Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by Subjects

  • Subject Areas
    • Horticulture
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Contamination, buffer zones, conventional agriculture, herbs - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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If the growing area of herb production borders on a field that is cultivated conventionally, there must be a distance of at least 5 metres between fields (exception: threshed herbs). Bordering on conventional fields should be avoided if possible. Protective hedgerows are recommended.
While the Bio Austria General Standard requires minmal buffer zones the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not have an explicit restriction for the distance to conventional fields. The main reason is to avoid residues of pesticides and to create high consumer confidence.
Contamination, buffer zones, highways, herbs - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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Locations of herb production near densely populated areas (cities) are to be avoided. The distance to highly used roads (highways, high-speed road, major streets [Bundesstrassen] must be at least 50 metres. Protective hedgerows are generally recommended in such cases.
The Bio Austria General Standard details buffer strips while the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not have a restriction for the distance to highly used roads. The main reason is to avoid residues of exhaust fumes (see “herb production with distance to conventional fields”) and to create high consumer confidence.
Farm diversity - Demeter International 2005
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Demeter farms are required to integrate ruminants or equidae. Exemptions can be approved by the respective certifying organisation. In market gardens and in enterprises having solely perennial crops, the requirement to have their own animals is not obligatory if manures, compost, green manures, and preparation usage is particularly intensive. (DI production standards, 5.1. Requirement to have livestock DI production standards, Appendix 7, APP 4)
Demeter farms are not regulated by the EU Regulation 2092/91, and there is no requirement to have any type of livestock on an organic farm according to the EU Regulation. Animal husbandry, with the accompanying fodder production is an important part of the agricultural enterprise. With respect to the development of the enterprise, the farm organism cannot do without livestock. This applies to the ruminant in particular. The fodder plants and the well-balanced manure that comes into being because of cattle, contribute considerably through the enlivening of the soil, to the long term flourishing of a farm. The harmonious co-operation of mankind with the three kingdoms of nature can lead to a living, ensouled farm organism.
Fertilization, intensity, vegetables - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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In connection with the Codex Alimentarius Austriacus A 8 maximum levels of nitrate for vegetables are defined. (BA-Rules chapter 4.1.8)
The Bio Austria General Standard contains a further restriction than EU Regulation 2092/91, which does not have a restriction of the nitrate level in vegetables. Consumer protection.
Fertilization, substrates, microbial recolonisation - Demeter International 2004
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After steam sterilisation of growing substrates the recolonisation by microbes should be guided using the biodynamic preparations. (DI production standards, 3.4.2. Manures, soils and potting mixes; DI production standards, 3.4.5.Production under glass and plastics; DI production standards, 3. Arable and Plant production)
The DI standard contains further requirements. There is no requirement or recommendation regarding microbial recolonisation of steamed growing substrates. The use of biodynamic preparations is not required by the EU Regulation 2092/91. To enliven the soil is one of the basic principles of biodynamic agriculture. To fertilize means to enliven the soil.
Fertilizers, substrates, green manure - DE Naturland Standards 2005
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Green manure has to be grown on areas that are not covered by a crop for more than 12 weeks during the vegetation period. (NL standards on production: Part B. III. Market gardening, 1.6 Part B. V. Cultivation of ornamental plants, herbaceous perennials, shrubs, Christmas trees 1.4)
The NATURLAND requires the growth of green manure on land which lies idle for more than 12 weeks. The EU Regulation 2092/91 more generally recommends the cultivation of green manure among other measures to maintain and increase the soil fertility. To keep the soil covered with vegetation is a vital instrument to maintain and increase the soil fertility.
Livestock management, perennial cropping systems - Demeter International 2004
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Farms with intensive vegetable production or perennial crops should keep animals on the farm or at least cooperate with another biodynamic farm to set up a fertilising programme based on animal manure. (DI production standards 3.4.Market gardens, field vegetables, hops and other perennial crops)
The DI standard requires that animals are being reared on farms with intensive horticulture production or perennial cropping systems; where as in the EU Regulation 2092/91 no such requirement is stated. The fertilizing programme should be based on animals kept on the farm in order to promote the development of the farm as an individual living organism by using the own animal manure. Animal husbandry, with the accompanying fodder production is an important part of the agricultural enterprise. With respect to the development of the enterprise, the farm organism cannot do without livestock. This applies to the ruminant in particular. The fodder plants and the well-balanced manure that comes into being because of cattle, contribute considerably through the enlivening of the soil, to the long term flourishing of a farm. The harmonious co-operation of mankind with the three kingdoms of nature can lead to a living, ensouled farm organism.
