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IFOAM Basic Standards

The key facts

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM passed the first international standards for organic agriculture – the IFOAM Basic Standards - in 1980. It is a standard for standards, based on the already existing private organic standards at that time.

The IFOAM Basic Standards define organic agriculture on the international level, and they have thus been the basis for private organic standards and regulations throughout the world. They have strongly influenced for instance EU Regulation 2092/91 (now 834/2007) on organic farming and the FAO's Codex Alimentarius Guidelines for organic production.

The IFOAM Basic Standards for Organic Production and Processing (IBS) and related documents

The Basic Standards for Organic Production and Processing (IBS) of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) were first published in 1980. Since then they have been subject to biennial / triennial review and re-publication.

The IFOAM Basic Standards address the principles, recommendations, and required baseline standards that guide operators in producing their organic crops and maintaining organic integrity in the further handling and processing of organic commodities. The IFOAM Basic Standards have been developed to comply with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards.

Together with the IFOAM Accreditation Criteria for Certification of Organic Production and Processing (IAC), the IFOAM Basic Standards constitute the IFOAM Norms and are thus the basic pillars of the IFOAM Guarantee System.

The IFOAM Organic Guarantee System IOGS assures organic integrity internationally. In the rapidly growing environment of marketing and trade of products claiming to be 'organic,' IFOAM provides a market guarantee of the integrity of organic claims. The Organic Guarantee System unites the organic world through a common system of standards, verification, and market identity. It fosters equivalence among participating certifiers, paving the way for more orderly and reliable trade.

The IFOAM Accreditation Criteria are based on the International ISO norms for the operation of certifying bodies, and they are additionally developed to reflect the particular circumstances of certifying organic production and processing. IFOAM owns and develops these documents.

The IFOAM Norms have an impact beyond the IFOAM Organic Guarantee System. IFOAM's Basic Standards and Accreditation Criteria are generally respected as the international guideline from which national standards and inspection systems may be built; and they have been used as a reference by standard-setters and legislators in national and international arenas. Within the Organic Guarantee System, IFOAM provides a mechanism for the approval of other standards that are consistent with the IFOAM Basic Standards.


About the IFOAM norms

The IFOAM Norms: Download

The IFOAM Organic Guarantee System

International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM

ISEAL Alliance


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