Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by Subjects

  • Subject Areas
    • General areas of Organic Agriculture
      • Organic integrity
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Animal fodder, origin - CZ PRO BIO Standards 2004 Livestock farming with the following numbers of animals must be supplied annually with at least 50 % feed from the own organic farm unit: poultry more than 1000, breeding sows more than 30, pigs for fattening more than 60 and horses with more than 10. Farms with numbers of animals less than those mentioned above are not limited. (PB Standards Part II, Chapter 3.1) PRO-BIO restricts the purchase of feed from other organic farms. EU Regulation 2092/92 Annex I/B 4 does allow the use of feed from other organic farms and its quantity is not limited by livestock numbers. The reason for this rule is to restrict animal husbandry without plant production in organic farming.
Animal fodder, roughage requirement, ruminants - UK Compendium 2005 Herbivores, once weaned, are to be reared making the maximum possible use of pastures. Their daily ration must contain at least 60% in dry matter of fresh, dried, or ensiled forage, containing roughage. EU Regulation 2092/91 allows a reduction, from 60% to 50%, in the minimum proportion of forage for the daily ration of dairy animals up to a maximum of 3 months in early lactation. This reduction is not permitted in the UK Compendium. The EU Regulation allows a higher carbohydrate, lower fibre, cereal-based ration to be fed to dairy animals in early lactation. This ration may promote higher daily milk yields but may also increase the risks to the health, welfare, and longevity of the animals. The higher concentrate ration risks compromising the health and welfare of the livestock.
Contamination, buffer zones, conventional agriculture - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 Where organic crops are grown next to non-organic crops, there must be an effective windbreak if there is any risk of spray drift or other contamination. This buffer zone must be 10 metres wide, or increased to 20 metres if the organic crop is next to a sprayed orchard. Otherwise, there must be a buffer zone of specified width, within which the crops cannot be sold as organic. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 3.7.2-3.7.4. Soil Association standards are very precise. They require that, where organic crops are growing next to non-organic crops, there must be an effective windbreak if there is any risk of spray drift or other contamination. Otherwise, there must be a buffer zone, within which the crops cannot be sold as organic. EU Regulation 2092/91 states only that the organic unit must have land parcels and production that are clearly separate from non-organic units. Soil Association standards are intended to minimise health risks that may result from the contamination of organic crops with prohibited inputs by minimising the amounts carried onto the holding by the wind. To be more effective in this purpose, the minimum requirements to achieve it are specified, whereas EU Regulation leaves the purpose and the means open to interpretation.
Contamination, general requirements - SE KRAV 2006
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KRAV standards for some issues cover the whole farm and not only the farmland. Chemical pesticides can not be used on gravel paths, roads and farmyards. Cultivation of GMO-crops is not allowed on the conventional part of a holding. Environmental adapted substances must be used in facilities (e.g. toilets) where the drainage is connected to manure storages where the manure will be used in the organic farming (KRAV-standards paragraph 3.1.6).
The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not cover areas on the farm that are not farmland. For manure there are general standards that it should not be contaminated. This standard is mainly applicable for partly converted farms. Spraying herbicides against weeds on the farmyard or growing GMO crops on the conventional part is not trustworthy on a farm with organic production. This is the fact even if there are no risks for contamination.
Contamination, preventing, buffer zones - US NOP 2002 § 205.202 Land requirements. Any field or farm parcel from which harvested crops are intended to be sold, labelled, or represented as "organic," must: (c) Have distinct, defined boundaries and buffer zones such as runoff diversions to prevent the unintended application of a prohibited substance to the crop or contact with a prohibited substance applied to adjoining land that is not under organic management. The US require buffer zones whereas the EU does not. A buffer zone must be sufficient in size or other features (e.g., windbreaks or a diversion ditch) to prevent the possibility of unintended contact by prohibited substances applied to adjacent land areas with an area that is part of a certified operation. As long as an organic operation has not used excluded methods and takes reasonable steps to avoid contact with the products of excluded methods as detailed in their approved organic system plan, the unintentional presence of the products of excluded methods should not affect the status of an organic product or operation.
