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
      • B.Livestock and livestock products - Annex I B
        • Origin of animals/livestock sources - Annex I B3
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Animal breeding, general requirements - Int. Codex Alimentarius Guidelines 2005 The choice of breeds, strains and breeding methods shall be consistent with the principles of organic farming. CODEX does not list acceptable breeding techniques but leaves it to a very general wording of adapted breeding methods, while the EU Regulation 2092/91 more clearly excludes certain breeding techniques. No justification was available.
Animal breeding, longevity - DE Bioland 2005
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Longevity has to be taken into account for breeding purposes and especially in the case of animals for milk production. Only animal breeds appropriate to the animal husbandry systems practised in organic farming should be used. Breeding should not be based on the purchase of animals from conventional origin and breeding and breeding animals (to be purchased) should not originate from embryo transfer. (Bioland production standards, 4.7 Animal breeding, 4.7.1 General; Bioland production standards, 4.7 Animal breeding, 4.7.2 Origin of animals for breeding -purposes
The BIOLAND standard has further requirements to the EU Regulation 2092/91. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not refer to longevity as a breeding aim and the suitability of the animals to organic farming systems. However the adaptation to the environment is to be considered. There are no details within the EU Standards about the use of conventional animals / animals originating from embryo transfer in breeding programmes. To enhance the breeding of animals appropriate to organic farming and increase independency from conventional strains.
Labelling of animal products, beef - DE Naturland Standards 2005 Organic beef can only be marketed with reference to NATURLAND, if the animal had been born on an organic farm. (NL standards on production Part A.I.9. Labelling and marketing) The NATURLAND standard has further restrictions to the EU Regulation 2092/91. Natureland standards require the cattle to be born on an organic farm. Whereas according to the EU Regulation beef from animals that were born on conventional farms can be marketed as organic after being managed organically for a 12-month conversion period. This is in order to avoid cases of BSE on organic farms.
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
Origin of livestock, general requirements - SE KRAV 2006
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KRAV standards state that animal husbandry should if possible be integrated animal production i.e. mother and off spring should be at the same unit. If animals are brought in they should preferably come from one other farm, the maximum is three farms per year. Pigs from different stocks or ages should not be mixed. Brought in pigs should be separated from other pigs at the farm for three weeks (KRAV standards paragraph 5.1.11 and 5.1.12)
EU Regulation 2092/91 does not have restrictions on from where or the number of farms from which animals are brought in. Importing animals on to a farm brings associated risk for introducing disease, therefore buying in animals and the number of farms is restricted in the KRAV standards. Transporting animals and changing conditions always stresses animals.
Origin of livestock, general requirements - DE Bioland 2005
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Animals have to be preferentially brought in from BIOLAND certified farms or from other organic farms. If organic animals are not available, in certain cases conventional animals can be brought in after approval by BIOLAND. These animals have to pass the conversion period, before animal products can be offered with reference to organic farming and the BIOLAND trademark is used. Cattle, that have been born on conventional farms and reared with feeding stuffs, that are not permitted, can never be sold using the BIOLAND trademark. Young laying hens can only be brought into farms with more than 100 laying hens, if they have been reared in accordance with the BIOLAND provisions for pullet rearing. Conventional laying hens of up to 18 weeks can be brought into smaller units after approval. (Bioland production standards, 4.8 Additional Purchase of Animals, 4.8.1 Principles; Bioland production standards, 4.8.2 Possible permits for conventional purchase of animals, 4.8.2.1 - 4.8.2.6; Bioland production standards, 9.2.4 Use of Trade Mark for Animal Products, 9.2.4.1 Product related Conversion)
The BIOLAND standard is similar, but more restrictive in the case of young laying hens. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 laying hens of conventional origin of up to 18 weeks of life can be brought in if organic hens are not available. According to Bioland this is only possible after approval and for farms with more than 100 laying hens only if they have been reared according to specific pullet rearing provisions. To ensure the BIOLAND standards to be complied with troughout the whole production chain.
Origin of livestock, general requirements - DE Naturland 2005
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Animals must be purchased from NATURLAND certified or equivalent farms. Exceptions are possible. If animals from conventional farms are purchased, they have to pass the conversion period before animal products are marketed with reference to organic production. The purchase of young laying hens of conventional origin can only be admitted for small units with up to 100 laying hens. (NL standards on production, Part B.II.3.Purchased animals)
The NATURLAND standard is similar to EU Regulation 2092/91(derogations to bring in animals of conventional origin) but restrictions are more detailed regarding the purchasing of young conventional laying hens and by requiring a higher certification level of organic certification (NATURLAND or equivalent), if available. To aspire NATURLAND quality throughout the whole production chain.
