Organic standards are the rules and regulations that define how an organic product must be made. Organic standards for food are laid down in European Union (EU) law. Anything labelled 'organic' that is for human consumption must meet these standards as a minimum. The standards cover all aspects of food production, from animal welfare and wildlife conservation, to food processing, to packaging.
Organic standards ensure that you can be certain that you are buying a genuine organic product that has been produced in line with our principles. Imported organic foods must have been produced and inspected to equivalent standards. There must also be full traceability of organic ingredients back to the farmer.
There a number of different certification bodies in the UK which carry out the inspections and paperwork to ensure that the standards are being met. The Soil Association is one of only a very few of these bodies that have chosen to set standards that are higher than the EU minimum in several areas such as GM, animal welfare and nature conservation. We have also developed standards for areas not covered by government or EU regulations. These include fish farming, textiles and health and beauty care products.