Indian Food Security Authority released unified regulation on organic foods
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During the 19th Organic World Congress the Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh formally launched the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations 2017, along with the ‘Jaivik Bharat’ Logo and “Indian Organic Integrity Database Portal.” As a symbol of authenticity and trust, a common logo for “Organic Foods” was unveiled.
Shri Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI highlighted that "the launch of ‘Jaivik Bharat’ logo will be a game changer in the history of Organic Foods. This initiative will not only help in building consumer confidence in Organic Foods but will also accelerate the growth of Trade and Commerce in Organic Foods both within India and abroad.” (Watch Shri Pawan Agarwal in the video min 1:08)
Indian Organic Integrity Database Portal
The portal would help consumers verify the authenticity of organic foods. The Portal is jointly developed by FSSAI (Food Security Standard Authoriity India) along with APEDA (Export Promotion Authority) and PGS-India (Participatory Guarantee System). Through this Portal, the consumers can access all information with respect to the producer, the certification system and the availability of certified organic products.
Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations 2017
The Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations 2017 covers under its ambit two existing systems of organic certification: the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) of APEDA, Department of Commerce and Participatory Guarantee System for India (PGS-India) of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. The regulation also provides for recognition of other certification systems in the future.
FSSAI is mandated to regulate organic food in the country under the provisions of Section 22 of the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006. The current Regulation is notified under this provision. FSSAI had initiated the development of this regulation about a year ago, through extensive consultations with various stakeholders including related ministries, agencies, NGOs, farmer organizations etc. After which, draft regulation was notified seeking comments from stakeholders and only after taking all inputs into consideration, the current regulation was put together.
Direct sales of organic food are excepted
Under the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017, any foods offered or promoted for sale as Organic Foods are required to comply with all the requirements of NPOP or PGS-India or any other certification system that may be approved by FSSAI in future. However, direct sales of organic food by small farmers, producer or producer organization to the end-consumer is exempt from this requirement. All organic foods under the regulation have to comply with other Regulations of FSSAI as applicable
One single unified logo for organic food
Currently, both systems in operation have separate logos, which would be integrated into a single unified logo for organic food in due course. The unified logo is an identity mark to distinguish organic products from non-organic ones, supported with the tagline “Jaivik Bharat” at the bottom, for easy identification of Organic Food from India. Effectively intertwining elements of the environment, the logo communicates adherence to the National Organic Standards.