Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by EU regulation

  • EC Council Regulation No. 2092/91
    • Annex III - Minimum inspection Requirements/precautionary measures
      • Specific provisions
        • Plants or plant products - Annex III A1
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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.
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, preventing, contaminated areas - DE Bioland 2005
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Areas that are contaminated with harmful substances from the environment or from previous use of the area cannot be used for the production of BIOLAND food products (Bioland article 3.2 Location and 7.10 Contamination tests).
The BIOLAND standard has an specific provision, which is not in the EU Regulation 2092/91, regarding the handling of contaminated areas, but there is just a general statement about the possibility for the authorities to prolonge the conversion period for certain areas taking into account the prior use. To guarantee the innocuousness of BIOLAND products.
Full farm conversion - DE Bioland Standards 2005
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The farm has to be converted completely. In exceptional cases the conversion can be realised step by step, but must be completed at the latest after 5 years. (Bioland production standards, 9.2.2 Conversion of Total Business; Bioland production standards, 9.2.5 Conversion Deadlines)
The BIOLAND standard has the additional restriction of whole farm conversion, where according to the EU Regulation 2092/91 single but clearly separated farming units can be converted to organic farming. BIOLAND has maximum time limit to complete the conversion period, wereas the EU regulation has no time indication.. In order to increase credibility of organic farming, to minimise risks of contamination or fraud. To consider specific circumstances of single farms, that impede the whole farm conversion in one step.
Full farm conversion - DE Naturland 2005
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A Naturland producer contract implies the obligation to convert and apply the standards on all areas of a farm, managed under the responsibility of one farm manager. (NL standards on production 2005: Part A.I.2.Producer contract)
The NATURLAND standard requires conversion of the whole farm whreas the EU Regulation 2092/91 allows the conversion of separated farm units. Whole farm conversion is required in order to reduce the danger of contamination or fraud and to safeguard organic integrity.
Inspections, specific provisions - US NOP 2002
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ยง 205.403 ? 205.406 Inspection and certification US has no specific provisions for inspection of plant or animal production or processing but requires a production or handling system plan to be annually updated to describe in detail the management of the organic production.
EU Regulation 2092/91 has specific provisions for inspection in case an operator runs conventional and organic production units in the same area. The crop records must give a breakdown by plot and the livestock records detailed description on the herd and the herd management system. EU describes more detailed the provisions for records and for reception of products from other units and also covers provisions for sub-contracted units. US are less detailed. No justification was available.
Parallel production, GMOs - DE Naturland 2005
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The use of GMO and/or derivates is prohibited. This applies immediately to the whole farm, regardless of the certification status of single farm units. Accidental contamination with GMO of organic produce can lead to decertification. (NL standards on production, Part A.II.6. Non-employment of GMO and GMO derivatives)
The NATURLAND standard contains further restrictions to the EU Regulation 2092/91. The EU Regulation allows organic and conventional production at the same time in two separated production units of the same farm. The use of GMO in conventional unit is not prohibited by EU Regulation. NATURLAND standards prohibit GMO use on the whole farm. To avoid contamination with objectionable substances, ensure the organic integrity of Naturland products. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their derivates are incompatible with organic cultivation.
Parallel production, crops - CH Bio Suisse Standards 2005
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Parallel production of similar types of organic and non-organic products is permitted only for crops in farms undergoing a stepped conversion process, and not at all for livestock. Parallel production of crops is restricted to vines. In all other cases, parallel production is prohibited (cf. Paragraph 4.1.1. full farm conversion requirement).
BIO SUISSE standards contain an additional restriction not included in the EU Regulation 2092/91. BIO SUISSE standards restrict organic and non-organic parallel production only to perennial vine crops in the circumstances of a stepped conversion, but EU Regulation allows parallel production of similar varieties of perennial crops during a stepped conversion of a maximum five-year period, in research crops, or in crops producing propagation material; in each case, segregation must be guaranteed and inspection must be performed in the conventional production unit of the operation. The other exception allowed in EU Regulation is parallel production of grassland crops only for grazing. By not allowing split production, the situation on the farm is more transparent and easier for inspection: the credibility of organic farming is supported with these measures.
Parallel production, crops - CH Regulation/Ordinance 2005
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Parallel production of the same crops is only possible in farms undergoing a step by step conversion and only for the production areas of wine, perennial fruit and ornamental plants (full separation of audit trail must be granted and inspected).
According to the Swiss Ordinance only during a step-by-step conversion period, some exception for the parallel production in perennial fruit crops is possible in the operation. EU Regulation 2092/91 does at any time accept the parallel production of different varieties of the same crop (if clearly distinguishable), if segregation is granted and inspection is performed in the conventional production unit of the operation. By disallowing parallel production the farm situation is more transparent and inspection is easier. These measures support the credibility of organic farming.
Parallel production, crops - PRO BIO 2004 Parallel production of the same crops is only possible in farms with areas, newly integrated to the conversion period and only for the production areas of grasslands and perennial crops. Any parallel production of the same arable crop is prohibited. Parallel production in animal husbandry is not possible. According to PRO-BIO policy, only during the conversion period is there some exceptions for the possible parallel production of perennial crops and grassland. EU Regulation 2092/91 accepts the parallel production of different varieties of the same crop (if clearly distinguishable), if segregation is granted and inspection is performed in the conventional production unit of the operation. In order to maintain credibility of organic products parallel production is generally not allowed. The exception gives the possibility of inclusion of new areas to organic farming.
Plant production, location, hops - DE Bioland 2005
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Organic hop plantation next to conventional plantations must be provided with protective planting at the latest within 5 years after the beginning of the conversion period. Newly created hop cultivation is only allowed on bordering or isolated areas. The minimum distance to conventional plantations must be 10 m. Otherwise hop harvested from the outer rows cannot be marketed with reference to organic agriculture. The creation of areas of ecological compensation are required for hop cultivation in specific areas. (Bioland production standards, 5.7 Hop Cultivation, 5.7.1 Location and Area)
The BIOLAND standard is more detailed than the EU Regulation 2092/91. In the EU Regulation there is a general requirement of a clear separation of the organic production unit from any other production unit, however distances to conventional plantantions are not defined. Furthermore under BIOLAND standards in case of suspicion of contamination a product cannot be marketed with reference to organic agriculture unless it has been proven that the suspicion was wrong. Bioland is explicitely requiring an ecological compensation with diversified areas, whereas the EU Regulation has not such a specific requirement. In order to avoid contamination with objectionable substances. In order to cope with the ecological principle of organic agriculture.