Conversion of land, livestock production - UK Compendium 2005 As a derogation from the principle that all farmland and livestock enterprises must undergo the full conversion period, this may be reduced to 1 year for areas used for non-herbivorous livestock under certain conditions. These conditions are that the land in question has received no prohibited inputs for a year before the start of the conversion period and that authorisation is obtained from the inspection body. UK Compendium states that areas used for non-herbivorous livestock may have a reduced conversion period of 1 year only if they have received no prohibited inputs for at least 1 year before the start of the conversion period. EU Regulation 2092/91 allows a reduced conversion period of 1 year for any land used for non-herbivore livestock, and it allows this conversion period to be further reduced to 6 months if prohibited inputs have been absent for 1 year. UK Compendium aims to reduce the health risk to the consumer that might result from contamination of organic products with prohibited substances. This helps to verify the organic status of livestock products. It continues the historically more restrictive UK standards on organic livestock conversion periods. The amendment was requested by UK inspection bodies.
Conversion of land, livestock production - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 Production of organic pigs or poultry may be started on land in the second year of conversion if it has received no prohibited inputs for at least 2 years (i.e. for 1 year before the start of conversion). The livestock concerned must have been fed no genetically modified feed for 12 months before the start of conversion. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 4.3.10, 13.1.2 and 20.2.2. Soil Association standards contain further restrictions to the EU Regulation 2092/91. Soil Association standards state that areas used for production of organic pigs and poultry, with Soil Association permission, during the second year of conversion must not have received prohibited inputs for at least 2 years, and no genetically modified feed must have been fed to the livestock during the same period. EU Regulation places no such restriction on previous inputs or feeds. It allows a 1-year conversion period for any land used for organic, non herbivorous livestock, and further allows the conversion period to be reduced to 6 months if prohibited inputs have been absent for 1 year. In this case, the Soil Association is complying with the requirements of the UK Compendium of Organic Standards, Annex 1B, Paragraph 2.1.2, except that UK Compendium does not include the prohibition regarding the previous feeding with genetically modified feeds. Soil Association standards' restriction on previous prohibited inputs is intended to reduce the perceivable health risk to the consumer that might result from contamination of organic livestock products with residues of prohibited inputs. In addition, the prohibition on previous genetically modified feeds is partly a precautionary measure to avoid the unpredictable consequences of unproven technology.
Conversion, inspection and monitoring - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 The organic conversion period may be reduced by up to 4 months, with Soil Association permission, only if the producer provides full records to prove that prohibited inputs were not previously used on the land for at least the period of the reduction. Conversion may be further reduced by up to 12 months with Defra permission, only if the same full records are provided and even then only if the land was in a recognised agri-environment scheme that prohibited all of the same inputs for at least the period of the reduction. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 4.3.7 and 4.3.8. Soil Association standards specify minimum periods as EU Regulation 2092/91 allows inspection bodies to do. Land must have been monitored by the Soil Association for at least 12 months before the crops may be sold as fully organic. EU Regulation does not include any minimum period for inspection body monitoring of land in conversion. EU Regulation allows the inspection body or authority to reduce the period of organic conversion if the land has been in an officially recognised agri-environment scheme that prohibits all the same inputs as those prohibited by organic standards or if the producer can prove to the inspection body that prohibited inputs have not been used for the period of reduction. Soil Association standards specify a limited reduction period of 4 months if the producer provides proof or 12 months if the land has been in an agri-environment scheme. The specified minimum period for inspection body monitoring of land in conversion is intended to avoid any consumer health problems that might result from the presence of prohibited input residues in organic products, and to ensure that farm system and environmental benefits of organic management will be effective when the land becomes fully organic.
Conversion, livestock and animal products - UK Compendium 2005 During the conversion period, livestock, except poultry, reared for organic meat must be reared from birth as organic. If their offspring are to be used as organic meat animals, breeding ewes, female goats and sows must be managed as organic from mating. Breeding cattle must be managed as organic for at least 12 weeks before the birth of offspring to be reared for organic meat. There are other periods specified for other classes of livestock to be managed as organic if their products are to be sold as organic. UK Compendium specifies that, for offspring to be sold as organic meat, the breeding female must be in organic management after mating for small ruminants and pigs, for at least 12 weeks before birth for cattle, and all these offspring must be reared as organic from birth. EU Regulation 2092/91 requires that organic management must be for at least 12 months or three quarters of lifetime, whichever is longer, for bovines and equidae reared for meat, and six months for small ruminants and pigs. EU Regulation makes no mention here of the management of breeding females after mating. For milk production, UK Compendium requires that cattle must be in organic management for 9 months before the milk can be sold as organic, with organic feed management for at least 6 months. EU Regulation requires 6 months organic management for all milk producing animals. The UK Compendium livestock conversion rule aims to eliminate any possible consumer health risks that might arise from non-organic livestock management by ensuring that organic meat animals have been in organic management since birth, and even during their gestation. UK Compendium makes no mention of equidae because this is a class of livestock rarely used for food in UK. The amendment was requested by UK inspection bodies.