Manure fertilizers, intensity - DE Naturland Standards 2005
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The use of fertilizers is restricted. The total amount of fertilizers applied may in general not exceed the equivalent of 1.4 du/ha/year (112 kg N and 98 kg P2O5). In accordance with the NATURLAND extension services and related to the results of soil analyses and the specific demand of the crop, more than 110 kg N/ha and year can be applied in greenhouses. For perennials (including orchards), shrubs and christmas trees the limit is 90 kg N/ha/year. In viticulture only 150 kg/N/ha in three years is allowed, while in the latter the amount of one year may not exceed 70 kg N/ha. The amount of bought in fertilizers is limited with 0.5 DU/ha and year (40 kg N). (NL standards on production: Part B.I.Plant production, 1.Humus management and fertilization; Part B.III. Market gardening 1; Part B. V. Cultivation of ornamental plants, herbaceous perennials, shrubs, Christmas trees 1; Part B. Fruit cultivation 1; Part B. Viniculture and wine production 2; Part B. Permanent tropical plantations 1.)
The NL standard is very differentiated in limiting the amount of manure which can be applied for different types of crop production. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 the amount of fertilizer (animal manure) is limited to 170 kg N/ha/year without any explicit limit for the amount of commercial fertilizers bought in. Fertilization shall primarily support the accumulation of humus complexes in the soil. The amount of fertilizer is to assure the activity of the soil in the long run. Over-fertilization shaould be avoided. The organic production is directly linked to the natural conditions and production capacities of the site.
Nutrients, potted plants - SE KRAV 2006
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Half of the nutrients for potted plants and in greenhouses shall come from the soil (KRAV standards paragraph 4.7.4).
This is not regulated in EU Regulation 2092/91. It is the soil that should be fertilized and not the plants. This makes it impossible to grow in substrates with low biological activity.
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.
Peat - DE Naturland Standards 2005
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The components that can be used in soil and substrate preparations are defined by the corresponding annexes. The use of synthetic substrate materials is prohibited. Peat can be used in substrates and may not exceed 80% of the mixture for seedlings and 50% of the mixture for potted plants (with exemptions). The cultivation of crops without using soil or substrate is not allowed. NL standards on production: Part B. III. Market gardening 2. Part B. V. Cultivation of ornamental plants, herbaceous perennials, shrubs, Christmas trees 2 Appendices 1,2 and 9)
The NATURLAND standard has additional requirments and restrictions than the EU Regulation 2092/91. The list of components, that can be used is more restricted, i.e. composted community household wastes (appendix 9) are excluded, as well as liquid or semi-liquid manure and chicken manure from conventional origin (appendix 1). In the EU Regulation there is no limit for the amount of peat to be used. Synthetic substrates are not regulated. The cultivation of crops without soil or substrate is not regulated. Protection of the natural peat deposits. The vital soil is an indispensable element 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.
Peat, ornamental plants - DE Bioland Standards 2005
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The content of peat in substrates may not exceed 80% for seedlings and 50% for trees, herbaceous and ornamental plants. Exceptions are possible for crops, that require a low pH. Purchased composts, peat substitutes and additives must be examined with regard to their environmental compatibility and, in particular, to their pollutant content. (BIOLAND standards 5.8.6., 5.8 Ornamental Plants, Herbaceous Plants and Woody Plants, 5.8.6 Soils and Substrates)
The BIOLAND standard is slightly more detailed as the EU Regulation 2092/91, where the the use of peat in horticulture is not restricted. Purchased composts must not exceed the contents in heavy metals, laid down in the Annex II A. There is no requirement to examine the environmental compatibility of the components of substrate. To avoid the escessive exploitation of moor lands and to avoid contamination with harmful substances.
Plant production, chicory - Demeter International 2005
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Chicory roots should be forced in soil. (DI production standards, 3.4.2. Manures, soils and potting mixes)
There is no such explicit requirement within the EU Regulation 2092/91. Best development of nutritional aspects when the plants are in contact with soil.
Plant production, containers, ornamental plants - DE Bioland Standards 2005
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Containers for potted plants must preferably be made of decomposable materials. Otherwise, they must be reusable and recyclable. The use of PVC containers is prohibited. (BIOLAND standards 5.8.6., 5.8.7 Containers for Cultures)
The BIOLAND standards has a broader scope, this aspect is not regulated by the EU Regulation 2092/91. In order to cope with the ecological principle of organic agriculture (protection of the environment, avoiding rubbish production, preference of renewable resources).
