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
        • Ecosystem management
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Aquaculture, wild-harvest - Int. IFOAM Standards 2005
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Operators should take measures to ensure that wild, sedentary aquatic species are collected only from areas where the water is not contaminated by substances prohibited in these standards.(2.4.5)
IFOAM specifies necessary measures for collecting wild aquatic species whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not cover this. Products from wild harvest are expected to be free of residues or contaminants; this is a consumers expectation of organic food.
Biodiveristy, landscape - DE Naturland Standards 2005
Structuring elements of the landscape (i.e. hedges, borders, humid areas, oligotrophic grassland) must be preserved or recreated, if required. This applies especially to large cropping units. (NL standards on production, Part B.; I.5. Landscape management)
The NATURLAND standard is broader. This aspect is not regulated in the EU Regulation 2092/91. This aspect refers to the ecological principle of organic farming. Structuring elements in the landscape, providing habitats for animals (birds, insects, small mammals among others)and plants will increase biodiversity and contribute to a balanced ecosystem. Naturally preserved buffer zones in the neighbourhood of ecologically sensitive areas (such as rivers, lakes, etc.) will help to avoid disturbing impacts on these ecosystems.
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.
Conservation, primary ecosystems/rainforests - SE KRAV Standards 2006
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Clearing of primary ecosystems as rainforests, wetlands and primary grassland is prohibited (KRAV Standards paragraph 3.1.6).
The previous vegetation cover on land used for agriculture is not covered in the EU Regulation 2092/91. From nature conservation perspective this is an important area where agriculture is a risk factor. The conservation of rain forests in particular is a concern of many consumers.
Conservation, primary ecosystems/rainforests - Int. IFOAM Standards 2005
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Clearing of primary ecosystems is prohibited.(2.1.2)
EU Regulation 2092/91 does not address this matter. Clearing of primary or high value conservation areas is an increasing problem in agriculture. Organic farming loses its credibility if such systems are cleared in order to establish organic plots instead.
Contamination, buffer zones, medicinal plants - DE Bioland Standards 2005
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As a result of the special significance of medicinal plants, the location is especially relevant. The minimum distance to roads should be 50 m and to field paths 5 m if no suitable protective planting has been made. (Bioland production standards, 5.2.3 Selection of Location)
The BIOLAND standard has additional restrictions than the EU Regulation 2092/91, which requires the clear separation of the organic production facilities from any other production unit, but it does not indicate specific distances to roads. To ensure the innocuousness and high quality of BIOLAND certified herbs / medicinal crops.
Contamination, testing, spraying equipment - CH Regulation/Ordinance 2005
Organic farms must have their spraying equipment tested every 4 years.
Whereas the Swiss Ordinance requires spraytests, EU Regulation 2092/91 does not rule this point of concern. As good agricultural practise also in organic farming all spraying equipment must work perfectly in order to avoid non adequate application of agricultural substances.
Greenhouse production, heating - DE Bioland Standards 2005
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Heating of greenhouses should be limited to a reasonable degree. Greenhouses should be well insulated. Foils and fleeces used for covered production should be recycled. (Bioland production standards, 5.1.4 Crop production under Glass and Foil; Bioland production standards, 5.4.5 Use of Energy (for mushroom production)
The BIOLAND standard restrict the heating of greenhouses. Neither the heating of greenhouses nor the handling of covering material is regulated in the EU Regulation 2092/91. In order to reduce energy consumption and waste products.
Soil management, artificial mulch - DE Bioland 2005
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A maximum of 5% of the free range area used for growing vegetables may be covered at any one time by mulch foil, mulch fleece or mulch paper. Operators with less than 4 ha of area for vegetables may cover up to 2,000 m2 using the above methods stated. (Bioland production standards, 5.1.5 Use of Technical Mulch Materials)
The BIOLAND standard has a broader scope. The soil cover with mulching material is not regulated in the EU Regulation 2092/91. In order to reduce waste.