|ORGANIC FARMING :: Organic Certification Agencies|
Organic Farming - Introduction
Organic Certification Agencies
There are two types of certification agencies
Indian Certification Agencies
Government of India through Director General of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, allowed the export of organic products only if they are produced, processed and packed under a valid organic certificate issued by a certification agency accredited by one of the accredited agencies designated by the Government of India. The Government of India has already recognized the agencies viz,
International Certification Agencies
Imported organic produce from Latin America is subject to certification standards and guidelines just as stringent as produce produced in the United States. Under the US Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA), the USDA is required to review the certifiers of imported organic produce, in order to ensure that they meet the requirements of the US National Organic Program (NOP).
Foreign certification agencies may apply directly to the USDA for recognition and are evaluated on the same criteria as domestic agencies. Alternately, foreign governments may apply to the USDA or the US government for recognition of equivalency in their organic oversight program. Once accreditation or recognition is granted, organic products produced under the supervision of the certifying agent or foreign government will be eligible for import to the US as certified organic. The following are the some of the International agencies involved in certification of organic products.
Argentina’s leading certification agency was created in 1992. In 1997, Argencert became the first Argentine agency accredited by IFOAM.
2. California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)
CCOF‘s purpose is to promote and support organic agriculture in California and elsewhere.
3. International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)
The federation’s main function is coordinating the network of the organic movement around the world. IFOAM is a democratic, grassroot oriented federation.
4. The Ecological Farming Association
Formerly the Committee for Sustainable Agriculture is a nonprofit educational organization that promotes ecologically sound agriculture.
5. Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF)
Sponsors research related to orgamc farming practices, disseminates research results to organic farmers and to growers interested in adopting organic production systems, and educates the public and decision-makers about organic farming issues.
6. Organic trade Association
It is a national association representing the organic industry in Canada and the United States, Members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmer associations, brokers, consultants, distributors and retailers.
7. Community Alliance with Family Farmers
CAFF political and educational campaigns are building a movement of rural and urban people who foster family- scale agriculture that cares for the land, sustains local economics, and promotes social justice.
8. Institute for Marketecology (IMO)
It is one of the first and most renowned international agencies for inspection, certification and quality assurance of ecofriendly products. Since more than 20 years, IMO has been active in the field of organic certification but it is also expert in the sectors of natural textiles, sustainable forestry, and social accountability monitoring. IMO is closely co-operating with the popular private label Naturland (IFOAM accredited) and conducts Naturland inspections world-wide. In the field of agriculture, IMO is certifying all types of agricultural products, from traditional produce such as coffee, tea, spices, cocoa, nuts, fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, cotton, dairy products, honey, fish & seafood. This also includes all types of food processing, product manufacturing and international trading activities.
Skal International, Netherlands is a certification and inspection organisation, which certifies organic products, processes and inputs. Further sustainable forest/wood and textile are certified. Skal International operates worldwide in Western and Eastern Europe, South America and Southern Asia. Through the network of the shareholder nearly all countries in the world can be covered.
10. ECOCERT INTERNATIONAL
ECOCERT is an inspection and certification body accredited to verify the conformity of organic products against the organic regulations of Europe, Japan and the United States. The ECOCERT certification mark is one of the leading international organic certification marks, enjoying a good reputation and trusted by both consumers and the organic industry.Besides the certification of organic production, they provide all necessary information about the requirements of the organic regulations in Europe, Japan, United States and applicable national standards to their clients. They also assist in obtaining EU import authorizations for certified commodities.
Demeter is a world wide certification system, used to verify to the consumers in over 50 countries that food or product has been produced by biodynamic methods. The Bio Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association is the certifier in New Zealand. (The Association registered Demeter as a certification trademark in 1984.) Inspectors visit the operators (farmers and processors) annually to collect information about their methods. A committee of assessors then decides whether to grant certification. Most committee members are experienced biodynamic farmers and/or processors. The Demeter Standards are a published statement of the allowed and the required practices for certified biodynamic operators. All persons working towards Demeter certification are recommended to obtain a copy from the Bio Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association.
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