EU Organic Farming (Regulation (EC) No. 834/07)
It certifies agricultural products, processed agri-food products, feed and pet food, aquaculture products, algae and microalgae (spirulina), yeasts.
What it is certified
Organic farming aims at minimising external inputs, preserving the natural fertility of the soil and making the most of natural mechanisms and balances.
Plantations in monoculture, hydroponics and land-less crops are prohibited.
Organic farming protects biodiversity and soil fertility using broad and extensive crop rotations and succession planting, which always involve the cultivation of legumes and green manure.
Organic farming favours all mechanical cultivation techniques and native varieties that are naturally resistant to pests and diseases.
Organic farming, only when necessary, intervenes with natural fertilisers, organic soil conditioners, some natural rocks, natural products for crop protection (sulphur, copper, pyrethrum, oils and vegetable extracts etc.), and biological control techniques (competitor insects, sexual confusion, etc.).
Organic farming strictly prohibits the use of mineral fertilisers, systemic pesticides and all herbicides and geo pesticides resulting from chemical synthesis.
Organic farming prohibits the use of genetically produced seeds and plants.
The use of GMOs is also forbidden in the production of technical means, fertilisers and pesticides used in fields.
In the start-up phase, a conversion period of two years is required for annual or forage crops and three years in the case of multiannual fruit crops.
The competent authority may accept retroactive recognition of the conversion period in case the application of the organic method is proven even during periods before the notification and entry into the control system.
The following company registers shall be regularly updated at the farm: purchasing card, crop operations card and sales card. These records may also be made available through company records and software.
How to certify
The certification process is divided into five main phases:
- Notification of organic production activities to the competent authority through the Biological Information System (SIB) or similar regional systems. The operator shall declare the type of activities, production units and activity chains subject to control. Farms shall declare all agricultural lands exploited in organic farming systems and converted or conventionally managed. In the case of livestock production, the type and size of livestock farming are also declared.
- Initial assessment of the production process: the operator shall submit a management plan to describe all the measures he intends to comply with the organic requirements concerning the activity carried out. Farms with conventionally grown crops or areas at risk shall define precautionary measures to prevent contamination by treatments on conventional crops. In the case of parallel cultivation, a total conversion plan for a maximum of five years shall be submitted.
- Start-up inspection to verify the correct application and effectiveness of declared management plan measures and other related documents. In addition, the suitability of the structures and the correct management of the company’s production processes are assessed as required by the European regulations for the different fields of activity.
- The issue of Documentary Evidence and Certificate of Conformity based on the information and data collected as part of the assessment and verification process. The Certificate of Conformity lists the certified products and their classification according to the “organic” or “in conversion” production method.
- Annual surveillance through periodic inspections and planned analyses based on a careful risk analysis, aimed at confirming the maintenance of compliance conditions and the punctual and accurate keeping of the obligatory records required for control purposes.
Documents and downloadable files