What is organic certification?

10th February 2020

A short video describing OF&G organic inspection and certification.

Labelling and marketing of organic products is controlled by European organic regulations which also come under UK law.

Any person or business that produces or processes organic products must be certified by a government approved control body and inspected at least annually.

OF&G (Organic Farmers & Growers) were the first organic body to be approved by the UK government. We certify businesses across the whole organic supply chain, from farmers, factories and hauliers, to animal feed, seed companies and retailers.

OF&G certify over 50% of UK organic land and around a third of the total UK organic food sector, conducting over 2,000 organic inspections a year.

Organic inspections are carried out at the business premises and take around six hours. Inspectors undertake a detailed check of paperwork including financial data, production volumes and records as well comprehensive livestock health plans.

They look around the sites they visit, seeking clarification on aspects such as how products are stored, segregated and cleaned and what future plans there are for new products or crops. Samples are taken from a cross-section of the products produced and sent off for testing to ensure that they conform to organic requirements.

OF&G also carry out additional unannounced visits to a proportion of our operators’ premises throughout the year.

After visiting businesses, inspectors collate their findings and send the reports to our certification team based at OF&G’s Shrewsbury office.

Organic certificates are issued annually only once the certification team have assessed the report to ensure compliance with organic regulations.

Organic goods can only be traded once fully certified.

So, through the work we do everyday, if you buy organic food you can trust that it is organic.

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Our thanks to everyone who helped us in making this film, especially to Mark Lea for being patient with the filmmakers and for allowing us to shine a light on the work we do with dedicated organic businesses which his exemplifies so well. Thanks Mark.