Turkey has updated the rules and procedures for organic farming. Most notably, it is now permitted to renew stocks of organic aquaculture by introducing non-organic aquaculture. Also, wholesalers and taxable farmers must now issue “producer receipts” when buying organic products from tax-exempt farmers.

The Regulation Amending the Regulation on the Principles and Application of Organic Farming (“Amendment Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 30297 on 10 January 2018. The Amendment Regulation makes changes to the Regulation on the Principles and Application of Organic Farming (“Regulation”).

Notable changes introduced by the Amendment Regulation include:

  • If any of the following causes a considerable number of deaths and there is a shortage of organic aquaculture, stocks can now be renewed or reproduced from non-organic aquaculture, provided the non-organic stock spends at least two thirds of its production cycle in an organic aquaculture farm:
    • Natural disasters.
    • Harsh weather conditions.
    • Aquacultural diseases that the entrepreneur cannot be liable for, such as sudden changes in water quality/quantity or a malfunction in the production facilities.
  • Taxable farmers or wholesalers must now issue producer receipts for organic products bought from tax-exempt farmers.
  • Producers must now conduct organic farming under an institution or organization which is a legal entity.
  • Previously, if a shortage of organically raised animals arises to grow or renew the herd, certain ratios of animals could be brought from conventional farms each year with the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock’s (“Ministry”) approval. Such animals are now subject to a transition period.
  • The 72-day minimum slaughter age for slow-growing genotypes in organic chicken farming has now been removed.
  • Product labels must now include:
    • The word “organic”.
    • A statement that either:
      • The product was produced according to the Regulation, or
      • The products have been re-certificated according to the Regulation (if imported).
  • Procedures regarding Ministry inspections are outlined in detail.

Please see this link for the full text of the Amendment Regulation (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.