National Programme for Organic Production

In India, Agricultural Processed Foods Export Development Authority (APEDA) under Ministry of Commerce is the controlling body for organic certification for export. Till date there are no domestic standards for organic produce within India. Currently 11 certification agencies have been sanctioned to undertake certification procedure under National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). Although there is no system for monitoring the labeling of organic produce sold within India, this primarily affects the retail public. Commercial buyers for whom this is an issue have simply taken the export system as a de facto standard and are willing to pay premium prices for produce from growers certified under the NPOP. Internationally, equivalency negotiations are underway, and some agreements are already in place, to harmonize certification between countries, facilitating international trade. There are also international certification bodies, including members of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA), and Ecocert. Where formal agreements do not exist between countries, organic product for export is often certified by agencies from the importing countries, which may establish permanent foreign offices for this purpose. In 2006, India’s organic certification process under NPOP has been granted equivalence with European Union. It has also been recognized for conformity assessment by USDA’s NOP.

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