• Organic regulations

    In the initial development stages there was no legal definition of organic food and so farmers’ organizations and others formulated their own standards, and issued certificates and seals to offer consumer guarantees. The next phase was when IFOAM united these different standards into its ‘Basic standards for organic production and processing’. These standards provide a framework for certification bodies and standard-setting organizations worldwide to develop their own certification standards. In an effort to harmonize standards and certification, and also to provide a universal quality seal for organic products, IFOAM also has a programme for accrediting certification organizations. See www.ifoam.org for more information on this accreditation programme and for links to other publications, e.g. on the differences between European Union and United States regulations for organic agriculture. In the third phase, different countries or states (e.g. Germany, California) developed laws on organic agriculture and processing, which were incorporated in formal European Union or United States regulations in the last phase.

    Today (03/2011) the bulk of organic coffee is certified against one of the following standards: Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 that came into force on January 1, 2009 for the European Union*; NOP or National Organic Program for the United States; and JAS or the Japan Agricultural Standard.

    See 03.02.08 – 03.02.10 for a review of import regulations in major consuming markets.

    *Visit http://eur-lex.europa.eu and type 2007 (year) and 834 (document number) into the search function to see Regulation 834/2007 and subsequent additions.
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