Hankham organics-lettuce growing with weed suppressent mulch.JPG

Sourcing of fresh produce: salad & other greenhouse crops

Sourcing of fresh produce: salad & other greenhouse crops

Given the recent shortage of salad products in the UK, Soil Association Certification licensees certified to Soil Association standards are reminded that organic fresh produce you buy must be grown in the soil, not grown hydroponically.

Hydroponics is an alternative method for growing plants which would naturally grow in the soil. It involves growing the plants with their roots in a nutrient solution, or in an inert medium to which a nutrient solution is added.

Organic regulations in the UK, EU and most other parts of the world do not permit hydroponic production.  However, a few countries do permit hydroponic production of organic crops, or else do not explicitly prohibit it.  Requirement 1.1 of the Soil Association’s  Sourcing Organic Ingredients Annex  details organic fresh produce which may be at risk of being produced hydroponically, including salad and greenhouse products such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers & lettuce imported from or via USA, Republic of Korea or Tunisia.

If you have any questions about this Soil Association sourcing requirement, or are unsure if organic produce you want to import may have been grown hydroponically, please contact equivalence@soilassociation.org or the certification team.