Update on the Ukraine Crisis - derogations and support for the sector
We are aware of the pressures that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is having on organic supply chains and organic ingredient availability.
Following extensive consultation with organic businesses and Defra, we can announce support that will be available to the sector in the case that organic ingredients and feed are not available due to the conflict.
Derogations & Support
Defra and the Northern Ireland Competent authority (NICA) have confirmed that if the Russian invasion of Ukraine leads to insufficient supplies of feed for organic livestock in the UK, they are able to issue derogations to use non-organic ingredients. This is due to a provision in the organic regulations allowing a derogation when catastrophic circumstances risk the continuation of organic production.
Any derogation will have to be approved by Defra or NICA and be based on evidence of need. They will be allocated to individual operators or all operators in a designated area and will be time limited. It is likely to be limited to certain types of ingredients and certain livestock categories which may be particularly dependent on some imported feed ingredients. It may also be limited to a maximum % of the total feed.
Both NICA and Defra are keen to have as much information as possible about the supply of organic feed and organic feed ingredients in GB and Northern Ireland so that they can make informed decisions when they are approached about issuing derogations.
If you have any information about supply difficulties or if you are having problems with sourcing feed for your livestock, please contact your certification officer so we can collate the information to pass onto Defra and NICA.
Current organic product availability
On Wednesday 30th March, Soil Association chaired an organic feed stakeholder group meeting with key feed manufacturers, agri-food businesses, control bodies and DEFRA which provided a further insight into organic feed stocks and availability.
Although feed manufacturers confirmed that stocks of feed are currently available until July, there is uncertainty about the availability of medium to long term supply which will depend on harvest prospects in Ukraine and supply chain sourcing from other countries. Although stocks are currently available, we’re aware that the organic feed market is challenging and the impact of rising feed and ingredient prices is a concern to many organic businesses; particularly those operating in the sectors of organic pigs, poultry and dairy.
We are committed to supporting the sector throughout this difficult time and we will continue to work closely with Defra and organic businesses as the situation develops to find solutions and share insights. Soil Association are chairing a further organic feed stakeholder meeting in May where Defra will be able to provide more information on the derogation process, should supply be disrupted.
We encourage you to reach out to us during this time, if you have any questions or would like to talk anything through. You can do this directly through your normal point of contact, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ingredient shortages for food products
We are also aware that there are concerns over the supplies of food ingredients, such as sunflower oil, as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
If you have any concerns about ingredient supply or what changes are needed if you have to reformulate your products as a result of being unable to source certain ingredients, please contact email@example.com.