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Update to Soil Association Standards - April 2020

Update to Soil Association Standards - April 2020

The Soil Association Standards have been updated to version 18.4. These changes are part of planned updates for 2020 and mostly relate to sourcing requirements in supply chains which involve long-term planning. We do not expect any immediate impact on licensee activity, as we understand that these are very uncertain times for us all, and hope you're all keeping well.

The main changes are a fully revised ‘Sourcing Organic Ingredients Annex’ (version 1.1) that details sourcing requirements for organic ingredients, or products brought in, throughout the supply chain:

  • The format of the Annex has changed to mirror the table style used in the main documents - a table with the sourcing requirement on the left and guidance on the right. Additional sourcing requirements have been included for ingredients/products imported from outside the EU that fall under an EU-equivalence agreement. The guidance states where UK/EU-farmed ingredients/products would automatically meet these requirements.
  • To enable us to verify some of the new sourcing requirements, a new higher standard has been included in the Soil Association Food and Drink Standards - 6.10.2 Meat farmed or slaughtered outside the UK/EU. If you source meat, or other meat derived products, that are farmed or slaughtered outside the UK or EU, you must tell us the country - or countries - where the animals are farmed and slaughtered.
  • The Glossary that accompanies our Standards documents has been updated with a number of new definitions.
  • The Soil Association Farming & Growing Standards and Food & Drink Standards have been updated to include the sourcing symbol next to standards that now have a sourcing requirement.


The Sourcing Organic Ingredients Annex will be reviewed on an annual basis to determine if risks have changed, or if new ways of verification have emerged, that require an update to the sourcing requirements.

In addition, a small number of wording changes have been made to some standards and guidance across all Soil Association Standards documents to provide further clarification for clients. Download a summary of all of the changes in the Soil Association Standards and the EU Equivalent Standards for more information. Please note: these summaries do not include small changes to formatting, spelling and grammar. 
The updated versions of Soil Association Standards and the EU Equivalent Organic Standards are version number 18.4 and 1.4, respectively, and have replaced previous versions on the website. The updated version of the Soil Association sourcing annex is version 1.1.