Conversion, simultaneous conversion of livestock and land - UK Compendium 2005 A complete production unit, including livestock enterprises, may be simultaneously converted to organic status in 24 months. However, cattle reared for organic meat must have been born to cattle managed organically for at least 12 weeks before calving, other livestock for meat must be the offspring of organically managed female stock, and livestock for organic meat must be fed mostly on products of the unit. Fully organic livestock may be bought or sold from the unit, but their products may not be sold as organic until completion of the latest 24-month conversion period among production units where they have been present. The UK Compendium adds an additional subsection stating that fully organic livestock may be bought and sold from a converting livestock unit, but that their products may be sold as organic only after 24 months from the latest conversion start-date of the units where they have been present. UK Compendium specifies again here, as in Paragraph 2.2.1, that for offspring to be sold as organic meat after simultaneous conversion, the breeding female must be in organic management after mating for small ruminants and pigs, for at least 12 weeks before birth for cattle, and all these offspring must be reared as organic from birth. EU Regulation 2092/91 does not contain this specification. The UK Compendium rule ensures some flexibility in the purchase or sale of organic livestock for the in-conversion holding, without compromising the organic status of livestock products. This additional subsection is a qualification to the statement that the derogation applies only to existing animals. UK Compendium's rule repeats its conversion rule on how animals for meat may be sold as organic, to eliminate possible consumer health risks for organic consumers from non-organic livestock management.
Crop rotation, certified land - SE KRAV 2006
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It is not permissable to rotate the certified production. The operator can not remove certified organic land and bring in conventional land into the certification scheme without KRAVs approval (KRAV standards paragraph 4.1.8).
The rotation of organic and conventional land is not covered in EU Regulation 2092/91. Farmers are not allowed to have an organic farming system and then remove organic fields from the certification to treat them with chemical pesticides or chemical fertilisers and then possibly bring them in again into organic production. There are occasions were it is appropriate to take out land to gain a more coherent organic part of a split production.
Labelling claims, shops and supermarkets - SE KRAV 2006
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There are requirements for how a shop or a supermarket can call themselves KRAV authorised. They shall contribute to increased availability of organic products through having a wide range certified products and have a well informed staff. The range of products shall reflect what is available on the market and the objective is that the consumer shall be able to choose organic alternatives from all product groups. The standard also covers repacking of products at the shop or supermarket. (KRAV standards chapter 15).
Standards for shops and supermarkets are not covered in EU Regulation 2092/91. To authorise shops for handling of organic products and for promotion of organic production will increase the knowledge about organic agriculture and the availability of products. With well trained personnel it also increases the security that organic products are handled in the right way and not commingled with other products.
Origin of livestock, replacements - UK Compendium 2005 In a derogation from the rule that all livestock must have been organically managed throughout their lives, where appropriate organic livestock are unavailable, a limited proportion of non-organic animals may, with inspection body authorisation, be bought-in for herd/flock growth or renewal. The products of these animals must be subject to the rules for organic conversion with some stated modifications. UK Compendium Standards contain further restrictions on replacement stock compared to EU Regulation 2092/91. EU Regulation allows 20% per year of the existing herd number of pigs, sheep and goats to be brought in as adult, non-organic livestock for conversion, where organic animals are unavailable. UK Compendium allows only a 10% per year figure for all livestock, except the 20% per year permitted for sheep. Before their products may be sold as organic, UK Compendium requires such animals to remain in organic management for a full period of conversion as specified in UK Compendium, Paragraph 2.2.1. (see UK Compendium Difference "Conversion of livestock - organic status of livestock products"), with a slight modification for milk from dairy animals. In UK Compendium, the increased regulation of the purchase of non-organic pigs and goats helps to maintain herd or flock biosecurity. The cross reference to the rules in UK Compendium, Paragraph 2.2.1. aims to eliminate any possible consumer health risks that might arise from non-organic livestock management by ensuring that organic meat animals have been in organic management since birth, and even during their gestation.
