Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by Subjects

  • Subject Areas
    • Environmental care/environmental impact
      • Nature conservation
Go back to overview Go to complete documents for this section
Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Animal fodder, animal origin, fish products - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 There is a limited list of feeds of animal origin permitted for feeding to animals. Among these, any fish products must be either a by-product of fish for human consumption or from fisheries certified as being sustainably managed. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraph 10.13.23. Soil Association standards contain an additional restriction not included in EU Regulation 2092/91. Soil Association standards state that fish products for animal feed must be either by-products of human consumption or products of fisheries certified by a recognised body as sustainably managed. EU Regulation 2092/91 allows the use of any fish product for this purpose. The Soil Association standards aim to ensure that the use of fish products for organic animal feed does not increase the amount of unsustainable fishing.
Biodiveristy, landscape - DE Naturland Standards 2005
/style/images/fileicons/other.png
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
/style/images/fileicons/other.png
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
/style/images/fileicons/other.png
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
/style/images/fileicons/other.png
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
/style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png /style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png
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
/style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png /style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png
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, cultural heritage plan - SE KRAV Standards 2006
/style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png /style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png
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, 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
/style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png /style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png
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
/style/images/fileicons/text_plain.png /style/images/fileicons/text_plain.png
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.
Conservation, soil and water - PL Ekoland Standards 2005 Farmers should undertake activities to protect soils from degradation, e.g. compaction and erosion (including 'green fields' approach). They should minimise water use in production processes. (1.3.1. ? 1.3.3.) The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not cover the areas of water conservation and compaction of soils, while PL Ekoland has a paragraph on this topic. Soil and water are limited resources of vital importance to farming and the whole society and thus must be carefully used and protected.
Conservation, water - Int. IFOAM Standards 2005
/style/images/fileicons/text_plain.png /style/images/fileicons/text_plain.png
Operators should not deplete nor excessively exploit water resources, and should seek to preserve water quality. They should, where possible, recycle rainwater and monitor water extraction. (2.2.6)
EU Regulation 2092/91 does not address the matter of water depletion. Water is one of the most restricted common goods. Organic agriculture should use it in a sound manner to grant availablity for future generations.
Conservation, water, manure application - PL Ekoland 2005 The use of water should be minimised. Water should be protected from contamination. Careful storage of manures and application are one of the main priorities. The following minimum manure storage facilities are required: - minimum capacity for farm yard manure storage is 3m2 per Livestock Unit (not valid for farm with deep litter stables) - minimum capacity for liquid manure storage is 2m3 per Livestock Unit (not valid for farm with deep litter stables) - the maximum dose of manure must not exceed: 35 t of FYM per ha, 40 t of compost per ha, 30m3 of liquid manures per ha. The total dose of N applied on a farm must not exceed 170 kg per ha per year. - a derogation for the first two principles is available for farms in a difficult financial situation. This derogation expires on 25 October 2008 (1.3.4. ? 1.3.6.) The EU Regulation 2092/91 sets a limit for maximum N input only for farmyard manure (170 kg N/ha/year) and does not specify detailed storage rules and fertiliser doses for other commercial fertilisers. Water is a limited resource of vital importance to farming and the whole society and thus must be protected from contamination.
Contamination, testing, spraying equipment - CH Regulation/Ordinance 2005
/style/images/fileicons/other.png
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.
Environmental recommendations, general requirements - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005
/style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png /style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png
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.
Fertilizers, substrates, animal by-products - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005
/style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png /style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png
With prior Soil Association permission, a number of soil nutrient supplements are permitted for use to treat severe deficiencies. Among these, animal by-products are subject to particular restrictions. Soil Association standards permit the use of meat, blood, bone, hoof and horn meals, with prior permission, only in compost for use in plant propagation and not on units where there are cattle or sheep. Wool shoddy may be used, with prior permission, only if not in direct contact with the crop. Fish meals and fish emulsions may be used, with prior permission, if they do not contain prohibited substances and only in protected cropping, propagating composts or perennial crops. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraph 4.8.10.)
