FAQ's

Which legislation regulates the Organic Food in India?

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. The Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 will regulate the Organic Foods in the country.

What is the purpose of the Regulations?

The Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 recognizes already established 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 will regulate the manufacture, distribute, sale or import “organic foods”.

What are the key features of these Regulations?

  • Organic Food Certification:The Food Business Operator (FBO) has to comply the requirements of NPOP Certification or PGS Certification system.
  • Organic Food Labelling:Organic Food to comply with the FSSR (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011 in addition to the labeling requirements under NPOP or PGS-India.
  • Other Food Safety and Standards Regulations: All Organic Food to comply with the requirements of Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 and Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011.
  • Traceability-To be established through one of the systems
  • Equivalent agreements-Provision for bilateral or multilateral equivalence agreements based on NPOP with exporting countries for imports in India.

Who is exempted from the need of verification of compliance?

Direct sales by the original producer or producer organisation to the end consumer is exempt from the need of verification of compliance for any of the two systems.

Which products can be labelled as ‘Organic ‘?

    Under NPOP system:

  • In case of single ingredient product where all requirements have been met it can be labelled as ‘Organic’.
  • In case of multi ingredient product where min. 95% of ingredients are of certified origin it can be labelled as ‘Certified Organic’.

    Under PGS-India system:

  • In case of single ingredient product where all requirements have been met it can be labelled as ‘PGS- Organic’.
  • In case of single ingredient product where min. 95% of ingredients are organic it can be labelled as ‘PGS- Organic’.

What a consumer needs to look on the Organic Food Label?

The consumer should look for FSSAI Logo and License number. In case of NPOP certified Food Product, India Organic Logo, name and logo of the accredited certification body, accreditation number and in case of PGS certified food products PGS-India Logo and unique ID code shall be there.

What a Consumer should be aware while purchasing Organic Foods?

A consumer should always check that the Organic Foods are not labelled as:

  • Genetically modified organisms/Genetic engineered.
  • Irradiated foods.
  • Natural” or “Green” foods.

What are the residual limits of Insecticides in Organic Foods?

The organic food shall also comply Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011 except for residues of insecticides for which the maximum limits shall be 5% of the maximum limits prescribed or Level of Quantification (LoQ) whichever is higher.

Who is responsible for certifying Organic Foods?

The Accredited Certification Bodies in case of NPOP and Regional Councils in case of PGS-India are responsible for certifying the Organic Food Products.

What about imported organic products?

Organic Food is not required to be re-certified on import to India under bilateral or multilateral agreements based on the equivalence of standards as per National Programme for Organic Production it. All organic food consignments to be accompanied by a Transaction Certificate issued by an Accredited Certification Body.

What is the date of compliance to Organic Food Regulations?

The Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 will come into force from 1st July 2018.