Organic foods are products of holistic agricultural practices focusing on bio-diversity, soil health, chemical free inputs etc. with an environmentally and socially responsible approach that have been produced in accordance with organic production standards.
People are wary to purchase organic food due to lack of confidence about its genuineness. The problem of fraud and mis-labelling occurs when a Food Business Operator (FBO) marks a product as organic while it contains non-organic ingredients or where the organic production standards are not adhered to in the production process. Therefore, it becomes important to check if the food labelled as "organic" is genuinely organic.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has the mandate to regulate manufacture, distribute, sell or import “organic foods” as per the provisions laid under Section 22 of the Food Safety Standards Act, 2006. Organic foods are regulated by Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 .
The Regulations aim to benefit farmers by way of increasing their income. These Regulations recognizes two systems of certification i.e. Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) implemented by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) implemented by Ministry of Commerce and Industry. These regulations ensure integrity of the Organic Food products, and help in controlling unscrupulous practices in the market.
These regulations came into force from the date of their publication in Gazette, however the enforcement against these standards started from 01.07.2018.
The Offences and Penalties for the Food Business Operators who are not complying with the FSS Act, Rules and Regulations are liable for offences and penalties provided under Section 48 and 49 of the FSS Act.
Organic food which is marketed through direct sales to the end consumer by the small original producer or producer organisation is exempted from the provisions of the certification. Small original producer or producer organisation is the one whose annual turnover is not exceeding Rs 12 Lakhs per annum.
Small aggregators upto turn over of Rs. 50 lakhs can aggregate and sell organic products from exempted farmers.
The Jaivik Bharat logo for Organic Food is an identity mark to distinguish organic products from non-organic ones. The logo is supported with the tagline "Jaivik Bharat", at the bottom, which signifies Organic Food from India.
To search the Organic Food products by name of the food and by the name of the company, click here
Consumer should look for the following labels on Certified Organic Food Products
NPOP Certified Organic Food Products
PGS-India Certified Organic Food Products
Source : Jaivik Bharat portal