By P.Gokulakrishnan*, G.Thirumalaisamy, T.Chandrasekar, P.Kanagaraju and P.N.Richard Jagatheesan
The consumer demand for organic milk, eggs, and meat products has flourished in recent years, resulting in rapid growth in retail sales of organic livestock products. Therefore, organic livestock products certification offers business opportunities for producers, processors, and handlers. Organic certification refers to the accredited certification body by way of a scope certificate assured that the production or processing system of the client/farmer has been methodically assessed and confirmed as per the specific standard requirements. The organic certification ensures how livestock products were produced, processed, and handled before it reaches the consumer. The producers, processors, and handlers ensure the integrity of organic products that must be maintained and segregated from synthetic or prohibited materials.
Benefits of Organic Certification
- Certification marks help to recognize the company logo and access local, regional, and international markets.
- It helps in building trust between the person involved in the production, processing, and trading of organic products.
- The organic market currently offers business opportunities due to high consumer demand, less competition, and stable growth in current years.
- A product labeled organic may fetch a higher price in the market.
- National Programme on Organic Production (NPOP)
NPOP comes under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) was officially launched in 2000 and notified under FTDR (Foreign Trade Development & Regulation) Act in the year 2001. The NPOP was conferred equivalency by the European Union (EU) for its regulation on Organic Agriculture EC 2092/91. The NPOP-certified products can have ready access to European markets without the need for separate EU Certification. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has also recognized the accreditation system adopted by India under NPOP.
- “India Organic” Logo
The ‘India Organic’ trademark is granted only upon compliance with the National Standards for Organic Production (NSOP). All exporters, manufacturers, and producers must undergo due inspection and certification by accredited certification bodies to receive the license to use the “India Organic” logo for all organic products. The accredited certification bodies, constituted under the NPOP by the Government of India issue the organic product certificate. The certified product can only be exported as an ‘organic’ if it is produced, processed, packed, and labeled under the “India Organic” certification trademark.
- Participatory Guarantee System for India (PGS-India)
PGS-India means a quality assurance initiative by the Department of Agriculture Co-operation and Farmer‘s Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer‘s Welfare, Government of India for organic production which emphasizes the participation of producers, consumers, and other stakeholders and operates outside the framework of third party certification. PGS India certifies producers based on the active participation of stakeholders and is built on a foundation of trust, social networks, and knowledge exchange. PGS is a process in which people as smallholder producers, inspect and verify the production practices (Organic standards for breeding, nutrition, health) of each other and take a decision on organic certification (PGS-Green and PGS Organic). The Regional Council (RC) finally issues the certificate, and certified products are marketed in the local market.
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
- “Jaivik Bharat” Logo
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) introduced the “Jaivik Bharat” logo, to identify authentic organic food by consumers. As with the “India Organic” logo, all products that have the “Jaivik Bharat” logo, stick to specific organic production standards within the country. According to Section 22 of the Food Safety Standards Act, 2006, the FSSAI is authorized to regulate organic products in India.
The FSSAI in association with the APEDA and PGS-India of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has developed an online portal (https://jaivikbharat.fssai.gov.in), an India organic integrity database, to help customers acquire information on organic food standards, certification processes, information relating to food business operators, their products and the geographical areas in which they are available. Food products that are under organic conversion and stand the PGS- India Green logo are not eligible for certification under FSSAI. Every food business operator must register themselves with the Registering Authority, to acquire a license for food import and clearance of imported food by the Food Authority.
In recent years, the consumption of organic livestock products increased among consumers and thus made a huge demand for their production. The production of organic livestock products has certain financial crises, however, it can be overwhelmed with support from the Indian government under various schemes for farmers who are adopting organic farming. Organic livestock products that are produced by the farmers can be exported to foreign countries with certification marks such as “India Organic” and “Jaivik Bharat”. It helps the consumers to identify the products that are produced/ processed/ manufactured by adhering to above mentioned national standards.
Livestock Farm Complex, Veterinary College and Research Institute, Theni-625 602.
Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS).
*Corresponding author: email@example.com
#References are made available upon request.