demeter. (DI production standards, 5.7.B Animals brought in for fattening)
The DI standard has further details to the EU Regulation 2092/91. According to the EU Regulation there are no specific provisions for smallholders and conventional animals for fattening purposes (except poultry) cannot be bought in. However, as it is possible to have conventional farming units on an organic farm, conventional animals can be brought into these units, where they don't have to be fed with organic feeding stuffs. In order to enable Demeter certified smallholders to keep animals for home consumption, even if not all the requirements regarding biodynamic animal husbandry can be complied with. This is only possible in countries not belonging to the EU and only for self-supply.
Plant production, breeding techniques - Demeter International 2005
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No hybrids of cereals with the exception of corn (Zea Mays) can be used for the production of food and feed crops. No breeding techniques such as protoplasm and cytoplasm fusion or genetic modification may have been applied in the production of the plant propagation material to be used. (DI production standards, 3.1. Seed and propagation material)
The DI standard is more restrictive by prohibiting plant propagation material produced with breeding techniques based on genetic modification, protoplasm and cytoplasm fusion and hybridisation. The EU Regulation 2092/91 only excludes the use of genetically modified plant propagation material, but it does not refer to other breeding techniques. Hybrids in general have a lower quality concerning nutritional aspects. The breeding technique as well is in opposition to the understanding of biodynamic farming. For more details visit www.forschungsring.de.
Plant production, chicory - Demeter International 2005
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Chicory roots should be forced in soil. (DI production standards, 3.4.2. Manures, soils and potting mixes)
There is no such explicit requirement within the EU Regulation 2092/91. Best development of nutritional aspects when the plants are in contact with soil.
Plant production, support stakes, origin - Demeter International 2004
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In northern climates no tropical or sub tropical woods are allowed for use as support stakes to reduce environmental impact. The tropical grasses, bamboo and tonkin, may be used. (DI production standards, 3.5.4. support stakes)
The DI standard has a broader scope; the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not regulate this aspect. In order to reduce environmental impact within the tropics.
Plant production, use of soil culture - Demeter International 2005
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Soil-less growing techniques are not allowed (DI production standards, 3.4.2. Manures, soils and potting mixes)
Where as Demeter International standards prohibit soil less production, the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not treat the issue of soil-less growing techniques. It is considered that nutritional aspects develop best when the plants are in contact with soil.
Plant protection, substances - Demeter International 2005
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If the agricultural and biodynamic methods of plant care and protection prove insufficient, the products listed in appendix 5 can be applied. (DI production standards, 3.3. Plant care and protection; DI production standards, Appendix 5 Allowable materials and methods for plant care and protection)
The DI list is generally similar to the positive list of the EU Regulation 2092/91. However, the use of certain products is excluded, including synthetic phyrethroids, metaldehyde, and copper can only be applied in lower quantities. Resistance to fungal, bacterial and insect attack in the crops should be supported by biodynamic measures. Nevertheless, there may be cases, in which the treatment with a certain product is necessary in order to avoid major damage. Contamination with harmful substances must be avoided.
Principles of organic agriculture, understanding nature - Demeter International 2005
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People working in agriculture (farmers) should constantly strive after an understanding of the connections in nature using observation, thinking and perception. (DI production standards, 1.principles, paragraph 4)
DI standards contain recommendations regarding the attitude of organic farmers, but there is no mention of farmers attitudes or levels of understanding contained in the EU Regulation 2092/91. Biodynamic work requires that one is strongly connected with the essential nature of the Biodynamic method, its principles and aims. To this end it is necessary to live into the natural processes using observation, thinking and perception.
Seed and plant material, origin - Demeter International 2005
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Seeds and vegetative propagation material must originate from biodynamic agriculture if available. Open pollinated varieties of biodynamic origin should be preferred. For vegetable production and potatoes propagation material from organic origin can be used, if biodynamic material is not available. If organic sources are not available, untreated material of conventional origin (excluding young plants/seedlings) may be used after approval by the respective organisation. Unavailability must be documented. (DI production standards, 3.1 Seed and propagation material; DI production standards, Appendix 7, APP 1)
The DI standard is more detailed in the aspect to require prefence of open pollinated varieties and plant propagation material from biodynamic sources. In case of unavailability and after approval conventional material can be used. The EU Regulation does not refer to open pollinated varieties and does not regulate biodynamic quality. The use of conventional seeds or vegetative plant propagation material can be approved if the desired crop and variety is not available in organic quality according to the national data base for organic seeds. The aim is to grow plants of the best nutritional quality and to ensure biodynamic quality throughout the whole production chain. Hybrids are considered to have a lower quality concerning nutritional aspects. Hybridisation as breeding technique is in opposition to the understanding of adequate biodynamic methods. For more details visit www.forschungsring.de.
Soil and potting mixes - Demeter International 2005
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Soils and potting mixes should preferably be generated from the farm itself and must consist of at least 25% prepared composts. Peat can only be used in propagating beds and potting mixes and is limited in quantity (max. 75%). Synthetic soil improving agents are not allowed. (DI standards 3.4.2.Manures, soils and potting mixes)
The use of the biodynamic preparations in the manure and compost is an indispensable aspect of the biodynamic method. The farm "organism" should strive for independence from outside inputs. Peat is restricted because of nature protection reasons. The use of the biodynamic preparations in the manure and compost is an indispensable aspect of the biodynamic method. The farm organisms should strive for independence from outside inputs. Peat is restricted because of nature protection reasons.
Transport of livestock, distance - Demeter Interational 2005
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Transport distances should be kept short and if possible to not more than 200 kilometres. (DI production standards, 5.9. Transport and slaughter of stock)
The DI standard is slightly more detailed. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not refer to the distances of transport, but requires that stress for the animals has to be avoided. The slaughtering of animals requires particular care and attention. One must be conscious, that all processing of meat begins with the death of a living being with a soul. Ethical and moral considerations require that animals are handled in such away from transport to slaughter, that stress, fear, thirst and pain are avoided as far as possible. Transport distances should be kept as short as possible and therefore animals should be slaughtered in the region in which they were reared.
Veterinary treatment, allopathic products, routine use - Demeter International 2005
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Routine treatment with allopathic medicines is not allowed with the exception of endemic parasitism. The application of anthelmintics requires faecal egg counts. (DI production standards, 5.8. Medical treatment of animals)
The DI standard contains further requirements. EU Regulation 2092/91 does not require faecal egg counts before anthelmintic use. Natural remedies are preferred. They often have an harmonizing effect and are supporting the self-healing process of the organism. A further reason is to avoid contamination with objectionable substances.