Socialization of the EU New Organic Regulation

The European Union is gradually implementing the new regulation EC No.848/2018 on the production and labelling of organic products. This new regulation replaces EC 834/2007. It is mandatory for organic businesses in the EU to implement this new regulation as of January 2022.

Meanwhile, outside the EU, organic businesses are gradually implementing new regulations until December 31, 2024. The regulation requires that all organic products marketed in the EU in 2025 fully comply with the new regulations.

Therefore, in this year ICERT and ACT will use the new regulation EC No.848/2018 and the CertAll Organic Standard as a reference for carrying out EU organic inspections and certification for new applicants or for EU certified clients who will be inspected annually in 2023.

Meanwhile, for 2024, ICERT and ACT will fully implement the new regulations for European organic inspection and certification.

“The new regulation EC No.848/2018 aims to strengthen the integrity of organic production, especially for products marketed to the EU. Organic operator in countries outside the EU such as Indonesia must have a clear and documented plan and take action to prevent contamination and mixing of organic products”, said Agung Prawoto, as director of ICERT, when giving an introduction to the socialisation on the EU’s new organic regulations, EC No.848/2018, which was held online by ICERT on February 3, 2023, and was attended by producers, processors, exporters, organic coaches, and regulators.

Challenges for Indonesia

EC Regulation No.848/2018regulates on Group of Operators [GoO] for organic smallholder group certification.

“GoO is required to have its own organic certificate, and the organic certificate is separate from the processor,” said Akbar Fauzy, ICERT’s EU organic inspector, who also explained the impact of this new regulation change on producers and processors.

To be certified organic, GoO must implement an “internal control system” [ICS] to ensure that all production carried out by farmers complies with organic regulations and can be traced.

GoO itself must have clear legality and have no more than 2,000 farmers as members. GoO can be cooperative; farmer organisations such as associations, farmer groups, or Gapoktans; non-profit organisations with the aim of supporting farmers and marketing their organic products; or farmers owned companies.

“Farmers who have a total land area of no more than 5 hectares and/or have a gross income from their farming business of no more than Euro 25,000 [or Rp. 405 million] per year can join GoO,” explained Akbar.

“This new EU organic regulation adds to the burden on exporters and processors amid the current difficult situation. Not many existing GoOs have sufficient personnel and funding to run ICS and organic certification,” said Steven Santoso, an exporter of organic coconut sugar.

“With the gradual implementation of this new regulation, it is hoped that it will give time for exporters to rearrange their business strategies going forward,” added Steven.

For an overview of EC 848/2018, please click here.