Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by Subjects

  • Subject Areas
    • Conversion
      • Whole farm conversion
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Conversion and labelling, animal products - DE Naturland Standards 2005 Animal products can only be marketed with reference to Naturland if the respective conversion period for the animal species has been complied with AND the farm has been in conversion for at least 12 months. (NL standards on production Part A.I.9. Labelling and marketing) The NATURLAND standard requires the farm to undertake at least a 12 month conversion period before marketing NATURLAND organic animal products, regardless of the (shorter) conversion period for certain animal products. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 these animal products (eggs, milk, pullets, pork, mutton and goat meat) can be marketed as organic after complying with the provisions of the regulation during at least the conversion periods of the animal species, which are identical to the specific periods mentioned by NATURLAND. A minimum conversion period of the farm (land) is not mentioned. This is required because of the stipulation to use animal feeding stuffs produced on the same farm in the diet.
Conversion of land, livestock production - CH Demeter Standards 2005
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A conversion period of 4 years is required; crops may be sold with 'DEMETER' denomination in the fourth year of conformity with DEMETER standards. As soon as all plots with fodder production have completed the conversion period, also animal husbandry is considered as DEMETER. No retrospective approval is granted (no reduction of the conversion period is possible). In case of a certified production according Bio Suisse Standards, DEMETER approval may occur in the second year of conformity with DEMETER Standards.
DEMETER requires a minimal conversion period of 4 years for pastures, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 permits a reduction of the conversion period for pastures down to 6 months for non-herbivore species if no disallowed substances have been applied to the respective plots. Essential agricultural knowledge and skills in the biodynamic mehod are important prerequisitites for successfull farming. To acquire this knowledge and to gain credibility in the consumers eyes, DEMETER strictly defines the beginning of conversion as starting with the first inspection and requires a four year conversion period.
Conversion period - DE Naturland 2005
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The conversion of a farm with all its farming units must be concluded at the latest five years after beginning the conversion period for the first of the units. (NL standards on production A.I.8.Approval)
The NATURLAND standard has additional requirements. There is no upward limit for the duration of the conversion period in the EU Regulation 2092/91. In order to make the whole farm conversion easier while considering the individual situation of a farm (i.e. economic viability, running contracts, crop rotation) it should not be necessary to convert the whole farm at once. However, as parallel production is not allowed, there must be a time limit in order to ensure the whole farm conversion and safeguard the integrity of the organic farm.
Conversion period - Int. IFOAM Standards 2005 IFOAM standards require in general a period of at least 36 months for conversion. Depending on the previous land use, the conversion period can be reduced to 12 months. EU Regulation 2092/91 states that the minimum conversion period must be between 2 and 3 years: Generally a period of at least two years before sowing is required, or in the case of grassland at least two years before being used as an organic feedstuff, or in the case of perennial crops (excluding grassland) at least three years before the first harvest. IFOAM states at least 12 months prior to the start of the production cycle and in the case of perennials (excluding pastures and meadows) a period of at least 18 months prior to harvest However, where certain conditions are met the EU can make the minimum time 12 months. So in this respect there is some equivalency between both sets of standards. No justification was given.
Conversion, livestock and animal products - DK Governmental Guidelines 2006
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Conversion of all animals shall be started within 4 years after the beginning of the conversion according to the Danish Governmental Guidelines on Organic Agricultural Production, October 2006, Section 2.1: Conversion to organic agricultural production. However, according to 'section 4.1.8 animals for own use within the limits of non-commercial animal production (see attached file) are allowed as long as there is no organic production of the same animal species on the farm. The number and type of animals must be rapported to the Plantdirectorate. The manure from the non-commercial animals is considered organic, when used on own farm.
According to the DK Governmental Guidelines on Agricultural Production, October 2006 it is generally required that all animals are converted and the conversion of them shall start within 4 years after the entering into conversion of the farm except for non-commercial animal production for own use. According to EU Regilation 2092/91 Annex IB, Article 1.6 rearing of conventional livestock may be allowed on an organic holding provided they are of a different species than the organic animals, and they are reared on units where the buildings and parcels are clearly separated from the buildings and parcels where the organic animals are reared. Organic farming is a land based activity with a holistic approach. It is not logic to convert one kind of animal production and not the other. Besides, the requirement reduces the risk of fraud. However, for non-commercial animal production where only few animals are kept for own use it may be reasonable to set less strict rules.
Conversion, livestock and animal products - FR Regulation 2000
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When the first animal on the farm starts its conversion period, the farmer has 8 years to get all his animals certified organic (except for species which are not regulated by the French organic regulation).
French regulation requires that ultimately all animals on the farm be organic, whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 accepts the presence of non organic livestock provided they are reared on units where the buildings and parcels are clearly separated from the organic units and different species are involved. Presence of organically and conventionally managed livestock on the same farm is not consistent (why let cows range freelly and not poultry, for example) and a source of potential fraud. But each farmer needs time to adapt his farm system and so eight years are given to satisfy this obligation.
Conversion, retroactive approval - CH Demeter Standards 2005
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A conversion period of 4 full calendar years is required; crops may be sold with 'DEMETER' denomination in the fourth year of conformity with DEMETER standards. No retrospective approval is granted (no reduction of the conversion period possible). In case of a certified production according Bio Suisse Standards, DEMETER approval may occur in the second year of conformity with DEMETER Standards.
