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Changes to the organic regulation for producer licensees

Organic regulation changes for producers

There have been a number of amendments to the organic regulation published recently. The amendments published in implementing regulation 2018/1584 will come into force on Monday 12th November 2018.

The changes affect pig and poultry producers, crop production, beekeeping, shrimp production, and how irregularities and infringements are reported to the commission and other member states.

Soil Association Standards will be amended to reflect all of these changes. Check our website to ensure you have the current version of the standards.

The detail of the changes are listed below, but if you have any queries, please contact your Certification Officer.

 

Amendments to the organic regulation affecting organic crop production

There have been some recent amendments to the organic regulation concerning the production rules for organic crops and allowing additional fertilisers and crop protection products to be used.

The following amendments have been made to organic regulation 889/2008:

Annex I, which lists fertilisers, soil conditioners and nutrients that can be used when the nutritional needs of plants that cannot be met by other organic management practices, has been amended to include:

  • Xylite, only if obtained as a by-product of mining activities (e.g. by-product of brown coal mining)
  • Industrial lime from sugar cane production has been added to the already permitted lime from sugarbeet production

 

Annex II, which lists plant protection products that can be used when plants cannot be adequately protected by other organic management practices, has been amended to include:

  • Allium sativum (aka. garlic extract)
  • COS-OGA
  • Salix spp. Cortex (aka. willow bark extract)
  • Sodium hydrogen carbonate (aka. sodium bicarbonate)

 

Amendments to the organic regulation affecting organic poultry producers

There has been a recent amendment to the organic regulation concerning the extension to two exceptional production rules for organic poultry, with regard to an allowance to feed up to 5% non-organic protein ingredients, and the use of non-organic pullets in the absence of organic alternatives. These allowances have been extended until 31st December 2020.

Article 42(b) of 889/2008 gave provision to allow the use of non-organic pullets for egg production - not more than 18 weeks old - when organically reared pullets are not available. This allowance was due to expire on 31 December 2018, but has now been extended to 31 December 2020.

Please be aware that under this provision, you must still demonstrate that there are no organic pullets available and have prior permission to use non-organic pullets, approved by Defra, before they can be brought onto the organic holding.

In Article 43 of 889/2008, the second subparagraph is replaced by the following:

‘The maximum percentage of non-organic protein feed authorised per period of 12 months for those species shall be 5% for calendar years 2018, 2019 and 2020.’

 

Amendments to the organic regulation affecting organic pig producers

There has been a recent amendment to the organic regulation concerning the extension to the exceptional production rule for organic pigs, with regard to an allowance to feed up to 5% non-organic protein ingredients when organic alternatives are not available. These allowances have been extended until 31 December 2020.

In Article 43 of 889/2008, the second subparagraph is replaced by the following:

‘The maximum percentage of non-organic protein feed authorised per period of 12 months for those species shall be 5% for calendar years 2018, 2019 and 2020.’

 

Amendments to the organic regulation affecting organic beekeeping

There has been a recent amendment to the organic regulation concerning the production rules for organic beekeeping. Sodium hydroxide can now be used for the cleaning and disinfection of frames, hives and combs for the prevention of disease in organic beekeeping.

Article 25, paragraph 1 of 889/2008 is replaced by the following:

‘1. For the purpose of cleaning and disinfection of frames, hives and combs, sodium hydroxide may be used.

For the purpose of protecting frames, hives and combs, in particular from pests, only rodenticides (to be used only in traps), and appropriate products listed in Annex II, are permitted.’

 

Amendments to the organic regulation affecting aquaculture licensees (shrimp production)

There has been a recent amendment to the organic regulation concerning the organic production rules for organic shrimp and freshwater prawns that now allows forms of cholesterol to be added to their diet.

Article 25 (3), point(b) in 889/2008 has been replaced by the following:

‘(b) the feed ration of penaeid shrimps and freshwater prawns (Macrobrachium spp.) referred to in Section 7 of Annex XIIIa may comprise a maximum of 25 % fishmeal and 10 % fish oil derived from sustainable fisheries. In order to secure the quantitative dietary needs of those shrimps and prawns, organic cholesterol may be used to supplement their diets. Where organic cholesterol is not available, non-organic cholesterol derived from wool, shellfish or other sources may be used. The option to supplement their diet with cholesterol applies both in the grow-out stage and in earlier life stages in nurseries and hatcheries.’;

  

Amendments to the organic regulation concerning the electronic notification of irregularities and infringements to other member states and the commission

There have been some recent amendments to the organic regulation requiring that, where a product has been found to be affected by an irregularity or infringement that may have implications for other European countries, details will have to be made available to other member states and the commission via the appropriate website, allowing electronic exchanges of information.

In Article 92a, of 889/2008, the following paragraph 1a is inserted:

‘1a.Where a Member State finds irregularities or infringements relating to the application of this Regulation with regard to a product coming from that Member State and bearing indications as referred to in Title IV of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 and in Title III of this Regulation or in Annex XI to this Regulation, and if such irregularities or infringements have implications for one or more other Member States, it shall notify the Member State or States concerned, the other Member States and the Commission without delay via the system referred to in Article 94(1) of this Regulation.