Organic Food Processing
Who needs a Certificate to sell Organic products?
Under UK law, any company processing, packing or selling organic food, animal feed or seeds, or importing these from outside the UK, must have their systems inspected and certified by a Defra-approved organic control body. Organic Farmers & Growers (OF&G) was the first independent organic control body to be approved by Defra.
What do I need to do to achieve organic certification?
1. Buy certified organic ingredients.
Ingredients should only be sourced from suppliers holding valid certification from an approved organic control body.
2. Check your recipe.
Agricultural ingredients (e.g. meat, our, oils, sugars etc) must be organic (unless they are from the short list of agricultural ingredients that are not currently available in organic form. See Section 10 of the OF&G Organic Standards & Certification Manual (OSCM). Items from this list may be used but must not exceed more than 5% of the agricultural ingredients in the recipe). Any non-agricultural ingredients and processing aids used must also be from approved lists in the OSCM.
3. Segregate organic ingredients.
Upon verification that incoming organic ingredients are certified and have not been contaminated in transit, they must be segregated and clearly labelled as organic. Segregation needs to be maintained throughout intake, storage, processing and packing. In situations where cleaning cannot be carried out between production batches, (e.g. in feed mills), a bleed run, with approved material, is normally required before organic production to maintain organic integrity.
4. Prevent contamination.
It is necessary to put systems in place to prevent organic product becoming contaminated with cleaning products, non- organic ingredients and other substances. This is best done by means of good staff training, to ensure they understand and comply with organic requirements. A clean (potable) water rinse must be carried out after use of detergents or sanitisers and no spraying of chemicals for disinfection or pest control is permitted.
5. Packaging and labelling.
The product label must identify the body that has awarded organic certification. For products certified by OF&G this can be done using the statement ‘GB-ORG-02’.
There are slightly different labelling requirements for Importers and these are explained in the relevant technical leaflets.
Packaging must also carry the Organic logo of the EU to comply with the labelling requirements of the organic regulation.
All packaging and labels must be submitted to OF&G for checking against the organic requirements prior to use. When satisfied, OF&G will stamp the label proof and send a copy for your records.
What happens next?
Once the application form has been completed and returned to OF&G, a CD ROM of the OSCM will be sent. Accompanying this will be an invoice, product specification sheets for completion and details of further information available. Once the invoice has been paid and the information requested has been returned to OF&G, together with the signed declaration form (RD90), an inspection will be arranged at an agreed time.
To find out more please contact OF&G at 01939 291800 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re here to help
Your named Certification Officer will be your personal point of contact for any certification and inspection matters which means you can get hold of them when you need them and they will provide you with practical, experienced guidance for your business.
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OF&G works hard to ensure that its voice is heard on behalf of you, our licensees. We stay in touch with the decision-makers at the heart of the sector; we also sit on a number of key national committees, Government and EU groups making sure that your business is prioritised.
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We work in partnership with LRQA (Lloyds Register Quality Assurance), independent inspection specialists, which means you have the reassurance of working with experts at all stages of the certification process. OF&G’s primary focus is delivering practical and timely support for your business at a fair and transparent fee.