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
        • Collection of wild plants - Annex I A4
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Collection of wild plants - CH Bio Suisse Standards 2005
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The collection of wild plants is regulated in detail. In particular the following are required: A complete description of the gathered area, of the gathering activities, of storing and processing. Proof that no unauthorized auxiliary inputs for organic agriculture have been used in the three previous years; Prove of ecological harmlessness (stability of the habitat and biodiversity). There must not be any sources of emission/contamination in the respective area and in the neighbourhood. Collectors must have a sound knowledge of sustainable gathering.
Specific requirements on wild collection are detailed in the standard of BIO SUISSE. EU Regulation 2092/91 rules the area more generally and accepts the collection of wild plants if no disallowed substances are applied and if the collection is done in a sound manner. Areas can be treated with substances and measures approved in the EU Regulation whereas BIO SUISSE does not accept any treatments of the natural habitats by men, even not substances allowed in Annex II. Since wild habitats are very vulnerable, BIO SUISSE standards indicate the most important parameters to be respected before approval . In order to draw a clear line against organic produce from farms, no treatments, even not with allowed products, are allowed in wild collection..
Collection of wild plants - DE Bioland Standards 2005
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Wild grown plants collected for human consumption can be labelled with the BIOLAND trademark and the indicated as from wild collection, when; the area of collection has not been contaminated, is clearly defined, registered and (in general) situated in a region that is attended by BIOLAND, and the extraction of the plants does not negatively affect the local ecosystem. BIOLAND certified products from wild collection must be clearly labelled as such. (Bioland production standards, 3.10 Wild Collection)
The BIOLAND provisions are more specific and require the collection area to be free from the direct influence of any sources of pollution. BIOLAND labelling requirements are also more detailed than under EU Regulation 2092/91 where there is no specific provision for the labelling of organic products collected from wild collection. To ensure the innocuousness and high quality of BIOLAND products. To increase transparency for the consumer.
Collection of wild plants - DE Naturland 2005
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Wild grown collected products that are to be marketed with reference to organic certification must not be contaminated. (NL standards on production, Part B.IX. Wild grown products 2)
The NATURLAND standard is more precise. In the EU Regulation 2092/91 no specific provisions for the exclusion of contamination of wild products are given and no regular analysis are required. This is to ensure the organic integrity of the product.
Collection of wild plants - Int. Codex Alimentarius Guidelines 2005
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The operator should provide for maintenance and sustainability of the ecosystem when harvesting or gathering the products.
Specific responsibilities of the operator are detailed in the Codex Alimentarius requirements, while the EU regulation 2092/91 rules this area in a more general way. Wild habitats are very vulnerable: Codex Alimentarius requirements to indicate the most important parameters to be respected before approval may occure to grant sustainability.
Collection of wild plants - Int. IFOAM Standards 2005
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The operator should ensure maintenance and sustainability of the ecosystem when harvesting or collecting the products.(2.4.)
Specific responsibilities of the operator are detailed in the IFOAM requirements, while EU Regulaation 2092/91 regulates this area in a more general way. Since wild habitats are very vulnerable, IFOAM requirements indicate the most important criteria to be respected, including the operator, before approval may be granted.
Collection of wild plants - SI Rules 2003
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SI Rules (Art. 16) have further requirements to the general provisions mentioned in the EU Regulation (Annex I A, 4); that the collection areas are accurately established, and inspection in accordance with these rules can be carried out in the designated areas. SI Rules also specify the authority to agree that the collection does not affect the stability of the natural habitat etc.; namely the Institute for Protection of Natural and Cultural heritage.
Provisions for the collection of plants in natural areas in SI Rules 2003 are more specific than in the EU Regulation 2092/91 regarding the identification and inspection of the area of collection and it is also specifying the authority to agree on harmlessness of the collection for natural habitat/species. Additional specifications should enable a better control of collection in natural areas and prevent damage to nature.
Collection of wild plants - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 Harvesting of wild plants for sale as organic must meet organic standards, comply with the law, not endanger species nor disturb habitat stability, not be on land recently contaminated with prohibited inputs, and must be sufficiently distant from sources of prohibited inputs or pollution. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 9.1.4 - 9.1.11. Soil Association standards are more detailed than EU Regulation 2092/91. Soil Association standards require that wild harvesting of crops for sale as organic must comply with the organic standards and with the law, must not be of species defined as "critically endangered" in the World Conservation Union red list, and must be on land at least 10 metres from non organic agriculture and 50 metres from non agricultural pollution sources. The land should be accessible to inspection, and should be identified on maps with the organic certification application. EU Regulation does not have these requirements. The Soil Association standards on wild plant collection are intended to minimise the risk that the wild harvesting of plants may result either in contamination of organic products or damage to semi-natural habitats and endangered species. They seek to ensure that organic standards are fully effective for organic wild harvested products.
