Organic certification EC petition for modern farming techniques

Organic certification EC petition for modern farming techniques

There a are of things that must change within the EUROPEAN COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 889/2008 to better define the term “soil”.

Organic farming suffers from some limiting descriptions in what being organic is compared to what it should be. This is the case throughout the world with each country setting its own criteria on organic certification most of which has not yet recognised Aquaponics because it generally does not use “soil” as defined by the regulators.

One of our readers from the EU sent in a petition to start to make some changes to the description of what is a soil. Here is Frank’s suggested changes to what should be considered soil.

“Organic Certification is limited by the vague word “soil” as a “conditio sine qua non” (A description of a requisite or condition that is indispensable), for which there is not even a firm legal definition: any “soil”, even one soaked with agricultural chemicals is, after one or two years, considered good enough for Organic Produce. We suggest to replace this word with the term “Organic Soil”.

We suggest a definition for “Organic Soil” which could be even more stringent, but also allows for innovative techniques (i.e. aquaponics, vermiponics, etc … ): All substrates consisting of materials only of natural origin (sand, dust, stone, rock, clay, chalk, etc…) and their man made derivatives (i.e. perlite , vermiculite, etc … – already accepted in Organic Farming), fertilised by nutrients only of natural origin (i.e. manure, decaying plants, compost, etc …), so that they develop a healthy natural environment for bacteria, insects and invertebrates, of which the composition is recorded, can be certified as Organic Soil.”

I think this is a worthwhile and valid addition to organic growers to allow them to use other natural substrates, like we do in aquaponics, to grow plants with the inclusion of natural fertiliser sources such as fish. So that aquaponic farmers can receive Aquaponics Organic Certification.

In the EU the Commission has opened the organic certification for public comment and consultation. You can find out more about that here.

More importantly, Frank has posted a public petition which takes a few minutes to sign online. You can find it here. Regardless where you hale from, signing this will go a long way to helping aquaponic farmers gain some much needed organic recognition. Thank you Frank.

Credit to: Paul Van der Werf