Organic Farming Certification in India
The organic farming system is a traditional method of farming which focusses on growing crops in a way that soil is alive and the food that we consume is healthy. Organic farming uses organic fertilizers and farming methods that result in the sustainable production of crops without affecting the quality of the production. The concept and demand for organic farm produce is growing rapidly as consumers have started to become more aware and concentrate on the quality of the food they consume.
Organic farming certification in India is governed by The National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) provides for Standards for organic production, systems, criteria and procedure for accreditation of Certification Bodies, the National (India Organic) Logo and the regulations governing its use. The standards and procedures have been formulated in harmony with other International Standards regulating import and export of organic products. Farms that have obtained Organic Farming Certification and adhering to the norms specified by the National Programme for Organic Production will be allowed to use the following India Organic logo on the produce.
Procedure for Obtaining Organic Farming Certification
Any person looking to obtain organic farming certification for agricultural produce must submit an application in the requisite format along with the fee and complete field verification. Before submission of application, it is important for the applicant or farmer to ensure that his/her farm conforms to the standard laid out by the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) for organic crop production.
Organic Farming Requirements
Any farm which proposes to obtain the Organic Farm certification must conform to the following standards set out by the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP).
In addition to the above requirements, the applicant must adhere to the following requirements:
- Prepare, implement, and update annually an organic production plan every year.
- Permit on-site inspections with complete access to the production and handling operation, including non-certified production and handling operation, areas, structures, offices by the Organic Certification Inspectors and other higher officials, whenever required.
- Maintain all records applicable to the organic operation for not less than 5 years after the creation of such records and allow authorized representatives of the certification body, State or Central Government officials of accrediting agency access to such records during normal working hours for review and copying to determine compliance with NPOP norms.
- Pay the prescribed fees charged for organic farming accreditation within the stipulated time.
- Inform the authorities in case of any application, including drift, of a prohibited substances to any, production unit, site, facility, livestock, or product that is part of an operation and changes in certified operations or any portion of a certified operation that may affect the organic integrity in compliance with standards of NPOP.
Applying for Organic Farm Certification
Once the requirements for organic farming are satisfied, the applicant can prepare and submit an application. The application for certification must contain the following information:
- An organic production or handling system plan.
- All information requested in the application shall be completed in full i.e. name, addresses, details of contact person, telephone number of the authorized person etc.,
- The names of organic certification body to which application is previously made and out come, non-compliance noted if any, copy of such records and reason for applying shall be given.
- Any other information necessary to determine the compliance with the standards specified.
- The prescribed registration fee, one time inspection fee, one time travel cost should be paid by the operator along with the application form.