OORGANICALLY PRODUCED FOODS:
Food labeling is the primary means of communication between the producer and seller of food on one hand, and the purchaser and consumer on the other. In addition to the general recommendations. The codex committee of food labeling also provides guidance for certain claims commonly found in the market in order to provide clear information to the consumer.
The codex committee on food labeling developed the guidelines for the production, processing, labeling and marketing of organically produced food in view of the growing production and international trade I organically produced food with a view to facilitating trade and preventing misleading claims. The guideline are intended of facilitate the harmonization of requirements for organic products at the international level, and may also provide assistance to governments wishing to establish national regulations in this area.
The guidelines include sections describing the organic production concept and the scope of the text; description and definitions, labeling and claims (including products in transition/conversion) rules. Of production and preparation, including criteria for the substances allowed in organic production , inspection and certification systems; and import control.
The codex alimentatius commission adopted the guidelines for the production, processing, labeling and marketing of organically produced foods at it 23rd session in 1999, with the exception of the provisions for live stock and livestock products that were adopted at its 24th session in 2001.
The codex alimentrius commission adopted the revised section 5. Requirements for inclusion of substances and criteria for the development of lists of substances.
GUIDELINES FOR THE PRODUCTION, PROCESSING,
LABELLING AND MARKTING OF ORGANICALLY
1. These guidelines have been prepared for the purpose of providing an agreed approach to the requirements which underpin production of and the labeling and claims for , organically produced foods.
2. The aims of these guidelines are:
3. These guidelines are at this stage a first step into official international harmonization of the requirements for organic products in terms of production and marketing standards, inspection arrangements and labeling requirements. In this area the experience with the development of such requirements and their implementation is still very limited. Moreover, consumer perception on the organic production method may, in certain detailed but important provision, differ from region to region in the world. Therefore the following is recognized at this stage:
4. These guidelines set out the principles of organic production at farm, preparation, storage, transport, labeling and ,marketing stages, and provides and indication of accepted permitted inputs for soil fertilizing and conditioning, plant pest and disease control and , food additives and processing aides. For labeling purposes, the use of terms inferring that organic production methods have been used are restricted to products derived from operators under the supervision of a certification body or authority.
5. Organic agriculture is one among the broad spectrum of methodologies which are supportive of the environment. Organic production systems are based on specific and precise standards of production systems are bases on specific and precise standers of production which aim at achieving optimal agro ecosystems which are socially, ecologically and economically sustainable. Terms such as “biological” and “ecological” are also I, lsed in an effort to describe the organic system more clearly. Requirements for organically produced foods differ form those for other agricultural products in that production procedures are an intrinsic part of the identification and labeling of , and claim for such products.
6. “Organic” is a labeling term that denotes products that have been produced in accordance with organic, production standards and certified by a duly constituted certification body or authority. Organic agriculture is based on minimizing the use of external inputs. Avoiding the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues, due to general environmental pollution. However, methods are used tomininmize pollution of air, soil and water organic food handlers. Processors and retailers adhere to standards to maintain the integrity of organic agriculture products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants animals and people.
7. Organic agriculture is a holistic production management system which promotes and enhances agro ecosystem health including biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity. It emphasizes the use of management practices in preference to the use of off-farm inputs, taking into account that regional conditions require locally adapted systems. This is accomplished by using where possible, cultural, biological and mechanical methods, as opposed to using synthetic materials, to fulfill any specific function within the system. An organic production system is designed to:
8. The concept of close contact between the consumer and the producer is long established practice. Greater market demand, the increasing economic interests in production and the increasing distance between producer and consumer has stimulated the introduction of external control and certification procedures.
9. an integral component of certification is the inspection of the organic management system. Procedures for operator certification are based primarily on a yearly description of the agricultural enterprise as prepared by the operator in cooperation with the inspection body . likewise, at the processing level, standards are also developed against which the processing operations and plant conditions can be inspected and verified. Where inspection process is undertaken by the certification body or authority, there must be clear separation of the inspection and certification function. In order to maintain their integrity certification bodies or authorities which certify the procedures of the operator should, be independent of economic interests with regard to the c certification of operators.
10. Apart from a small portion of agricultural commodities marketed directly form the farm consumers, most products and find their way to consumers via established trade channels. To minimize deceptive practices in the market place, specific measures are/necessary to ensure that trade and processing enterprise can be audited effectively, therefore, the regulation of a process, tether than a final product, demands responsible action by all involved parties.
11.Import requirements should be based on the principles of equivalency and transparency as set out in the principles for food import and export inspection and certification,’ in,/accepting imports of organic products, countries would usually assess the inspection and certification procedures and the standards applied in the exporting country.
12. Rrecognizing that organic production systems continue to evolve and that organic principles and standers will continue to be developed under these guidelines, the codex committee on food labeling (CCFI) shall review these guidelines on a regular-basis. The CCFI shall imitate this review process by inviting member governments and international organizations to make proposals to the CCFI regarding amendments to these guidelines prior to each CCFI meeting .