• During 2001, Ministry of Commerce and Industry under Government of India launched the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) as first such quality assurance initiative for Organic products in India.
• The term “organic” refers to the process of how certain foods are produced.
• Organic foods have been grown or farmed without the use of artificial chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or genetically modified organisms.
• In order to be labelled organic, a food product must be free of artificial food additives.
• The Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is the implementation agency for the NPOP.
• The programme involves the accreditation of Certification Bodies, standards for organic production, promotion of organic farming and marketing etc.
• NPOP grants organic farming certification through a process of third party certification. Products that meet NPOP standards can have India Organics label printed on them.
• During 2004 the NPOP was brought under the ambit of Foreign Trade Development and Regulation (FTDR) Act wherein it was mandated that no organic products can be exported unless they are certified under National Programme for Organic Production.
Objectives of the NPOP
• To provide the means of evaluation of certification programme for organic agriculture and products as per the approved criteria.
• To accredit certification programmes of Certification Bodies seeking accreditation.
• To facilitate the certification of organic products in conformity with the prescribed standards.
• To facilitate certification of organic products in conformity with the importing countries organic standards as per equivalence agreement between the two countries or as per importing country requirements.
• To encourage the development of organic farming and organic processing.
A product can be labelled as Organic if
• In case of single ingredient product where all requirements been met as per the specified standards can be labelled as ‘Organic’.
• In case of multi ingredient product where min. 95% of ingredients are of certified origin, can be labelled as ‘Certified Organic’.
International Recognition to India Organics
• The National Programme for Organic Production standards for production and accreditation system have been recognized by European Commission and Switzerland for unprocessed plant products as equivalent to their country standards.
• Similarly, USDA has recognized National Programme for Organic Production conformity assessment procedures of accreditation as equivalent to that of National Organic Program of US.
|Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)
• The APEDA was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act passed by the Parliament in December 1985.
• APEDA replaced the Processed Food Export Promotion Council (PFEPC).
• APEDA is mandated with the responsibility of promotion and development of the export of agricultural and its allied products.