INDIA – Indian food safety and standards regulator FSSAI has released a unified regulation on organic foods in the country, as the country hopes to tap into growing worldwide demand.
It has also launched a common logo with a tagline ‘Jaivik Bharat’ to be used on certified organic foods to act as a symbol of authenticity and trust, in the spirit FSSAI’s ‘One Nation, One Food law’ initiative.
The regulations and logo were unveiled before representatives from 110 countries during the Organic World Congress by the Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh.
The regulator also launched the “Indian Organic Integrity Database Portal”, which will help consumers verify the authenticity of organic foods.
The portal was jointly developed by FSSAI along with APEDA and PGS-India.
Through the portal, consumers can access all information with respect to the producer, the certification system and the availability of certified organic products.
The portal can be accessed at www.jaivikbharat.fssai.gov.in.
“The launch of logo will be a game changer in the history of organic foods. This initiative will not only help in building consumer confidence in organic foods but will also accelerate the growth of trade and commerce in organic foods both within India and abroad,” said Shri Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI.
Organic foods are estimated to be growing at 25% per annum in India with a total market of US$1.36 billion by 2022.
The Indian eastern state of Sikkim was been certified 100% organic in 2015 after banning the use of any chemicals and GMOs on its fields, according to Food Revolution Network.
The new act, dubbed the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations 2017 covers two existing systems of Organic certification: the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) of APEDA, Department of Commerce and the Participatory Guarantee System for India (PGS-India) of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
The regulation also provides for recognition of other certification systems in the future.
Both systems, which have been in operation with separate logos, will be integrated into a single unified log.
Under the regulations, any foods offered or promoted for sale as organic are required to comply with all the requirements of NPOP or PGS-India or any other certification system that may be approved by FSSAI in future.
However, direct sales of organic food by small farmers, producer or producer organization to the end-consumer are exempt from this requirement, says FSSAI.