Organic certification is a certification process for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products
Organic certification is a certification process for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products. In general, any business directly involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, retailers, and restaurants. Requirements vary from country to country and generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging, and shipping, that include:
- Avoidance of most synthetic chemical inputs (e.g. fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, food additives, etc), genetically modified organisms, irradiation, and the use of sewage sludge;
- Use of farmland that has been free from chemicals for a number of years (often, three or more);
- Keeping detailed written production and sales records (audit trail);
- Maintaining strict physical separation of organic products from non-certified products; undergoing periodic on-site inspections.
In some countries, certification is seen by the government, and commercial use of the term organic is legally restricted. Certified organic producers are also subject to the same agricultural, food safety and other government regulations that apply to non-certified producers.
Revolutionary Consultants is one of the largest and leading ORGANIC consultants in India. We are transnational ISO certification consultants with clients in Pan India. We provide quick, result oriented and easy to implement consultation and training for the ORGANIC certificate.
Benefits for Organic
The organic inspection doesn’t need to be scary, stressful, or onerous. The inspection process can be useful to producers of crops or livestock, and processors or handlers of agricultural products. The organic inspection is a unique opportunity because it involves the most face-to-face contact between the producer or handler and an inspector who works for the certifier.
Organic certifiers conduct annual inspections of all their clients (certified parties) to verify, through on-site review of actual activities and the corresponding records that the clients are in compliance with the relevant organic standards. Every USDA-accredited certification agency must make annual inspections. Most inspections are scheduled with the client in advance; however, some inspections are unannounced. This publication will help you incorporate management practices that will keep you prepared for an inspection at any moment. Benefits of the inspection process for organic certification include the following.
- Building consumer confidence in the meaning of the organic label
- Fulfilling requirements to get or maintain organic certification
- Improving farm record-keeping systems and keeping up-to-date records
- Providing an opportunity to understand organic standards
- Getting updated information about allowed and prohibited materials
Organic certification addresses a growing worldwide demand for organic food. It is intended to assure quality and prevent fraud and to promote commerce. While such certification was not necessary for the early days of the organic movement when small farmers would sell their produce directly at farmers’ markets, as organics have grown in popularity, more and more consumers are purchasing organic food through traditional channels, such as supermarkets. As such, consumers must rely on the third-party regulatory certification.
For organic producers, certification identifies suppliers of products approved for use in certified operations. For consumers, “certified organic” serves as a product assurance, similar to “low fat”, “100% whole wheat”, or “no artificial preservatives”.
Certification is essentially aimed at regulating and facilitating the sale of organic products to consumers. Individual certification bodies have their own service marks, which can act as branding to consumers—a certifier may promote the high consumer recognition value of its logo as a marketing advantage to producers. Most UK certification bodies operate organic standards that meet the UK government’s minimum requirements. Some certification bodies, such as the Soil Association, certify to higher standards.
To certify a farm, the farmer is typically required to engage in a number of new activities, in addition to normal farming operations:
Study the organic standards, which cover in specific detail about what is and is not allowed for every aspect of farming, including storage, transport, and sale.
- Compliance — farm facilities and production methods must comply with the standards, which may involve modifying facilities, sourcing and change suppliers, etc.
- Documentation — extensive paperwork is required, detailing farm history and current set-up, and usually including results of soil and water tests.
- Planning — a written annual production plan must be submitted, detailing everything from seed to sale: seed sources, field and crop locations, fertilization and pest control activities, harvest methods, storage locations, etc.
- Inspection — annual on-farm inspections are required, with a physical tour, examination of records, and an oral interview.
- Fee — an annual inspection/certification fee (currently starting at $400–$2,000/year, in the US and Canada, depending on the agency and the size of the operation).
- Record-keeping — written, day-to-day farming and marketing records, covering all activities, must be available for inspection at any time.
In addition, short-notice or surprise inspections can be made, and specific tests (e.g. soil, water, plant tissue) may be requested.
For first-time farm certification, the soil must meet basic requirements of being free from the use of prohibited substances (synthetic chemicals, etc.) for a number of years. A conventional farm must adhere to organic standards for this period, often, two to three years. This is known as being in transition. Transitional crops are not considered fully organic.
Certification for operations other than farms is similar. The focus is on ingredients and other inputs, and processing and handling conditions. A transport company would be required to detail the use and maintenance of its vehicles, storage facilities, containers, and so forth. A restaurant would have its premises inspected and its suppliers verified.
Why choose Revolutionary Consultants?
With a team of highly qualified consultants and trainers having vast industrial experience, Revolutionary Consultants assists organizations across the world to implement and achieve ORGANIC certification. Our consultation approach is highly professional, time-bound and effective resulting in the ease of implementation and adds value to the business processes of the client’s organization.
We offer ORGANIC training, implementation, consultation, gap analysis, documentation, internal audits, pre-assessment audits, certification audit through best of the certification bodies and post-certification enhancement/maintenance services to enable your organization gets the best out of CE management system. Our services are globally accepted, authoritative and benchmarked in the field of ORGANIC :
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your organization ORGANIC certified.