Business

Organic Certification process in Epoch Products

 

On 1 January 2009 new EU regulations went into effect for the production, control and labeling of organic products. Organic certification addresses a growing worldwide demand for organic food. It is intended to assure quality and prevent fraud, and to promote commerce.

Behind the label P.D.O organic extra virgin olive oil or organic Kalamom olives you will find, besides the impeccable and pure taste, an entire certification process that ensures that you are buying products grown and manufactured under the strictest regulations.

Organic Certification is an internationally recognized set of standards aimed at proving that agricultural and food products have been produced with emphasis on the protection of soil and water, the enhancement of biodiversity and the responsible use of energy and natural resources. 

Important principles for the processing of organic products include the:

  • Strict restriction of which additives and processing aids can be used

  • Strict restriction of chemically synthesised inputs

  • Prohibition of the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

The requirements of the new EU Organic Farming Regulation include:

  • Producing goods mainly from ingredients of organic agricultural origin

  • Using only non-organic agricultural ingredients authorised by the Commission or EU Member States

  • Using only a very limited number of additives or processing aids, which are authorised, under certain conditions, by the Commission

  • Prohibiting artificial flavourings and colorants

  • Ensuring organic and non-organic food ingredients are stored, handled and processed separately at all times

Certification Methods

Before operators can start farming organically or manufacturing organic products they must:

  • Apply to an organic inspection body or authority in their Member State.

  • Their premises and production methods have to be inspected and acknowledged by the inspection body or authority.

  • Organic farms also have to undergo a conversion period, before they can sell their products as organic. A conventional farm must adhere to organic standards for this period, often two to three years. This is known as being in transition.

  • For first-time farm certification, the soil must meet basic requirements of being free from use of prohibited substances (synthetic chemicals, etc.) for a number of years (2-3)

  • On-going annual inspections as well as non-programmed inspections to ensure consistent alignment with the standards.

In Greece, organic certification is available from eight (8) organizations approved by EU. 

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