APEDA highlights several flaws in organic product certification process

APEDA highlights several flaws in organic product certification process

Recently the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has highlighted several flaws in the organic product certification process.

  • APEDA has suspended the accreditation of a firm that certifies organic products. APEDA has taken this action because of the violation of national regulations in the certification process.
  • The firm has been found guilty of contraventions such as certifying the product without informing the farmers and use of urea. Also, importing countries like Bangladesh have also made some complaints.
  • Organic certification is a process based certification. It focuses on organic food and other organic agricultural products. It generally consists of a set of production standards for production, storage, processing, packaging and shipping.

These standards include the following:

  • Synthetic chemical inputs and genetically modified (GM) organisms cannot be used.
  • For many years production has been done on agricultural land free from the use of chemicals.
  • It has been made mandatory to keep organic products separate from other non-certified products.
  • In this, the production site is inspected from time to time.

Two schemes of organic product certification have been operated in India:

  • National Organic Production Program (NPOP) – Under this, a third party performs the certification. In this, an accredited organic certification agency certifies agricultural products or processed agricultural products. This certification is done as per national/international standards. Certification is assisted by APEDA.
  • Participation Guarantee Scheme- In this, producers verify each other’s production methods. The scheme is supported by the National Center for Organic Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture.

Source – The Hindu

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