EU recognition of UK organic bodies ‘relief’ but a ‘short-term gain’ says industry

It has been announced that  UK’s six organic certification bodies will be recognised by the EU for 12 months following the end of the Brexit transition period, following approval of the UK’s organic certification standards by members of the European Commission.

Recognition by the European Union of the UK’s organic sector has been a concern fort the organic farming industry, and the approval will ensure no disruption of access to this market.

Lee Holdstock, senior business development manager of Soil Association Certification, said it was a huge relief to be able to confirm that Soil Association Certification and all other UK organic certification bodies are now listed within the most recent amend to regulation EC1235/2008, until at least the end of 2021.

“We welcome EU recognition of the value of these exports to the UK’s burgeoning organic market, which is now on track to reach £2.6BN by end of 2020, after reaching its highest growth level in over a decade at 9.5%.” said Mr Holdstock

Roger Kerr, chief executive at OF&G (Organic Farmers & Growers) also welcomed the news, however raised concern over future EU organic regulations due to come into effect in 2022: “This is a short-term gain for the industry and the news will be a relief to the organic sector that’s been living with uncertainty for so long.

“But it still doesn’t deliver the robust national organic equivalency agreement between the UK and EU we’re calling for. We would anticipate that this would avoid the need for label changes and could mean that the requirement for certificates of inspection can be avoided once there’s an agreement. This would be of significant benefit to operators.”

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