Organic food products are grown in a system of agriculture, which can achieve sustainable productivity without the use of artificial external inputs such as chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. Besides the superior nutritional quality of the products so grown and cultivated, the organic agriculture can be cost effective and also enhances the soil fertility content. Being devoid of any harmful chemical and synthetic influence, the organic products are beneficial with respect to the health of the consumers.
The growing awareness surrounding the advantages of organic products has resulted in an increased consumer demand. With the view of regulating the standards of organic products on India, the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as “Regulations”), along with the ‘Jaivik Bharat’ Logo and “Indian Organic Integrity Database Portal” was introduced vide notification dated December 29, 2017 by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Food Authority’). The portal helps consumers verify the authenticity of organic foods. The regulations provide for labelling, certification and import guidelines of organic products.
As per the Regulations the package of organic food should convey full and accurate information about the organic status. The product in addition to the Food Authority’s organic logo is required to bear the certification or quality assurance mark in accordance to National Programme for Organic Production or Participatory Guarantee System for India or any other standards as notified by the Food Authority. The organic products are required to ensure compliance to the other existing Food Safety and Standards Regulations, including packaging and labelling, food product standards and food additives, contaminants, toxins and residues rules.
With the increasing popularity in the production and consumption of organic foods, the Food Authority, with previous approval of Central Government has been working towards monitoring the legal framework regarding organic products. The new regulations would aid in distinguishing the organic products from non-organic ones to enable the consumers to make an informed and better choice.