Do you prosecute businesses that break the rules?
We take fraudulent organic claims extremely seriously, and can revoke a license from our licensees. However, as a certification body, we do not have the means to prosecute.
For businesses that are not certified by the Soil Association prosecution is a matter for Trading Standards. The tougher the policing by trading standards and environmental health officers, the better it will be for consumers and for genuine organic farmers.
Of course, attempts at fraud are possible in any area and we advise consumers to continue to buy organic products clearly labelled with the Soil Association symbol or labelled as UK5 (GB-ORG-05 from 2012).
On stalls and in shops where loose organic produce is being sold, shoppers should look out for a certificate on display. If a market stall has no certificate on display or products in any shop are not labelled with a certifier's approved symbol, we would advise shoppers to ask the person selling the food how he or she can be sure that it really is organic and to report any concerns to their local trading standards office.