Origin of livestock, replacements - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 Replacement livestock should be bred on the farm, but this is impractical and suitable organic livestock are are unavailable to buy, a limited proportion of non-organic, nulliparous, breeding female animals may be bought-in. Thius requires Soil Association permission and is only allowed at a rate of 10% of existing herd/flock size per year. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraph 10.6.8. UK Soil Association Standards contain further restrictions on replacement stock compared to EU Regulations. EU Regulation 2092/91 allows 20% per year of the existing number of pigs, sheep and goats to be brought in as adult, non-organic livestock for conversion, where organic animals are unavailable, but only 10% for other livestock classes. Soil Association standards set a 10% per year limit for all classes of livestock. The products of such bought-in livestock are subject to the Soil Association rules for conversion, not those in EU Regulation 2.2.1. (See Soil Association Difference re. EU Regulation, Paragraph 2.2.1.) In Soil Association standards the further regulation of the livestock replacement purchases of non-organic pigs, sheep and goats helps to maintain herd or flock biosecurity and so benefits animal health. These rules on the organic status of the products of bought-in livestock aim to reduce consumer health risks from residues of prohibited inputs.
Parallel production, grazing, livestock - UK Compendium 2005 As a derogation from the principle that organic pasture should be for organic livestock, non-organic livestock are permitted to graze organic land for a maximum of 120 days per year, as long as these animals are extensively reared, organic animals are not grazing with them, and authorisation has been obtained from the inspection body. The UK Compendium contains further detail to the EU Regulation 2092/91. UK Compendium specifies a maximum annual period of 120 days that non-organic livestock may use organic pasture. EU Regulation merely states "a limited period of time each year" without specifying the maximum length of time. UK Compendium continues the previous UK limit of 120 days because this is more specific and enforceable than the unspecified EU restriction on the period that non-organic livestock may use organic pasture. The additional text was requested by UK inspection bodies.
Parallel production, livestock - UK Compendium 2005
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Where they are present on the same farm, non-organic livestock must be reared on units clearly separated from organic livestock, they must be of different species, and organic livestock enterprises or holdings must be kept physically, financially, and operationally separate from non organic enterprises or holdings. Compendium of UK Organic Standards, Annex IB, Paragraph 1.6
The UK Compendium contains further detail to the EU Regulation 2092/91. UK Compendium requires that organic livestock enterprises or holdings must be kept physically, financially, and operationally separate from non-organic enterprises or holdings. Both EU Standards and UK Compendium require that organic livestock be reared in land parcels and buildings separate from non-organic livestock on the same holding and be of different species. The additional UK Compendium text aims to ensure that organic livestock holdings and enterprises are kept entirely separate from non-organic holdings and enterprises. This helps to verify the organic status of livestock products, and it helps maintain biosecurity of organic livestock units. Livestock traceability, organic verification, and biosecurity are particular concerns in UK after recent national livestock health problems, such as BSE and Foot & Mouth Disease. Biosecurity may also help to reduce the occurrence of other endemic livestock diseases.
Processing, milk - Nature et Progrès Standards 2005
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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.
Quality management systems - FI Luomuliitto Standards for "Leppäkerttu" quality label 2004 "The Ladybird-quality logo is owned and administrated by Luomuliitto. It is granted to farmers, food processors and farm input manufacturers producing organic products according to the quality standards of Luomuliitto. The standards are additional to the EU Regulation No. 2092/91 and consist of compulsory requirements and recommendations. The compulsory requirements include the membership of Luomuliitto and production based on quality management system (ISO9001 or equivalent). " EU Regulation No. 2092/91 does not address issues related to quality management systems. The former private, national certifier, Luomuliitto, wants to keep up with some of its own standards such as composting of the manure and domestic ingredients which requirements are regarded as important in the eyes of the Finnish consumers. Furthermore Luomuliitto wants to promote new progressive ideas such as combining the organic production and quality management.
Scope of organic regulation - US National Organic Program 2002
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US regulates cultivated crop, wild crop, livestock, livestock feed and handling (preparation and processing) operations. For labelling purposes US only regulates the term 'organic', not derivatives or diminutives. Exemptions: US exempts producers and handlers with less than $5000/year total organic sales from certification requirements, although they must comply with the regulation.
