National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) India Organic Standard
Organic products are grown under a system of agriculture without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides with an environmentally and socially responsible approach. Majority of the countries have their own standards to define what products qualify as organic products. In India, organic products are certified by including National Program for Organic Production (NPOP), Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) and Javik Bharat (for organic food products).
What is NPOP – India Organic
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.
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.
The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) functions as the Secretariat for the implementation of the National Programme for Organic Production. The programme involves the accreditation of Certification Bodies, standards for organic production, promotion of organic farming and marketing etc.
NPOP – India Organics Certification
National Programme for Organic Production grants organic farming certification through a process of third party certification. Products that meet NPOP standards can have – India Organics label printed on them. However, since India Organic is third party certification, besides India Organic logo it would also have Name and logo of the Accredited Certification Body & Accreditation Number.
The India Organic certification is a system of process certification wherein an independent organization reviews entire production, processing, handling, storage and transport etc to ensure the compliance of organic standards.
The process typically includes comprehensive review of cultivation practices including land management, usage of inputs, use of machinery, pest management and post harvest in crops, rearing practices compatible to their natural behaviour, welfare of animals, avoidance of synthetic feed additives and hormones and limited usage of allopathic drugs and antibiotics in animal products and processing and handling through document review and on-site physical inspection.
All such certified products bear the certification mark on their packaging to help consumers and other buyers make educated purchasing decisions. Under National Program for Organic Production System, 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.
With these recognitions, Indian organic products duly certified by the accredited certification bodies of India are accepted by the importing countries. APEDA is also in the process of Bilateral equivalence with South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, Japan etc.