IFOAM: International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
Organic for the Twenty-first century. From IFOAM. http://www.ifoam.org/about_ifoam/standards/norms.html
Certification is the formal and documented procedure by which a third party assures that the organic standards are followed. Certification leads to consumers’ trust in the organic production system and the products. Certification gives organic farming a distinct identity and credibility and makes market access easier.
Gives credibility to organic produce, closely linked to local and alternative marketing approaches like food clearinghouse markets, entry-level industry, restaurants, schools, whole food retailers, local coop shelves, houses.. If you are certified organic and looking for a value-added market, find: http://www.organicallianceinc.com/
IFOAM’s Organic Guarantee System (OGS) is designed to facilitate the development of organic standards for the farm level and an internal control system worldwide to provide an international guarantee of these practices for organic certification.
Since conventional bulk agriculture’s quality is decidedly low, we have to align ourselves to higher standards, be the better person with your farm. This may mean that you have to make a concession to nature. Do it! Design instead of control. Be flexible. If you follow these practices, you will not only have a much healthier farm for you and your kids, but qualify for IFOAM and USDA certification.
The IFOAM Norms
The IFOAM Standard covers the areas of general organic management, crop production
(including plant breeding), animal production (including beekeeping), aquaculture, wild
collection, food processing and handling, labeling, and social justice.
1. Organic farming benefits the quality of ecosystems.
a. Organic farming methods conserve and grow soil, maintain water quality and
use water efficiently and responsibly.
a. Genetic engineering and nanotechnology are excluded from organic
production … This shall include animals, seed, propagation material, and farm
inputs such as fertilizers, soil conditioners, or crop protection materials, but
shall exclude vaccines.
b. Moreover not DERIVED FROM gmo's, making sure they are not GMO
3. The length of the conversion period shall be at least:
a. - 24 months before sowing or planting in the case of annual production
b. - 24 months before grazing or harvest for pastures and meadows
c. - 36 months before harvest for other perennials
d. A period of at least 36 months from the last date of application of any prohibited input.
4. Crop rotations for annual crops shall be established.
a. For orchards and plantations, there shall be managed floor cover and/or
diversity or refuge plantings.
5. Soil Fertility
a. 4.4.1 Soil organic matter, microbial activity and general soil health and
fertility shall be maintained or improved. The operator shall prevent
accumulation of heavy metals and other pollutants in the soils.
b. 4.4.2 Material of microbial, plant or animal origin shall form the basis of the
c. 4.4.3 Nutrients and fertility products shall be applied in a way that does not
harm soil, water, and biodiversity.
d. 4.4.4 Material applied to the land or crop shall be in accordance with
1. Modification to the appendix: Only plant, mineral, and animal origin. Like:
e. Manures containing human excrement must not be applied on soil that will be
used to grow crops for human consumption within the next six months.
6. Pest Control
a. 4.5.2 When the measures in 4.5.1 [8 ideal methods including appropriate
species, mulching, mowing, grazing, buffer habitats, mechanical controls..]
are not sufficient, pest, disease and weed management products that are
prepared on the farm from local plants, animals and micro-organisms, or
substances permitted under Appendix 3, may be used, provided that they do
not jeopardize the ecosystem or the quality of organic products.
b. 4.5.3 Physical methods for pest, disease and weed management are
permitted, including the application of heat. [Thermal sterilization of soils is
7. General Principle: Contamination. All relevant measures are taken to ensure
that organic soil and food are protected from contamination.
8. Organic plant breeding: Organic plant breeders may obtain plant variety
protection, but organic varieties should not be patented. They must disclose their
techniques, in which genetic modification is prohibited.
9. Animals: Landless animal husbandry systems are prohibited. [NUFF SAID!]
a. Animal origin general principle: Organic animals are born and raised on
organic holdings. Animals shall be raised organically from birth.
b. Animals shall be fed organic feed.
10. Bees, aquaculture... 5.9 – 6.7.5
Organic processing and handling:
a) Organic processed products are made from organic ingredients.
b) Fiber: Substances may be allowed in organic textile processing only if they are
biodegradable, generally recognized as safe and hypoallergenic.
c) Organic product packaging has minimal adverse impacts on the product and on the
IFOAM Norm Standards, Democratically and internationally adopted, they reflect the current state of organic production and processing methods. These standards should be seen as a statement, and also as a work in progress. While compliant with the USDA NOP, they are much better than the USDA. (who have 11 people working on it, and have imposed a tyranny of bureaucratic stress on the organic movement.)
Organic for the Twenty-first century. http://www.ifoam.org/about_ifoam/standards/norms.html
on EddieMill.wordpress: https://eddiemill.wordpress.com/