CERTIFICATION


Certification and its Need

India Organic Certification is a label given to organic products after validation, which ensures that the product or raw materials used in the product were grown through organic farming - without any chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or induced hormones. This tag ‘India Organic’ is granted on the basis of compliance with the national standards for organic production (NSOP). This organic certification is needed to communicate the genuineness as well as the origin of the product, to prevent the fraud and to promote commerce for organic producers.

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What are the various mechanisms and certifications available in India?

Food safety and standards authority of India (FSSAI) has notified Food safety and standards (Organic Foods) Regulations with aim to benefit farmers by increasing their incomes. This system recognises two systems of certification i.e. Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) implemented by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer welfare and National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) implemented by Ministry of Commerce and Industry. There are 24 accredited certifying agencies that verify farms, storages and processing units. Products certified organic by them carry the India Organic logo. According to a recent report by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FIBL) and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), India had 5,85,200 organic farmers in 2015, more than any other country and a quarter of the world total. Major NGOs supporting or facilitating the organic certification process.

Challenges in Certification Process

Expensive certification cost.
Not many people know how to get a certificate – lack of awareness among people.
Due to lack of recognition of both government and non – government institutions, certification of organic product chains has become a complicated and costly service for both producer as well as consumer.
The time which application for organic certification takes to clear is very long.
Government websites are slow and difficult to upload files.
Sometimes on-site verification is not done properly due to shortage of staff.

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What is the time span in which the producer could get the organic certification after applying for it?

Transitioning from a conventional agricultural operation to an organic operation takes the producers up to three years to receive organic certification, during which time products cannot be marketed as organic products, and producers will not receive pricing premiums on their goods during this time.