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
        • Units for preparation of plant and livestock products - Annex III B
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Contamination, reducing, storage and transport - NL Skal Standards 2005
All contact with forbidden products should be avoided. This means that it is not allowed to store or transport the organic product in storage places or trucks where products are being used / have been used that are not mentioned in annex VI part A.
SKAL interprets the rule in a way that all prevention methods should be taken to avoid any risk of contamination, whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not mention possible prevention methods. See EU Rule Text: Article 5 part 3 c), d) and part 5 d), e): The product contains no other products of non-agricultural origin, as mentioned in annex VI, part a" It seems easier to inspect the methods of storage and transport, than the contamination itself. Also because the contamination check can be too late (the product may be contaminated already).
Full farm conversion - Italian Organic Standards 2005
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When the organic operator starts its conversion period, he has 3 years to have his whole farm certified. No parallel production is allowed after this period.
The EU Regulation 2092/91 accepts parallel production and mixed farms under certain restrictions. Parallel production is prohibited in order to avoid potential frauds and unintentional contaminations. However the gradual conversion of farm and productions within a three year conversion plan is allowed. The plan has to be accepted by the certification body.
Full farm conversion - Nature et Progrès Standards 2002 Under Nature et Progres standards, when the farmer starts the conversion period, he has 5 years to get the whole farm certified organic. Nature et Progres standards require that ultimately the whole production of the farm be organic, whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 accepts the presence of non-organic productions. Presence of organic and conventional products on the same farm is not consistent and a source of potential fraud or accidental pollution. However, each farmer needs time to adapt his farm system and therefore five years are given to satisfy this obligation.
Inspections, specific provisions - US NOP 2002
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§ 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, ornamental plants - DE Bioland Standards 2005
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BIOLAND companies for the production of ornamental, herbaceaous and woody plants are only allowed to deal with conventionally produced plants, if the conventional branch generates a minor source of income.Bioland production standards, 5.8 Ornamental Plants, Herbaceous Plants and Woody Plants (5.8.5 Additional Purchase and Trade Goods)
The BIOLAND standards allow producers of ornamental plants only a parallel production with conventional plants, if these constitute the minor share of their income. The EU Regulation 2092/91 permits conversion of single parts of an enterprise or farm as long as units are clearly separated, and therefore permits organic farmers to deal with conventional produce; but no limitation of share of incomes are defined. The reason is transparancy for the consumer, consumers expect organic products on a Bioland farm. Conventional produce can only be tolerated as a supplement in the assortment.
Processing and storage, separation - NL Skal Standards 2005
Skal has specified 'physically separate' for processing (Rule Text: Annex II part B, 3): The unit must have areas separated by place or time within the premises for the storage of products as referred to in Article 1, before and after the operations.
The SKAL standards contain precise definitions for the phrase 'physically separate', which is required for storage of organic and non-organic products, as 'another space' or 'products have to be separated by species' or 'the products have been sealed and contamination is impossible'. Contamination should be avoided as much as possible. Cases of contamination are not good for the image and reliability of organic products.
Processing, milk - Nature et Progrès Standards 2005
Organic milk processing units must be dedicated entirely to organic food processing.
Nature et Progrès standards require dedicated organic milk processing units, but EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. The aim is to urge milk processers to convert, and to avoid accidental or deliberate fraud.