What is Organic Certification?
Thinking about organic certification for your business?
As the UK's largest certification body and with over 70 years experience in organic farming, Soil Association Certification has a wealth of knowledge and expertise to offer to our licensees. The organic market is stronger than ever, and with the government voicing their commitment to protecting the environment and prioritising soil health, now is a great time to go organic.
We cater to any size of business, from large-scale arable to direct-sales horticulture, and offer some of the best deals to those entering conversion, along with a bespoke business support package. Get in touch to discuss how organic certification could work for your farm.
Funding for farmers for organic conversion and maintenance
The government offers funding to support farmers to convert and farm organically.
If you're looking to find out more about Countryside Stewardship funding opportunities in England, click here, or find out more about the 2019 funding windows in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland here.
Please note, the England deadline to request a Mid Tier application pack from Countryside Stewardship is 31st May (application submission deadline is 31st July). This must be done via Rural Payments and you can find instructions here.
Do I need organic certification?
If you want your farm, or the products you make, store or sell, to be labelled organic you must hold a legal certificate of registration for that product from an organic certifier. Any product sold as ‘organic’ in the EU has to comply with a set of standards. With the market for organic seeing strong, healthy growth there are good opportunities for farmers looking to supply this growing market.
What do organic standards cover?
Organic standards look at all aspects of organic food production, manufacturing, storage and sales. They consider everything from packaging to animal welfare and wildlife conservation and ban unnecessary and harmful food additives in organic processed foods.
Once you've decided organic certification is a good move for your business. The next step is to apply for the scheme(s) that are right for you. For most of our schemes, it takes between 6 and 12 weeks to get certified.
Our expert certification team can help you with this every step of the way, to make the application process as quick and simple as possible. When you become certified, our team will inspect your farm, factory or business to make sure you comply with the standards. We’ll then issue you with a license and once certified, you’ll be able to take advantage of our exclusive business support package.
Find out everything you need to know about applying for organic certificationApply Now
Opportunities in Organic Arable: A conversion webinar for farmers
The market for organic cereals is growing, providing economic opportunities for farmers considering organic conversion. In partnership with Savills, this Soil Association Certification webinar highlights the principles and practicalities of organic arable production, current economic opportunities and the application, conversion and certification process.
Topics covered include:
- The market opportunities in organic arable
- The principalities and practicalities of organic arable farming
- Organic conversion and certification
Why Certify with Soil Association Certification?
Soil Association Certification is the UK's leading organic certification body with over 70 years' experience in organic farming. We offer a package of practical, expert support including combined inspections, free marketing materials and regular technical communications and industry reports. We actively work to grow the organic market and can provide exclusive access to new routes to market.
What we offer:
- Practical and efficient support from a personal certification officer who understands your business and represents your sector
- Technical support from our dedicated and experienced farming support team, who are experts in organic farming
- Combined inspections and access to the local abattoir and butcher scheme
- Regular technical communications and industry reports, including a free copy of the annual Organic Market Report - an industry recognised publication worth £100
- Discounts on our ground-breaking farming programmes and access to exclusive training and learning opportunities - be first to hear about events, workshops and programmes, such as Innovative Farmers
- We help you sell organic - we're the only certification body that can provide exclusive access to new routes to market to sell your products through our schemes, events and partners; we also offer licensees exclusive, free membership to our Food for Life Supplier Scheme, allowing you to reach over 200 caterers serving +10K sites
- Be part of our award winning marketing campaigns, such as Organic September and the BOOM Awards - benefit from our free marketing materials and PR support to help you communicate the benefits of organic to your customers
- Have your voice heard, as we campaign for farmers on policy across the UK and EU
Combine your inspection with other schemes
We offer a range of additional services to help you save time, keep costs down and avoid duplication, these are offered in combination with your annual organic inspection and cover:
- Farm assurance
A comprehensive range of industry approved farm assurance schemes including Red Tractor wherever you are in the UK
- Feed Materials Assurance Scheme (FEMAS)
Which assures the safety of feed materials entering the livestock food chain
- Farmers' retail & markets association (FARMA)
A co-operative of farmers, producers selling on a local scale, and farmers' markets organisers.
- Farm assurance
We certify a range of international schemes
To help you reach new and developing markets, we also offer certification to international organic standards:
- National Organic Programme (NOP)
For businesses exporting organic products to the USA
- Canadian Organic Regulations (COR)
For business in the UK and abroad, exporting goods to Canada and North America
- Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS)
Inspection services for companies exporting goods to Japan.
- Bio Suisse Certification
Inspection services for companies wishing to obtain Bioswiss Certification
- Chinese Organic Standard GB/T19630.1-2011 for organic products and production
- Chinese Organic Standard GB/T 19630.2-2011 for organic processed products (Facilitation services for companies wishing to access the Chinese market.)
- National Organic Programme (NOP)