Collection of wild plants, buffer zones - CZ KEZ Standards 2005 Minimum distance (25 meter) from conventional area is required for collecting plants and their fruits in the wild . KEZ standards are more specific with regard to Annex I/A/4 than EU Regulation 2092/91. KEZ Standards require minimum distance from conventional used area and potential sources of pollution besides them. Minimum distance prevents the risk of contamination.
Collection of wild plants, buffer zones - Italian Organic Standards 2005
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For harvest of wild and spontaneous growing products, the Italian Organic Standards (IOS) requires that collection areas shall be located at a distance of at least 100 m from conventionally run fields and 200 m from high-traffic roads. Regarding the the distance from other pollution sources, the inspection and certification body shall establish the minimum distance on a case-by-case basis.
Italian Organic Standards detail distances required between collection areas and pollution sources. Whereas, EU Regulation 2092/91 is less detailed on wild and spontaneous growing products. Harvesting of wild and spontaneous growing products such as mushrooms and medicinal herbs, are an important production in many Italian regions. As a consequence a set of more detailed rules are needed to avoid misinterpretation.
Collection of wild plants, buffer zones - SE KRAV 2006
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The KRAV standards for wild collection requires 25 metre buffer zones to roads (if there is more then 3000 vehicles per day), and to land which has been treated with chemical fertilisers or pesticides. The standards also set a maximum limit for caesium levels in land from which berries and mushrooms are collected (KRAV standards paragraph 8.1.6).
Contamination risks in wild collection are not covered in EU Regulation 2092/91. It is important for consumers trust in organic products that there are as little contaminants as possible. Sweden has problems with contamination of caesium after the Chernobyl accident.
Collection of wild plants, education - SE KRAV 2006
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Persons who gather or pick wild products should have access to maps of the approved areas for collection so that all collection is done only on these areas. All information, instructions and standards should be available in a language which the collectors understand at the delivery station (KRAV standards paragraph 8.1.9).
This is not covered in EU Regulation 2092/91. It is important that collectors have maps and understandable information, instructions and standards to minimise the risk for collection on non-allowed areas or in the wrong way.
Collection of wild plants, harvesting methods - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005
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Harvesting of wild plants for sale as organic must be conducted at the best time of year. It must include only the appropriate parts of the plants, and a number of details are included regarding different types of plants. Sufficient mature plants must be left for the survival of dependent wildlife, damage to other species and to the habitat must be avoided, and samples must be kept of every batch harvested. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Subsection 9.3.)
Soil Association standards are more precise than EU Regulation 2092/91. Soil Association wild plant harvesting standards include specifications regarding appropriate timing, the parts of plants that may be harvested, and appropriate replanting. It is specified that enough mature plants must be left for wildlife that depend on them, that damage must be avoided to other species, that beneficial relationships among plant species must be respected, erosion must be avoided, and samples of harvested batches must be kept. EU Regulations do not contain these requirements, only maintaining that the areas concerned must not have been treated with prohibited inputs for the previous 3 years, and that the harvesting does not affect the habitat stability or the maintenance of the species harvested. Soil Association standards on wild plant harvesting are intended to maximise the quality of the product and to minimise the risk of damage to the species harvested or to other species in the same habitat. The intention is to provide a comprehensive set of rules for organic wild plant harvesting, rather than merely a brief statement of intent.
Collection of wild plants, management plan - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005
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A wild harvesting management plan, agreed with Soil Association, is required and must be adhered to. It must include the harvest areas, personnel, times, quantities, species, environmental management, etc. There are a substantial number of further details set out in Soil Association standards regarding various aspects of the wild harvesting management plan and its implementation. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Subsection 9.2.)
Soil Association standards include a set of rules not contained in the EU Regulation 2092/91. Soil Association standards for wild plant harvesting require the agreement, implementation and monitoring of a wild harvesting management plan. This must include harvest areas, personnel, times, quantities, species, quality, making good procedures, environmental management, etc. EU Regulation does not require any similar type of wild harvesting management plan. Soil Association standards' requirement for a comprehensive and detailed wild harvest management plan is intended to maximise the quality of the product and to minimise the risks of unsustainable damage either to the species harvested or to other species in its surrounding habitat.