Whereas DEMETER requires a 36 months conversion period beginning with the first year of inspection by an official inspection body, EU Regulation 2092/91 offers the possibility for retrospective approval in cases where previous management methods are proven to be in compliance with the regulation. Essential agricultural knowledge and skills in the biodynamic method are important prerequisitites for successfull farming. To acquire this knowledge and to gain credibility for the method in the consumers eyes, DEMETER strictly defines the beginning of conversion as starting with the first year of inspection.
Full farm conversion - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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Conversion of the entire holding is a prerequisite for the certification as an organic farm of Bio Austria. Beekeeping and fish farming are the only exceptions, and may be practiced conventionally.
The Bio Austria has the additional requirement to convert the whole farm and not just the production unit, as defined in EU Regulation 2092/91 as littlest unit to convert (annex I B 1.5 ff) and Annex III A.1. §. 3 which defines the requirements for certification of the production unit, which can farmed by the same company/farm. Therefore it is not necessary based on the EU Regulation to convert the whole farm. The main reason is to create high consumer confidence (exclusion of fraud and mistakes).
Full farm conversion - CH Demeter Standards 2005
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Full farm conversion of the whole operation to organic is required by DEMETER and is applied for arable land, perennial crops and animal husbandry all the same. The farmer has to attend a training on bio-dynamic farming and must prove knowledge on bio-dynamic farming.
DEMETER standards do not allow a split production of DEMETER and conventional production areas within the same farm or by the same manager, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does allow split production within the farm by the same manager. Furthermore, DEMETER requires the farmers to attend a training on bio-dynamic farming, whereas EU Regulation does not rule the question of capacity building among organic farmers. The personal committment required from a farm manager towards bio-dynamic farming does not comply with the thought of having conventional areas within the same operation.
Full farm conversion - CH regulation/Ordinance 2005
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The whole farm must be under organic management
The Swiss Ordinance requires full farm conversion. In exceptional cases split production of fruit crops and vine as conventional crops on a organic farm can be admitted. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does allow split production (conventional and organic by the same manager) for all branches in a farm. In order not to jeopardize the credibility of organic farming in the consumers perception and in order to minimise the danger of fraud in the farms, the Swiss Ordinance generally insists in full organic management of all areas in an operation.
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.
Full farm conversion - DK Governmental Guidelines 2006
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Conversion of the whole farm including own and leased areas, buildings and animals shall be started within 4 years after the beginning of the conversion according to DK Governmental Guidelines on Organic Agricultural Production, 2006, Section 2.1: Conversion to organic agricultural production.
It is generally required that the whole farm including land, buildings and animals is converted, and the conversion of all land and animals shall be started within 4 calendar years after entering into conversion according to the DK Governmental Guidelines on Organic Agricultural Production, October 2006. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 Article 6, Annex I A, Article 1 and Annex I B, Article 2 there is no requirement on conversion of the whole farm and therefore also no requirement on how long time the conversion of the whole farm is allowed to take. In the DK Governmental Guidelines there are some derogation possibilities, which are described in Section 2.1 and 2.2, but they will need individual approval by the certification and inspection authority, the Plant Directorate. Organic farming is a land based activity with a holistic approach. It is not logic to convert a piece of land or a special plant or animal production while leaving the rest of the production conventional.
Full farm conversion - Demeter International 2005
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The conversion of the whole farm to the Biodynamic method in one step is required and shall be completed after a maximum of five years. Exemptions can be approved if the whole farm is managed organically and the conversion to biodynamic of individual areas following the crop rotation is justified (Appendix 7, APP 20 and 22). Parallel production is not allowed. Exemptions for perennial crops can be approved (Appendix 7, APP 21). A farm manager may not manage a Demeter farm and a conventional farm in the same district. (DI production standards, 7.1. Conversion and the production manager; DI production standards, Appemdix 7, APP 20, 21, 22)
The DI standard contains additional requirements. After 5 years of conversion, conventional units are no longer admitted on the farm. The whole farm should be converted in one step. The same person cannot manage one Demeter and another conventional farm at the same time. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 separated conventional units and organic units can exist on the same farm. Conversion is a process of change encompassing the many developmental steps that the enterprise goes through on the way to a new state of equilibrium.
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.
Full farm conversion - PL Ekoland Standards 2005 Conversion of the entire holding is required for the certification of any EKOLAND organic farm. EKOLAND standards require the whole farm to be converted, and not only the production unit, as defined in the EU Regulation 2092/91. The main reason is to keep the green image of the Association and to assure consumer trust.
Full farm conversion - SI BIODAR 2002
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SI BIODAR standards require a successful whole farm conversion as a condition for the use of BIODAR logo, with the only possible exception of beekeeping.
BIODAR standards do not allow a parallel production of different production branches in the farm, with exception of beekeeping (1.1), whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 does allow a split conventional and organic production by the same manager. Whole farm conversion is a measure to guarantee transparency of organic production to the consumer and minimize fraud or unwanted pollution. Another important reason is the low average size of Slovenian farms that makes a controllable split production hardly possible.
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.