Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by EU regulation

  • EC Council Regulation No. 2092/91
    • Annex I. Principles of organic production and processing
      • A.Plant and plant products
        • Plant pests and diseases, and weeds control - Annex I A3
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Greenhouse production, steam sterilisation - NO Governmental Regulation 2005
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Thermal steam sterilisation of soil in a greenhouse requires approval from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
EU regulation 2092/91 does not cover green house production as specific area. Thermal sterilisation should be restricted for ecological reasons, and it is therefore required an approval from the authorities.
Plant protection, crop rotation - UK Soil Association standards 2005 It is permitted to grow crops without the use of a multi-annual rotation in such cropping systems as protected cropping, permanent pasture, perennial crops and wild harvesting, but the cropping system must not rely on external inputs nor involve continuous arable crops. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraph 5.1.14 and 5.1.15. Soil Association standards contain further detail to the EU Regulation 2092/91. Soil Association standards set out the circumstances in which it is permitted to practice cropping without a multi-annual rotation. EU Regulation requires a multi-annual rotation for crop production to maintain soil fertility and to control weeds, pests and diseases, but it does not explain clearly those cropping systems that would not require such a rotation. The Soil Association standards are intended to place clear and unambiguous requirements on the producer regarding when it is appropriate to make use of crop rotations and when it is not. For example, it could be harmful to biodiversity and could cause pollution to initiate a cropping rotation on land that had been in permanent pasture.
Plant protection, documentation - US NOP 2002
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The producer must use management practices to prevent crop pests, weeds, and diseases including but not limited to crop rotation and soil and crop nutrient management practices, sanitation measures and cultural practices that enhance crop health. A biological or botanical substance or a substance included on the national list of synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production may be applied to prevent, suppress, or control pests, weeds, or diseases: provided, that, the conditions for using the substance are documented in the organic system plan.
No differences in general except that the US has slightly different concept regarding documentation of farm practices compared with the EU Regulation 2092/91. No justification could be provided by USDA.
Plant protection, general requirements - SI Rules 2003
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Plant protection requirements in SI Rules 2003 (Art. 15) are relatively detailed, e.g naming the priority actions for maintaining plant health, balanced nutrition and substrate treatment with steam in closed production areas. An annual production plan is required as the basis for the use of any plant protection substances from the Annex (List of allowed PPP) which needs an agreement from the inspection body.
SI Rules have further requiements to the EU Regulation 2092/91. Besides measures mentioned in the EU (Annex I A, 3), SI Rules also mention balanced nutrition of the plants and treatment of substrates with steam. In addition, the use of plant protection substances must take place in accordance with the annual production plan (Art. 15) that has to be approved by the inspection body, whereas EU Regulation does not mention such a plan. In addition, the general conditions for the use of substances in the traps and/or dispensers is also described here (Art. 15) and not in the Annex as in EU Regulation (Annex II. B. III.). The annual production plan, which has to be approved by the inspection body, is probably to increase the operator's attentiveness in this respect.
Plant protection, substances - DE Bioland 2005
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The plant protection agents listed in the corresponding annex 10.2. can only be used, if other agricultural measures to strengthen the health of the cropping system have been unsuccessful. Equipment for the application of plant protection agents must be free from residues of objectionable substances. The use of synthetic pesticides and growth regulators is prohibited. (Bioland production standards, 3.7 Plant Protection 3.7.1 Basic Principles; Bioland production standards, 3.7.2 Permissible Measures; Bioland production standards, 3.7.3 Prohibitions; Bioland production standards, 10.2.1 Biological and Biotechnical Measures; Bioland production standards, 10.2.2 Plant Protection and Care Agents; Bioland production standards, 10.2.2.1 Generally Permissible Agents; Bioland production standards, 10.2.2.2 Agents only Permissible in Horticulture and Permanent Cultures as well as in the mentioned crops)
The BIOLAND standard has further requirements to the EU Regulation 2092/91. There are certain (mainly natural) products on the BIOLAND list of permissible products, that are not mentioned in the EU Regulation.: i.e. stone meal, bentonite, prepared aluminium oxide, "waterglass" (sodium silicate), herb extracts, herb liquid manure and teas (e.g. nettle, horsetail, onion, horse radish, parsley fern), ethyl alcohol, milk and whey products, sodium hydrogen carbonate. These products are not considered as plant protection, but fortifying agents, which can be used in accordance with the EU Regulation 2092/91 in Germany. The following products are excluded or restricted in their use according to the BIOLAND standard, but permitted in the EU Regulation.: bees wax (not considered as plant protection agent in Germany), gelatine, extraction from Nicotina tabacum, rotenon, diammoniumphosphate, metaldehyde, pyrethoids in traps, ethylene and potassium alum, copper preparations with further restrictions (max metallic copper amount 3 kg/ha and year, in hop cultivation max 4 kg/ha and year, in potato cultivation only with permission of the BIOLAND Association. If agents with copper content are used, the copper content of the soil must be continuously monitored by means of soil analysis). In order to avoid negative influences on products as well as on the environment (i.e. by the accumulation of copper in soil), substances considered to be critical and whose beneficial effects can also be caused by other products or methods are prohibited by the BIOLAND Association. Moreover some of the substances (ethylene, potassium alum) are not relevant for plant production in the area certified by BIOLAND.
