Organic Certification

Organic certification means having the farm and the farmer’s methods inspected by an organic certifying group to ensure that they comply with the guidelines on organic farming. Organic certification improves the image of organic agriculture and provides transparency in certification. For gaining consumer’s confidence, valid organic certification is an essential pre-requisite for marketing, especially in the export market. Generally, organic certification involves many standards of inspection and certification.

Certification is a procedure by which a third party gives a written assurance, that a product, causes or service is in confirmity with certain standards. Organic standards are defined as minimum production practices including storage, transportation, processing, handling, packing, and labeling requirements, which must be followed for certifying the products as organic.

It is to be recognised that animals are a part of the organic farming system since they contribute to nutrient cycles, soil fertility, and higher yields. Drought purpose is achieved and the by-products are utilized well. Forage crops improve crop rotation and allow for diversification in farming. There are many organic standards on national, as well as international levels. Generally, standards vary with the country and to sell the products in a particular country, the standards of the importing country are to be followed. Certification is the key to the national organic programme.

In US, since 21 st October 2002, it is a federal office to label any food product as organic unless they have been certified. The certification process focuses on the methods and materials used in production. There are two main requirements:

  1. The methods and materials used in production must meet organic standards.
  2. There must be clear and ongoing documentation of these methods and materials.

The concept of organic certification is that a third party(an organic certifying agent) evaluates producers, processors, and handlers to determine whether they conform to an established set of operating guidelines called organic standards. Those confirm to the guidelines are certified by the agent and allowed to use a logo, product statement or certificate to document their product as ‘certified organic’. In other words, the certifier vouches for the producer and assures buyers of organic products integrity.

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