Organic product approval process changes
To coincide with the implementation of the new Soil Association Standards for Food & Drink products, we've made some changes to simplify our processes for approval of new products and changes to your suppliers.
Adding new products
In order to add a new product to your certificate, we ask that you submit either a multi ingredient product specification (MIPS) or single ingredient product specification (SIPS) and a draft label, so that we can check the product meets the standards requirements for composition (section 6.3) and labelling (section 5.8). If we require any additional information about non GM status of any ingredients or processing aids, we'll also request this as part of the approval.
Making changes to existing products
If you're changing a supplier of an organic agricultural ingredient, we no longer require you to notify us or submit a revised product specification, provided that you verify your new supplier has valid certification in place. You can refer to our online guidance for checking your suppliers’ certificates, and if required, contact your Certification Officer with any queries about whether a supplier can be used.
However, please do continue to submit any updated MIPS or SIPS if you're making changes to the following:
- The overall composition of the product (%s of ingredients)
- The ingredients/processing aids themselves
- Suppliers of additives, processing aids or natural flavours
- Suppliers of ingredients where the Soil Association standards have requirements in addition to the European Comission organic regulations*
You must also send any revised artwork for approval prior to printing.
We hope that this change to approvals of suppliers and the improvement of the available guidance will be of benefit to our licensees. As a result, there's no longer a requirement for you to maintain a record of suppliers we have approved, and we will no longer issue information schedules for this purpose.
If you'd like guidance or a template for recording the checks of your suppliers certificates, please refer to our online guidance or contact us with any queries.
*If your supplier is not certified to Soil Association’s organic standards, we will need to make some additional checks on certain products/ingredients. These are mainly livestock products, but there are also some requirements for organic additives and alcoholic drinks. More details can be found in the annex to the SA standards ‘Sourcing Organic Ingredients’.