EU Regulation 2092/91 is only applied to unprocessed agricultural products, processed agricultural products and feedstuff. US, in addition applies the regulation to processed non-food products although there are no specific provisions or exemptions (e.g. additives for producing cosmetics or textiles) for non-food products. EU regulates the terms 'organic', 'biologic', and 'ecologic', including their translations, derivatives, and diminutives. US only regulate the term 'organic'. US exempt producers and handlers with less than $5000/year. EU does not. Retail operations are not required to be certified by US, but by EU (with some exemptions). US exempt handlers that process products containing less than 70% organic ingredients from certification. EU prohibits such operations from identifying 'organic' ingredients on the information panels of products. No justification was given
Standards, restaurants and industrial kitchens - SE KRAV 2006
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The standards for restaurants and industrial kitchens cover the whole or parts of the operations. Restaurants with á la carte menu need to have two approved main courses daily. On a lunch menu there shall at least be one approved course weekly. An approved dish shall have 100% KRAV certified ingredients, if organic ingredients are not available, a conventional ingredient can be used but at least 70% of the dish shall be organic. Only food additives and processing aids allowed by the KRAV standards can be used in a certified main course (includes additives and processing aids in conventional ingredients). Bread, salads, drinks, coffee, tea, ketchup etc shall also be possible to the extent possible. A certified buffet there must be a complete meal of KRAV certified products. A certified breakfast shall contain certified products in several of the type of food served for breakfast (bread, cheese, yoghurt, marmalade, breakfast cereals, fruits, vegetables, eggs etc). A certified café shall have KRAV certified coffee, tea, milk, sugar, fruit drinks, sandwiches, cakes and fruit if these products are served. There is also standards for handling of organic products so that no commingling with conventional products occur or contamination from cleaning. There are also standards for the labelling of dishes and statements about organic ingredients shall be made so consumers are sure which ingredients/ dishes are organic. (KRAV standards chapter 16).
EU Regulation 2092/91 does not have any specific standards for restaurants or industrial kitchens. More and more food is consumed outside of homes. There is an interest both by consumers and by restaurants and other industrial kitchens to eat or serve organic food. The KRAV standards are relatively open and are set with the argument to make it possible for several to start to serve organic food. Labelling has to be clear so that consumers are well informed. In the EU there are different interpretations in different Member States if restaurants are covered or not.
Veterinary treatent, parasite control - UK Compendium 2005 Growth promoting substances, or hormones to promote growth or affect reproduction, may not be used, but hormones may be used for the therapeutic veterinary treatment of an individual animal. Veterinary treatments that are compulsory under national or EU law are not prohibited. Livestock may not be treated with organophosphate chemicals. However, f they must be treated with organophosphates by law, then they must be permanently marked, their meat may not be sold as organic, and their other products may be sold as organic only after a full conversion period. UK Compendium contains an additional subsection, which places a prohibition on the use of organophosphate (OP) treatments, If OP treatments must be used by law, then the meat from the treated animal may not be sold as organic, and its other products may be sold as organic only with inspection body agreement and after a full conversion period. EU Regulation 2092/91 does not mention OP treatments. Otherwise, UK Compendium standards on growth promoters and hormones are identical to the EU Regulation. A specific prohibition on organic status for animals exposed to organophosphate chemicals is considered necessary to ensure that organic products will not pose any public health risk. Organophosphate chemicals have been suspected of involvement in a number of degenerative nervous diseases in both livestock and people, and these problems have been well publicised in UK. The additional text in UK Compendium continues a prohibition on organophosphate treatments in UK organic standards, which pre-dates the EU Regulation.
Veterinary treatment, withdrawral period - UK Compendium 2005 There must be a withdrawal period from the last administration of an allopathic veterinary medicine to the sale of organic livestock products from the same animal. This must be at least twice the normal, legal minimum withdrawal period, or 48 hours if the latter is unspecified. If the medicine is chemically synthesised, and if it is used in a different way to that specified in the Marketing Authorisation, there is one withdrawal period specified for eggs and milk, and another for meat. EU Regulation 2092/91 refers only to allopathic veterinary medicines and specifies twice the legal minimum withdrawal period. The UK Compendium additionally specifies minimum withdrawal periods for organic livestock products after the use of chemically synthesised allopathic veterinary medicines other than that specified in the Marketing Authorisation. The UK Compendium applies a more precautionary approach than EU Regulation, regarding product withdrawal periods after the use of chemically synthesised allopathic veterinary medicines, to avoid consumer health risks from exposure to chemical residues in organic products.