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Soil Association Organic
The Soil Association is the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use., It is the only UK charity working across a spectrum of human health, the environment and animal welfare.
The Soil Association, its standards and activities, and the practice of organic farmers are all based on a set of internationally recognised principles. These principles are the roots from which organic agriculture grows and develops.
How they work
- All organic farms and food companies are thoroughly inspected at least once a year. They also need robust systems in place and paperwork that shows the standards are being met the rest of the time.
- Once organic farms are certified as meeting strict organic standards, they are issued with a certificate and a trading schedule. This lists all the crops; livestock or products they are certified to trade as organic. This certificate acts like a passport and is necessary to prove the organic status of the goods when they are sold on.
- When products are imported from countries outside of the EU, they not only have to be accompanied by an organic certificate, but they also need a Certificate of Import. This verifies the product is produced to organic standards equivalent to those in the EU.
- To ensure that organic certification is carried out consistently, the inspectors themselves are inspected every year. Checks are made by accreditation bodies such as UKAS and UK certification bodies are required to regularly report to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Soil Association organic standards are among the best in the world
This is how organic certification works the world over. The Soil Association has one of the most rigorous and transparent certification processes in the world to attain certification.
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