Plant production, environment, ornamental plants - DE Bioland Standards 2005
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Areas where potted plants are stored must not be sealed except for the purpose of rain water collection. (Bioland production standards, 5.8 Ornamental Plants, Herbaceous Plants and Woody Plants, 5.8.2 Surface Sealing)
The BIOLAND standard has additional requierements for potting plants. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not refer to the sealing of soil. In order to cope with the ecological principle of organic agriculture.
Plant production, green cover, orchards - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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In orchards, planting with a mixture appropriate to the location is required throughout the year (BA-Rules 2006 chapter 4.3.3). In areas with extreme summer dryness the land planting period must be at least 10 months. The plantings must not be ploughed under from the beginning of September until the end of March. Mulch cuttings have to be made in such a way that beneficial organisms are protected (for example no cutting at the edges or alternate cutting).
The Bio Austria General Standard is more detailed as the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not have requirements for land planting in orchards. Green coverage reduces erosion problems.
Plant production, green cover, vineyards - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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The vineyard must be land-planted throughout the year, in order to provide a habitat for diverse flora and fauna. Species-rich mixtures should be sown. Land planting may be interrupted for up to 2 months for soil preparation, for winter furrowing of heavy soils, loosening of the soil, new sowing, summer drought and in new plantings. No land planting is necessary directly under the vines. (BA-Rules 2006 chapter 4.4.1)
The Bio Austria General Standard is more detailed as the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not have specific requirements for land planting in vineyards. Green coverage reduces erosion.
Plant production, no special standards - US NOP 2002 NOP does not have any provisions for special plant production. NOP does not have any provisions for special plant production. The EU 2092/91 specifies for some plant protection products that they may only be used for special crops such as perennial crops, fruit trees, wines, olive trees and tropical crops. The US does not have such restrictions for plant protection products. The NOP intends to provide standards for categories where the Act provides the authority to promulgate standards. NOP announced its intend to publish for comments certification standards for apiculture, mushrooms, greenhouses and aquatic animals. These standards will build upon the existing final rule and will address only the unique requirements necessary to certify these specialized operations.
Plant production, use of soil culture - Demeter International 2005
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Soil-less growing techniques are not allowed (DI production standards, 3.4.2. Manures, soils and potting mixes)
Where as Demeter International standards prohibit soil less production, the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not treat the issue of soil-less growing techniques. It is considered that nutritional aspects develop best when the plants are in contact with soil.
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.
Soil and potting mixes - Demeter International 2005
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Soils and potting mixes should preferably be generated from the farm itself and must consist of at least 25% prepared composts. Peat can only be used in propagating beds and potting mixes and is limited in quantity (max. 75%). Synthetic soil improving agents are not allowed. (DI standards 3.4.2.Manures, soils and potting mixes)
The use of the biodynamic preparations in the manure and compost is an indispensable aspect of the biodynamic method. The farm "organism" should strive for independence from outside inputs. Peat is restricted because of nature protection reasons. The use of the biodynamic preparations in the manure and compost is an indispensable aspect of the biodynamic method. The farm organisms should strive for independence from outside inputs. Peat is restricted because of nature protection reasons.
Soil management, artificial mulch - DE Bioland 2005
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A maximum of 5% of the free range area used for growing vegetables may be covered at any one time by mulch foil, mulch fleece or mulch paper. Operators with less than 4 ha of area for vegetables may cover up to 2,000 m2 using the above methods stated. (Bioland production standards, 5.1.5 Use of Technical Mulch Materials)
The BIOLAND standard has a broader scope. The soil cover with mulching material is not regulated in the EU Regulation 2092/91. In order to reduce waste.
Soil management, perennial crops - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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In orchards land planting with a planting mixture appropriate to the location is required throughout the most part of the year.
The Bio Austria General Standard is more detailed, since the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not have requirements for land planting in orchards. Green coverage is required to reduce erosion problems.
Soil management, perennial crops, viticulture - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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In vineyards land planting with a planting mixture (green manure) appropriate to the location is required throughout the most part of the year. Land planting may be interrupted for up to 2 months in special cases.
The Bio Austria General Standard is more detailed, as the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not have specific requirements for land planting in vineyards. Green coverage is required to reduce erosion.