Plant protection, substances, weed control - DE Bioland 2005
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The application of herbicides is not allowed. (Bioland production standards, 3.8.2 Prohibition of Herbicides)
The BIOLAND standard is more specific with regard to the use of herbicides. There is no explicit prohibition of herbicides in the EU Regulation 2092/91, but as no herbicides are listed in Annex II B, it is not possible to use any until now but might be possible in the future. The BIOLAND Association is generally rejecting the use of herbicides.
Plant protection, substances, weed control - DE Naturland 2005
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Preventive measures such as crop cultivation methods are to be applied in order to keep the crop healthy and reduce weeds to a tolerable level. The use of synthetic chemical substances for plant protection is prohibited. The allowed substances are listed in the appendix 2. For thermal weed reduction energy-saving methods have to be applied. (NL standards on production: Part B.I. Plant production 2. Part B.III. Market gardening 4)
The NATURLAND list of allowed substances is similar to the list of the EU Regulation 2092/91, but in some cases more detailed, i.e.: synthetic pyrethroids and metaldehyde are not allowed, copper can only be applied in lower quantities. Nothing is said about the use of energy for thermal weed control in the EU Regulation. The application of conventional crop protection agents is not compatible with organic agriculture. Contamination has to be avoided.
Plant protection, substances, weed control - Int. IFOAM Standards 2005
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Noxious weeds should be controlled by a combination of soil management and crop rotation measures. Application of products that are prepared at the farm from local plants, animals and micro-organisms, are permitted for weed control when crop rotation measures are insufficient. (4.5.)
IFOAM indicated methods for the control of noxoius weeds in detail and admitted substances are indicated. EU Regulation 2092/91 lists the latter in the positive list of ANNEX II B, such as 'Microorganisms approved for pest control'. No restrictions concerning the target organism are listed, therefore under EU Regulation these organisms are applicable for the control of noxoius weeds. No justification could be provided
Soil management, steam sterilisation - CH Regulation/Ordinance 2005
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Steam sterilisation of the soil is prohibited in open fields.
The Swiss Ordinance prohibits steam sterilisation of the soil in open fields, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not list this as a prohibited practice. Adapted crop rotation schemes and soil management in organic farming should do enough to avoid soil born diseases and unwanted herbs. Steam sterilisation demands a high input of energy and it cures only the symptoms of the problem but not the cause of unappropriate soil management.
Soil management, steam sterilisation - CZ KEZ Standards 2005 Prior approval is called for thermal steam sterilisation of the soil (the applicant must prove that there is no other effective alternative). No similar paragraph concerning the thermal sterilisation is quoted in the EU Regulation 2092/91. Annex I/A/3 permits control of pests, diseases and weeds by a combination of the measures. Conditions of the use of thermal sterilisation are not discussed there. Nature conservation, protection of soil fauna and flora is the main reason for this restriction.
Soil management, steam sterilisation - DE Bioland Standards 2005
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Steaming of substrate and superficial steaming of the soil for weed regulation is allowed. Deep steaming (sterilisation) of the soil requires approval by BIOLAND. (Bioland production standards, 5.1.3 Steaming Surfaces and Soil; Bioland production standards, 5.8.3 Plant Health and Regulation of Weeds)
The BIOLAND standard is more detailed. The EU Regulation 2092/91 allows flame weeding to reduce weed pressure, but does not refer to deep steaming (sterilisation) of the soil. Deep steaming for sterilisation impair soil biodiversity. Therefore it should only be used as a last resort for severe problems.
Soil management, steam sterilisation and pasteurisation - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 Steam sterilisation or pasteurisation of soils are not permitted for weed control; along with Azadirachtin (from neem) and lime sulphur, they may be used with prior permission only in protected cropping structures and only as a single response to a particular pest problem. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 4.10.5 and 4.11.10. Soil Association standards have further restrictions to the EU Regulation 2092/91. Soil Association standards restrict the use of steam sterilisation or pasteurisation of soils. These methods are not permitted for weed control; with prior permission, they may be used only in protected cropping structures and only as a single response to a particular pest problem. EU Regulation does not refer to these practices. Steam sterilisation and pasteurisation are energy intensive methods, which impair soil biodiversity and are generally incompatible with organic soil management principles. As the methods require only the use of water and energy, their absence from the EU Regulation could be interpreted as allowing unrestricted use of the methods for pest and disease control.
Spraying equipment, testing - CH Bio Suisse Standards 2005 Organic farms must have their spraying equipment tested every 4 years. The Swiss Ordinance requires spraytests, but EU Regulation 2092/91 has no such requirement. Good agricultural practice requires all spraying equipment must be in perfect working order to ensure adequate application of agricultural substances.