Organic regulation changes confirmed
28 June 2012
We have now received confirmation from Defra concerning the EU regulation changes affecting livestock feed and pullets.
The publication of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 505/2012 has been subject to considerable delay. There have been a few changes since the first draft we previously summarised to you and Defra has now issued a guidance document on the changes. There are still some details of how these will be interpreted and implemented within the UK, we have raised these queries with Defra and we invite any queries you may have to add to this discussion.
These published rules came into effect from 16th June, but there will be allowance for the new measures to be implemented. Defra has stressed that measures should be taken to ensure the changes are made as soon as possible. However, they support the sensible use of resources and minimisation of waste; therefore existing packaging that is not fully compliant with the amended wording of the Regulation may be supported by documentation that follows the new requirements. Using up existing stocks of processed feed which comply with the current EU Regulations is also acceptable.
We have also provided the published version of the Regulation as well as the Defra guidance above.
Where the regulation requirements have tightened the Soil Association standards will be amended accordingly with immediate effect. Where there is a relaxing of current rules the Soil Association will consult if the standards should be amended to reflect the regulation change. We will inform you as soon as any amendments are made.
The main areas of change are:
Feed from own holding or from other organic holdings
- The minimum amount of feed produced on the farm unit or regionally for feeding herbivores has increase from 50% to 60%. Soil Association standards already requires 60% from the holding or linked holdings so there will be no change to Soil Association standard requirements
- There is now a requirement for at least 20% of the feed for pigs and poultry to come from the farm unit itself or, if this is not possible, it must be produced in the same region in cooperation with other farms or feed business operators. Defra have already confirmed that they would define a region as a climatic zone that grows similar crop types. For example Northern Europe could be regarded as a climatic region
Use of certain products and substances in feed
Pigs and poultry
- The 5% non-organic allowance has been continued however it is now limited only to protein feeds. This allowance can be calculated annually or over the life of the animal (if it is less than one year) on a dry matter basis of the agricultural ingredients for the calendar years up to and including 2014
- Aquaculture products must be from organic or sustainable fisheries to be used in non-herbivore diets
- Fish hydrolysate is restricted for feeding young animals only
- There is a new allowance in the EU regulation, when organic alternatives are not available, to use non-organic herbs, spices and molasses in up to 1% of the feed ration. This is to be calculated on the annual dry matter of agricultural feed ingredients. This is available for all livestock species
- The restrictions on the use of certain acids as preservatives for silage production have been removed
- Ingredients must be produced and prepared without the use of chemical solvents
Exceptional production rules for the use of non-organic animals
- The exceptional allowance to use non-organically reared pullets for egg production has been extended from 31 December 2011 to 31 December 2014. Other restrictions over the use of non-organic pullets still apply
Scope, use of trade marks and sales descriptions
- To describe a livestock feed as organic on trademarks or sale descriptions 100% of the ingredients of plant or animal origin and at least 95% of the products total dry matter ingredients have to be from organic production methods
- Where a feed contains a proportion of in-conversion or permitted non-organic ingredients or more than 5% of total dry matter is not from organic origin, they can not be described as organic. The statement 'may be used in organic production in accordance with regulations (EC) 834/2007 and (EC) 889/2008' can be used
- The restriction to only supplement bees feed between the last honey harvest and 15 days days before the start of the next nectar or honeydew flow period has been removed. It is still limited to feeding only when the survival of the hives is endangered due to climatic conditions and can only be supplemented with organic honey, organic sugar syrups or organic sugar
If you have any queries on these changes, please do contact your Certification Officer.