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, general requirements - PL Ekoland Standards 2005 Non-organically reared piglets for meat production may be brought to organic farm, as soon as they are weaned, of a weight less than 25kg.(4.2. g) PL Ekoland Standards and EU Regulation 2092/91 differ on the weight limit for non-organically reared piglets brought onto organic farms. PL Ekoland Standards require piglets to weigh less than 25kg, whereas the weight limit under EU Regulation is 35kg. The main reason is to keep the green image of the Association and to insure consumers trust.
Origin of livestock, general requirements - US NOP 2002
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ยง 205.236 Origin of livestock. (a) Livestock products that are to be labelled as organic must be from livestock under continuous organic management from the last third of gestation or hatching: Except that, (1) Poultry must have been under continuous organic management beginning no later than the second day of life; (2) Dairy animals. Milk or milk products must be from animals that have been under continuous organic management beginning no later than 1 year prior to the production. There are exceptions when an entire, distinct herd is converted to organic production. (3) Breeder stock. Livestock used as breeder stock may be brought from a non-organic operation.
The detail of US NOP standards differs from the EU Regulation 2092/91. US require slaughter stock to be under continuous organic management from the last third of gestation or hatching, except for day-old poultry. EU requires slaughter stock to come from organic units and allows non-organic slaughter stock under certain conditions, e.g. conversion of the whole farm or in case of poultry. US requires 12 months conversion period for dairy animals before labelling milk and milk products as organic. EU requires continuous organic management and under certain circumstances (see above) a minimum of 6 months. US allows conventional breeder stock whereas EU has further restrictions on conventional breeder stock. No justification was available.
Origin of livestock, replacements - CZ KEZ Standards 2005 The amount of animals of each livestock species brought in from a conventional farm unit to establish or replenish the herd or flock of the organic farm may be permitted up to a maximum of 10% of the average annual size of the basic herd/flock. (KEZ Standards, Part 2, 8.2) Based on the fourth derogation of EU Regulation 2092/91 Annex I/B 3.4 the percentages for each livestock species are defined . These percentages may be increased in special cases, up to 40 %, following the opinion and agreement of the inspection authority or body. Under KEZ standards there are no exceptions allowed; only 10% brought in animals in any case. The standard-setting body could not give a justification.
Origin of livestock, replacements - UK Compendium 2005 In a derogation from the rule that all livestock must have been organically managed throughout their lives, where appropriate organic livestock are unavailable, a limited proportion of non-organic animals may, with inspection body authorisation, be bought-in for herd/flock growth or renewal. The products of these animals must be subject to the rules for organic conversion with some stated modifications. UK Compendium Standards contain further restrictions on replacement stock compared to EU Regulation 2092/91. EU Regulation allows 20% per year of the existing herd number of pigs, sheep and goats to be brought in as adult, non-organic livestock for conversion, where organic animals are unavailable. UK Compendium allows only a 10% per year figure for all livestock, except the 20% per year permitted for sheep. Before their products may be sold as organic, UK Compendium requires such animals to remain in organic management for a full period of conversion as specified in UK Compendium, Paragraph 2.2.1. (see UK Compendium Difference "Conversion of livestock - organic status of livestock products"), with a slight modification for milk from dairy animals. In UK Compendium, the increased regulation of the purchase of non-organic pigs and goats helps to maintain herd or flock biosecurity. The cross reference to the rules in UK Compendium, Paragraph 2.2.1. aims to eliminate any possible consumer health risks that might arise from non-organic livestock management by ensuring that organic meat animals have been in organic management since birth, and even during their gestation.
Origin of livestock, replacements - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 Replacement livestock should be bred on the farm, but this is impractical and suitable organic livestock are are unavailable to buy, a limited proportion of non-organic, nulliparous, breeding female animals may be bought-in. Thius requires Soil Association permission and is only allowed at a rate of 10% of existing herd/flock size per year. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraph 10.6.8. UK Soil Association Standards contain further restrictions on replacement stock compared to EU Regulations. EU Regulation 2092/91 allows 20% per year of the existing number of pigs, sheep and goats to be brought in as adult, non-organic livestock for conversion, where organic animals are unavailable, but only 10% for other livestock classes. Soil Association standards set a 10% per year limit for all classes of livestock. The products of such bought-in livestock are subject to the Soil Association rules for conversion, not those in EU Regulation 2.2.1. (See Soil Association Difference re. EU Regulation, Paragraph 2.2.1.) In Soil Association standards the further regulation of the livestock replacement purchases of non-organic pigs, sheep and goats helps to maintain herd or flock biosecurity and so benefits animal health. These rules on the organic status of the products of bought-in livestock aim to reduce consumer health risks from residues of prohibited inputs.
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.