The IFOAM Family of Standards


                                                                     Latest update: May 23, 2014

The Family of Standards is the core of the new IFOAM Organic Guarantee System and contains all standards officially endorsed as organic by the Organic Movement.

View the current Family Frame here
   

IFOAM recommends to any program that relies on "organic" products or ingredients to consider referencing the IFOAM Family of Standards as a criterion for what constitute a trustworthy organic standard.


View the frame of programs that are using the IFOAM Family of Standards as a requirement here
   

Programs listed in this new frame require that products be certified to a standard approved in the IFOAM Family of Standards. Those programs are therefore considered by the organic movement as having a sound and credible criterion to ensure organic integrity of products accepted under their program, from the standard point of view. 

In view of the multitude of organic standards worldwide, the IFOAM Family of Standards serves the following purposes:
  1. Draws the line between credible organic and non-organic standards (and also inadequately written organic standards), while acknowledging the need for diversity and local adaptation of organic standards.
  2. Improves transparency and public understanding about the differences between different organic standards.
  3. Facilitates equivalence agreements between organic standards and regulations, including unilateral, bilateral and multilateral equivalence agreements.
     

The IFOAM Family of Standards is the only tool set up to enable multilateral equivalence between organic standards and technical regulations. Its principle is to conduct equivalence assessments of each standard against a single international reference: the COROS - Common Objectives and Requirements for Organic Standards (also called “IFOAM Standards Requirements”). In dealing with import approvals, IFOAM recommends that governments use the IFOAM Family of Standards as a basis for approving equivalent standards and regulations (see the IFOAM Policy Brief).

IFOAM’s Policy 42 regulates the approval of standards into the Family. Equivalence assessments are conducted by IFOAM experts in accordance with a codified procedure, involving the IFOAM Standards Requirement Committee. Upon approval and publication of a standard in the Family, the results of this assessment are published with the Family Frame. Entrance and continued approval in the Family are subject to admission and annual fees, in accordance with the Family Fee Scheme. All organic standard setters or owners who want to have their standard approved in the Family can apply (see application procedure), including governments, CBs, associations and PGS initiatives.

Approval in the Family entitles standards to the use of a specific logo in relation to the standard. Standards and regulations can be further promoted by subscribing to the promotion package (see fee scheme). To read about the conditions of the use of the logo, click here.

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