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Changes to the handling of producer permission requests

Producer permission requests changes

Over the past few months we have been required by Defra to introduce some changes to the way we process requests:

  • to bring in up to 40% non-organic breeding females,
  • bring in non-organic poultry,
  • the renewal or reconstitution of a herd or flock and,
  • the use of synthetic vitamins A, D & E for herbivores,
  • the use of non-organic vegetative propagating material.

We also need to start reporting on certain management practices including, disbudding, de-horning and tail docking.

Until recently, such requests were reviewed by us and where they met the required criteria we were able to grant approval.  Defra are now required to authorise these requests themselves. We have tried to make this process as simple as possible for you and we will submit these requests to Defra on your behalf.

Below we have outlined the changes in more detail and included the criteria by which Defra will be assessing each of the requests:

Bringing in non-organic breeding females by up to 40% of the existing herd or flock size

You will need to confirm that suitable organic livestock are not available and that you meet one of the following criteria;

  •  there is a major extension to the farm or
  •  the breed is being changed or
  •  a new livestock specialisation is initiated

The replacement animals must not have previously given birth (unless registered as a rare breed). Please note that we are still able to approve requests to bring in up to 10% non-organic replacement cattle and up to 20% non-organic sheep, goats, pigs and deer, only where the level exceeds this will it need to be referred to Defra.
Bringing in non-organic poultry In line with this new requirement, the following requests will now need prior authorisation from Defra:

  • Bringing in non-organic table chicks under 3 days old
  • Bringing in non-organic laying chicks under 3 days old
  • Bringing in non-organic point of lay pullets under 18 weeks old (reared to full organic feed and vet standards from day old)

We have produced a form which contains the information we require, a copy of this is located on our website. We are also able to complete this with information you provide over the phone.

Renewal or reconstitution of a herd or flock with non-organic animals as a result of high mortality caused by health or catastrophic circumstances: You will need to provide details of the level and cause of high mortality.

Use of synthetic vitamins A, D or E as feed additives for ruminant: Defra will require justification for the use of synthetic vitamins A, D and E, including the reasons why the livestock are unable to obtain the necessary vitamins through their feed rations. Disbudding, de-horning and tail docking We are required to demonstrate to Defra that requests for the management practises listed above are completed for the reasons of safety or to improve health, welfare and hygiene. We will review the use of these practices at your annual inspection and request that you provide justification where they are being carried out. This justification can be provided in a checklist which will be part of your annual questionnaire.

The use of vegetative propagating material for organic crop production:

If you need to use non-organic vegetative propagating material for any of your organic crop production you will need to confirm that organic material is not available. We will collect this information in an annual check list which will be part of your annual questionnaire.

All the above changes will not affect what information you provide to us and we will try to minimise the impact to you wherever we can. In most cases you will be able to provide the information we need for Defra over the telephone. Defra have assured us that they will process these requests promptly, but we would recommend contacting us in advance of needing approval to allow time from Defra to process these.

If you have any questions about these changes and how they will affect you please contact your Certification Officer.