Standards and Metrology Institute

Certification to Council Regulation (EC) No. 834/2007 on Organic Farming


What is Organic Farming?

Organic farming is a system that provides the consumer with fresh and authentic food while respecting the natural life-cycle systems.

In order to accomplish this, organic farming practices include wide crop rotation as a prerequisite for an efficient use of on-site resources. The implementation of very strict limits on chemical synthetic pesticide and synthetic fertiliser use, livestock antibiotics, food additives and processing aids has to be strictly and fully adhered to. The use of genetically modified organisms is prohibited in this regard.

One has to bear in mind that organic farming is a process where one may take advantage of on-site resources, such as livestock manure for fertiliser or feed produced on the farm. It is also important to choose plant and animal species that are completely resistant to disease and well-adapted to local conditions. The livestock has to be raised in free-range open-air systems and provided with organic feed. There are different animal husbandry practices which are appropriate to the various species of livestock.

But organic farming is also part of a larger supply chain which encompasses food processing distribution and retailing sectors and ultimately you! Therefore, each time you purchase an organic apple from a supermarket or choose an organic wine at the restaurant of your fancy, you can be certain that these were produced according to strict standards aimed at respecting both the environment and animals.

For organic farmers a very fertile soil and respect for the environment are of crucial importance for both humans and animals. Organic farmers respect the environment through a multitude of way which include being responsible for the use of energy and natural resources. The maintenance of biodiversity and of regional balances is also crucial in this respect. The soil fertility needs to be enhanced continuously and the water quality needs to be maintained properly.

Organic farmers can respect the animals through promoting animal health and welfare while meeting their specific behavioural needs on a daily basis.

Organic processors as well as marketers and food distributors will have the same objectives as organic farmers, namely the provision of fresh and genuine processed foods designed to respect nature and its systems. Ultimately the consumers eating these foods will benefit from their sensible choice of going organic. Most organic foods include baby food, wine made from organic grapes, fresh yoghurt, cakes, bread, breakfast cereals, biscuits, cold meats, tinned fruits and vegetables, coffee, tea and other foods which may form part of an even larger range of products.

When purchasing organic produce, consumers should look out for the distinctive certification mark that shows that the product has been produced by according to Council Regulation (EC) No. 834/2007.   In Malta the competent authority on organic farming practice is the Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs and SMI Certification has been appointed as an approved certification body.

How to Get Certified & The Certification Process

SMI Certification offers its certification service against the above mentioned Council Regulation.  Our certification system is built on the following processes:

APPLICATION

Applications are received preferably by e-mail, fax or post.  All applications are reviewed and checked that all the information necessary has been provided before we provide a quotation.  Our pricing schedule is based on an annual fee.  Applicants can request a further clarification to aid their decision making process.
Applicants can proceed at their own pace to prepare to meet the requirements of Council Regulation (EC) No. 834/2007.  When they are ready for assessment, the dates are arranged to suit our clients. 

Application Form

Terms and Conditions

Appeals and Complaint Procedure

Schedule of Prices

 

CERTIFICATION AUDIT


SMI Certification selects an audit team made up of experts in organic farming practice and in auditing practice and carries out an initial inspection.  Their report and recommendation is presented to a Certification Board (made up of independent experts) who decides whether to grant certification or not.  Initially, in case of a positive decision, a certificate ‘In-conversion’ to Organic is granted.  After two years, if client proves that he/she is competent to meet the requirements of this Certification scheme, Organic Certification Logo is granted.

SURVEILLANCE VISITS

Periodic surveillance visits (at least annually) are carried out on certified organic farms / producers.  Clients are required to keep all records on how they grow or process organic produce, what chemicals, fertilizers, etc. are in use.   Such records are inspected on every visit and tests for illegal use of pesticides, chemicals, etc. are carried out when it is suspected or complaints are received that the client is not practicing organic farming as required by Council Regulation (EC) No. 834/2007.

Interested farmers / producers / processors are invited to write to the Head of Standardization on e-mail certification@mccaa.org.mt or correspond by mail at the following address:

Head of Certification

Standards and Metrology Institute

MaltaCompetition and Consumer Affairs Authority

Mizzi House,

National Road

Blata l-Bajda HMR9010

Malta

 

List of certified clients to Council Regulation EC 834/2007 - Click Here