How are Organic Standards Set?
How do we set standards?
We don’t just make them up! Soil Association higher standards are set and overseen by external committees of experts.
Standards committees are made up of our members and certification licensees, researchers, advisors, other experts in their field and consumer representatives. Each standards committee has an independent chair who is responsible for ensuring the committee membership is balanced, reflecting the challenges of the sector and the priorities for standards development.
Standards committees provide the technical expertise and report into Standards Board, which oversees the strategic direction of our standards. Standards Board is made up of the chairs of all of our standards committees, a grower representative and three lay members.
The lay members represent the consumer perspective and help to ensure our standards reflect our principles but are also practical and achievable. Over one hundred volunteers are involved in setting our standards and we are very grateful for the work they do.
Anyone can propose a change to any of our standards. Proposals are considered by the relevant independent standards committee, and if they agree a change has merit they ask us to run a public consultation. Feedback is then considered and a final recommendation is made to Standards Board. Our Board of Trustees has final sign-off on all of our standards before publication.