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Organic Rules: Organic standards and regulations

These pages aim to give a brief overview of international standards and regulations.

The Organic Rules pages were compiled by FiBL, a revision process among the FiBL experts on the theme is currently in progress. Contact: Helga Willer, FiBL, Frick .

Organic rules: The key facts

Private Organic Label Standards

Farmers' associations developed the first standards for organic production in the middle of the 20th century.  More about private standards

Baseline Regulatory Standards and Regulations

The first governmental regulations were introduced by some European countries, including Austria and France, in the 1980s. In 1991, the EU passed the organic EU Regulation 2092/91 (recently revised) and set standards with major implications for international trade, as the regulation did not only cover production standards, but standards for labeling and inspection as well. Various countries in Europe, including Switzerland, furthermore Latin America and Asia introduced legislation in the 1990s.  In the new millennium, most major economies have established a regulation for organic production including the US National Organic Program NOP, which was implemented in 2003. More about governmental regulations and laws

International private or intergovernmental framework standards

  • Basic standards of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM
    The first international standards were published by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM in 1980. More about the IFOAM Basic Standards

Equivalency of rules: International harmonisation efforts

Currently two standards serve as international reference standards for organic agriculture: the Codex Alimentarius Guidelines for the Production, Processing Labeling and Marketing of Organically Produced Food (CAC/GL 32) and the IFOAM Basic Standards IBS.  Even though all international private standards and state regulations are more or less based on the IFOAM norms and Codex Alimentarius guidelines, there are many differences in detail. The International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalence in Organic Agriculture ITF, a joint initiative of FAO, IFOAM and UNCTAD, set up in 2003, encourages harmonization and equivalence, based on these standards. More about equivalency of rules

Organic rules pages at Organic-World.Net

(c) Bioinspecta

FiBL information on organic standards and legislations world-wide.

Key resources

lists the public and private organic standards and regulations and logos in selected countries. 

The organic rules homepage gives an overview of European organic legislation and standards, presents at differences, subject areas and implementation rules.



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