Organic Standards Review
Organic standards review
The Soil Association has recently completed a review of our organic standards to ensure they are as straightforward, transparent and clear as possible for our licensees to use and for the public to understand. And, most importantly, that what we ask our licensees to do makes a big difference to our natural world, the quality of life for farm animals and the organic food we eat.
Our organic standards require farmers, growers and manufacturers to produce food to the highest standards. Our review has checked and strengthened the evidence underpinning our standards, required us to be clear in every case about the impact they achieve, simplified how they are presented and provided practical guidance.
We have brought some standards into line with the current EU organic regulation where the regulation has improved, or other legislation, scientific evidence or good practice has developed. We hope that by ‘harmonising’ these standards we will make certification more straightforward.
When Will The New Standards Be Launched?
We are launching the updated standards in two phases.
In the first phase we will implement the harmonised standards with licensees in April, so they can benefit from clearer requirements as soon as possible.
We will launch our fully updated standards in a second phase later this year. This is because we are holding discussions with stakeholders across the farming and organic sector about the part these standards can play in the UK in future, as Government looks into options outside of the EU organic regulation.
We think that our updated standards are the right standards for organic farming and food in the UK. They are backed up by rigorous evidence and wide consultation. We have a strong mandate from the public, farmers and the food industry, who have helped shape the updated standards and the vision for what they can achieve for the environment, animals and people.
We will announce our updated standards to licensees as soon as we are able, through the usual channels of Certification Updates and our website. A suitable lead-in period will be put in place to enable licensees to adapt to any changes.