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
      • Care of environment - not in EC Reg
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Biodiversity, landscape - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005
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There are a number of recommendations and requirements concerning environment management and conservation of landscape features, semi-natural habitats and wild species on the farm. Soil Association standards recommend that organic management should aim to achieve a productive, balanced and varied agro-ecosystem with high standards of conservation management and co-operation with conservation bodies. Producers must comply with all relevant legislation and must not plough, reseed or drain any area identified as a 'regionally or locally important wildlife site' by a county Wildlife Trust or County Environment Records Centre. Producers must not in any way damage statutory 'recognised sites', of which the types are listed. Producers must not clear vegetation or crop wastes or stubbles by burning. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 4.5.1-4.5.5.)
Soil Association standards contain detailed recommendations and requirements to support the agro-ecosystem whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not include any specific recommendations or requirements relating to environmental management or conservation. The Soil Association Standards use best practice recommendations from other UK conservation bodies, added to some UK agricultural regulations, to explain conservation principles and outline best environment management practice to ensure that organic producers will produce optimum outcomes for landscape features, semi-natural habitats and wild species on the farm.
Biodiversity, landscape - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005
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There are specific recommendations and requirements for managing semi-natural habitats, trees, woodland, farm buildings and water resources. Soil Association Standards include detailed management recommendations and requirements, in separate sections, for semi-natural habitats, trees and woodland, farm buildings, and water resources. For each of these categories, the standards explain the main issues, including the wildlife and other conservation benefits, the recommendations for best practice management, and the basic requirements that producers must adhere to. The exception to this is for water resources, for which there are basic requirements but no recommendations. Soil Association Certification Limited is currently proposing a more detailed set of new recommendations and requirements for management of watercourses, water resources, soil and ground water, surface water, storage and abstraction, and irrigation. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 4.5.18-4.5.31.)
Soil Association standards contain detailed recommendations and requirements not included in the EU Regulation 2092/91. EU Regulation includes no specifically relevant requirements or recommendations. Semi-natural habitats, trees and woodland, farm buildings, and water resources are all important for wildlife and conservation management.
Conservation, farm plan - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005
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Producers should keep a farm conservation plan, designed with professional help, and they must map all the main landscape features, wildlife habitats and historical features on the holding. The standards require the producer to map all the recognised wildlife habitats and landscape sites, and the archeological and historical features on the holding, and to formally revise the map every 5 years. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 4.5.6-4.5.8.)
Soil Association standards contain recommendations and requirements not included in the EU Regulation 2092/91. Soil Association standards recommend that producers should keep a constantly updated whole farm conservation plan, drawn up with the help of a professional advisor. EU Regulation does not contain recommendations or requirements for a farm conservation plan. The Soil Association recommendations are meant to encourage best practice and optimal outcomes from the conservation management. The requirement to map the main habitats and features is also a requirement of the main funding scheme for organic farmers in England to ensure a basic level of conservation management on organic farms.
Conservation, field boundary management - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005
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There are detailed recommendations and requirements regarding field boundary management. Soil Association Standards contain detailed recommendations for the management of field boundaries, starting with an explanation of their main functions and conservation benefits and continuing with more practical advice on their management. The standards require that producers must manage river banks to minimise soil erosion and nutrient run-off, must obtain Soil Association permission to remove hedges, banks, ditches or walls, or to trim hedges annually (e.g. for road traffic safety or wildlife benefits). Producers must not trim hedges during the bird nesting season. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 4.5.9-4.5.17.)
Soil Association standards contain recommendations and requirements whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not include any recommendations or requirements for field boundary management. Soil Association Standards give detailed recommendations for hedge management encourage best practice among organic farmers to optimise the outcomes of their field boundary management for wildlife and for landscape visual impact. The requirements and prohibitions ensure a basic level of positive boundary management and prohibit the worst types of management. In England, these requirements are mostly required by the main organic farming funding scheme.
Conservation, primary ecosystems/forests - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 Land with primary ecosystems, such as virgin rainforest, must not be cleared for organic production. Soil Association Standards prohibit the clearing of primary ecosystems for conversion to organic production. They define 'primary ecosystems' as ecosystems that have not been 'disturbed by man's activities', and they give the example of virgin rainforest. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Glossary and Paragraph 4.1.4.) Soil Association standards contain a rule not included in EU Regulation 2092/91. EU Regulation does not contain this prohibition. Soil Association standards are intended to ensure that no primary ecosystems will be damaged or destroyed in order to clear land for organic production.
Contamination, farm refuse - SE KRAV 2006
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Farms should be clean and neat. Plastics, scrap metal, paper, oils and other waste products should be sent for reuse, recycling or energy recovery. Materials and spare parts for machinery can be kept but should be in good order (KRAV standards paragraph 3.1.10).
The order on the farm itself is not covered by EU 2092/91. Organic farms should look neat and representative. It should be possible for consumers to visit every single organic farm and have a good impression. Old scrap metal, oils and plastic can be an environmental risk and a risk for animals on the farm.
Environmental policy - SE KRAV 2006
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All KRAV certified operators must have an environmental policy and manage a systematical environmental effort (KRAV Standards paragraph 2.11.3 ). For farmers the Swedish Federation of Farmers Environmental Audits can be used. Is is a self auditing of the environmental aspects of the farm (KRAV Standards paragraph 3.1.7).
A request for a general environmental policy or managment system is not covered in the EU Regulation 2092/91. For organic farming in Sweden it is important to not only fullfil basic organic requirement but also to be in the forefront for environmental issues in general.
Environmental recommendations, general requirements - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005
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Soil Association standards include a general set of recommendations regarding organic farming and the environment. Soil Association standards explain how organic farming is designed to cause minimum disruption to the natural environment, emphasise the importance of ecological diversity, and recommend management to achieve social and environmental sustainability, respect for traditional pastoral practice, and compatibility with local climate and topographical circumstances. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Subsection 3.1)
Soil Association standards are more comprehensive than EU Regulation 2092/91. EU Regulation makes an assumption that organic management yields environmental benefits, and includes certain requirements concerning environmental benefits and minimising impacts, but it does not include any dedicated set of general environmental recommendations. The general environmental recommendations are intended to encourage producers to manage organic farms for optimum social and environmental outcomes.
Green house production, heating - DE Naturland Standards 2005
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Low energy consumption should be aimed for when heating greenhouses. (NL standards on production: Part B.III.Market gardening 5. Heating green- and foil houses PArt B.V. Cultivation of ornamental plants, herbaceous perennials, shrubs, Christmas trees 7. Heating, energy consumption)
The NATURLAND standards is broader. This aspect is not regulated in the EU Regulation 2092/91. This aspect refers to the holistic and ecological principle of organic farming.