Soil Association standards restrict the use of animal by products. EU Regulation 2092/91 generally permits animal by-products (such as meat, blood, bone, hoof and horn meals, wool shoddy, fish products) for use where the need is recognised by the inspection body. Soil Association standards are particularly cautious regarding the use of animal by-products as soil nutrient supplements partly due to the risk of contamination of crops with agents or vectors of infectious disease, such as BSE infected prions on pasture. "Intense exploitation of fish stocks to produce fish meal has major implications for the integrity of marine ecosystems." (Little and Edwards, 2003). Regular use of fish products for crop nutrition would not be compatible with organic ecological principles. Reference: Little, D.C. and Edwards, P. (2003) Integrated livestock - fish farming systems. URL: >
Fertilizers, substrates, guano - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 It is prohibited to fertilize the soil with fresh blood, guano, Chilean nitrate, urea, or slaked lime or quicklime. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 4.8.12. Soil Association standards have further restrictions than EU Regulation 2092/91, where for example guano is permitted as fertiliser where the need is recognised by the inspection body. It is prohibited by the Soil Association standards. Guano extraction is unsustainable on a large scale because of habitat damage and limited reserves. Historically, guano was used as a major nitrate source, but nitrogen fixed from the atmosphere should be the main source of nitrate in organic farming.
Int. IFOAM Standards 2005: Use of synthetic structure coverings For synthetic structure coverings, mulches, fleeces, insect netting and silage wrapping, only products based on polyethylene and polypropylene or other polycarbonates are permitted. These shall be removed from the soil after use and shall not be burned on the farmland.(4.6.3.) EC Regulation does not address the matter. Any non organic waste on farm land conflicts with the principle of ecology in organic farming and with consumers expectations.
Land management, nutrients, leaching - SE KRAV 2006
/style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png /style/images/fileicons/application_pdf.png
To prevent leaking of nutrients into water a permanent, unfertilized, overgrown buffer zone of 3 metres should be left beside watercourses, wetlands and lakes that are water-bearing the year round. In winter a cover of vegetation is encouraged. Catch crops should be grown when possible. Animal manure should be handled so that nutrient losses are minimised (KRAV-standards paragraph 3.1.9 and 4.1.4).
Prevention of leakage of nutrients is not covered in EU Regulation 2092/91 except that the use of input should not result in contamination of the environment (article 7). The leakage of nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus is one of the biggest environmental problems in agriculture in Sweden.
Livestock housing, bedding material - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 Livestock bedding areas without bedding material or the use of peat as bedding are not permitted. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraph 10.12.11. Soil Association standards forbid the use of peat as bedding. EU Regulation 2092/91 allows the use of "suitable bedding materials". The extraction of peat causes damage to environmentally valuable semi-natural habitats.
Naturland 2005: Natural ressources and ecosystems
/style/images/fileicons/other.png
The management of the farm may not cause damages to the soil, the water and primary ecosystems. (NL standards on production: Part B.I.4. Tillage Part B.I.6. Soil and water conservation)
The NATURLAND standard is much broader. This aspect is not regulated in the EC reg. This aspect refers to the ecological principle of organic farming. A diverse and balanced ecosystem and the care of natural resources is an important element of organic farming.
Peat - CH Demeter 2005
/style/images/fileicons/other.png
Peat can constitute only 70% of the substratum for the production of seedlings.
DEMETER restricts the use of peat to seedling production and within substrata to a maximum 70% whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 only lists peat as admitted 'fertilizer' limited to horticulture (market gardening, floriculture, arboriculture, nursery). Peat is a very limited resource which should be used as little as possible to ensure supplies for future generations. Furthermore peat production infringes on natural habitats, which is not in line with the aim for sound production methods of organic farming.
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.
Seed and plant material, origin, peat - CH Bio Suisse 2005
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
Seedlings must be certified organic. If non available this has to be proven. Any use of treated seedlings leads to disapproval of the crop emerging from it. Peat can constitute only 70% of the substratum for the production of seedlings.
Similar regulation for seedling as for seed as the EU Regulation 2092/91, however there is no restriction in the use of peat in the substratum in the EU Regulation. Vegetative propagation material is considered organic if it derives from mother plants grown organically for at least one generation or, in the case of perennial crops, two growing seasons. BIO SUISSE and EU rules define these periods for mother plants identically. Peat is a very limited natural resource for many areas of the world. Restriction of it's use is in line with the approach of sustainability in organic farming. No peat is admitted as general soil conditioner.