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
        • Biodiversity and landscape
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Biodiveristy, landscape - DE Naturland Standards 2005
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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 - CH Bio Suisse Standard 2005 BIO SUISSE requires diversification within the agricultural land area of the farm and requires 7% of the farm land to be fostered as ecological diverse areas. Furthermore, 5 % of the fodder areas have to be farmed on a a low intensity level. The requirement of 'compensatory ecological habitats' is a very specific BIO SUISSE standard. No similar pargraph is quoted in the EU Regulation 2092/91. To support refuge areas for beneficial organisms matches the holistic approach of organic farming, which is keen to take advantage of a sound and well balanced micro-ecosystem. The 'compensatory ecological habitats' should enhance a natural balance between noxious and benefical organisms. Furthermore ecologically diversified areas contribute to maintaining genetic and biotic diversity and contribute to landscape attractiveness.
Biodiversity, landscape - CH Demeter Standards 2005
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DEMETER requires a vast diversification within the farm and requires at least 7% of farm land being dedicated to ecological diversified areas.
The requirement of 'compensatory ecological habitats' is a very specific DEMETER standard in Switzerland, as this requirement is also required by the government from all Swiss farms which get direct payments. No similar pargraph is quoted in the EU Regulation 2092/91. A diversified landscape underlines the individuality of the farm and supports the prosperous development of beneficials within the farm considered as an organism.
Biodiversity, landscape - CH Regulation/Ordinance 2005
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7% of the arable land in a farm must be dedicated to landscape diversification.
The requirement of 'compensatory ecological habitats' is a very specific Swiss standard. No similar paragraph is quoted in the EU Regulation 2092/91. To support refuge areas for beneficials matches the holistic approach of organic farming, which is keen to take advantage of a sound and well balanced micro-ecosystem. The «compensatory ecological habitats» should enhance a natural balance between noxious and benefical organisms. Furthermore ecologically diversified areas contribute to maintain genetic and biotic diversity and contributes to the landscape attractiveness.
Biodiversity, landscape - CZ KEZ Standards 2005
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KEZ requires a diversification within the agricultural area to preserve biodiversity and prohibits removing of natural ecosystems.
The requirements of minimal area in the natural state, suitable area for habitat and shelter for wild animals, conservation of biodiversity and natural ecosystems and biocorridors are a very specific requirements of KEZ Standards. No similar paragraphs are quoted in the EU Regulation 2092/91. Ecologically diverse areas contribute to maintain genetic and biotic diversity and contributes to landscape attractiveness.
Biodiversity, landscape - Int. IFOAM Standards 2005
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Operators should take measures to maintain and improve landscape and enhance biodiversity quality.(2.1.)
Where as IFOAM requires a significant portion of the farm to be dedicated to facilitate biodiversity, no similar pargraph is quoted in the EU Regulation 2092/91. A diversified landscape underlines the individuality of the farm and supports the prosperous development of beneficials within the farm considered as an organism.
Biodiversity, landscape - PL Ekoland Standards 2005 Each farm must provide extensive areas for biodiversity protection; the minimum area devoted to these activities is 5% of total farm acreage. Grazing must be planned in a way which does not harm wild flora and fauna species. Burning out of old grasses and fallow land is forbidden.(1.1.) The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not cover this area. Organic farming should actively contribute to landscape and biodiversity protection. EKOLAND farmers found it important to keep 'green' image of the association.
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.
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, cultural heritage plan - SE KRAV Standards 2006
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The standards are requiring that all famers shall have a plan for the management of nature and cultural heritage. This is a plan which identifies areas with rich biodiversity and important cultural heritages on the farm. It also gives advice for how these should be handled to be conserved and enhanced.(KRAV Standards paragraph 3.1.8).
This is an additional requirement which is not covered in the EU Regulation 2092/91. Biodiversity is an important area in organic agriculture. There has been an difficulty to cover the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity and also of cultural heritages. This standard has been agreed upon after a wide stakeholder consultation.
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.
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.
Peat - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 Among a number of other prohibited soil inputs, it is prohibited to use peat as a soil conditioner. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraph 4.7.10. Soil Association standards have further restrictions than EU Regulation 2092/91 regarding the use of peat as a soil conditioner. Effectively, it may be used only in propogating media. EU Regulation permits peat for use in horticulture (market gardening, floriculture, arboriculture, nursery). Soil Association standard's prohibition on the use of peat as a soil conditioner is intended to reduce the damage to peat bogs. These are important habitats for wildlife, supporting many bird, invertebrate and plant species, some of which depend on peat bogs for their survival. Peat extraction for horticulture has been the main cause of the damage to British peat bogs in the past 50 years. Only 6% of British peat bogs remain undamaged. This damage could be repeated in other countries if its widespread use continues.