Organic Agriculture Certification Argentina

08 Jul 2022

Learn in the following note everything about Argentine organic agriculture certification.

What is organic certification?

The certification of organic products guarantees that a company works following quality parameters established in official standards or protocols backed by the Argentine Government.

Organic certification gives the product added value and accessibility to the market, helping to create a bond of trust, security, guarantee and commitment between the producer and the consumer.

What does organic mean in Argentina?

According to Argentine regulations, an organic, biological, ecological, eco or bio product is defined as any product obtained from a sustainable production system over time that, through the rational management of natural resources, without the use of chemical synthesis agrochemicals (herbicides, fertilizers, pesticides) or use of genetically modified organisms, maintain or increase soil fertility and biological diversity of the environment.

In addition, the words organic, biological and ecological are regulated by Law 25,127.

This allows food to be maintained with its natural properties, vitamins, minerals, sugars and proteins without contaminants or preservatives, which improves its nutritional properties and enhances its aroma, flavor and also its colour.

Who is this organic certification for?

The Argentine organic certification is intended for producers of raw materials, processors, marketers, distributors, packers, importers and exporters who wish to add value to their products by guaranteeing quality and organic traceability through a seal granted by a third party certification.

What is organic certification used for in Argentina?

In addition to commercial advantages and care for the environment, the organic company can position itself in the market by integrating a commercial chain that is different from that of conventional products.

The transparency and traceability of an organic product are found through certification. Let’s take the example of a jam, it can contain sugar and fruits, for the jam to be organic, all the ingredients must have organic certification. The certification ensures that all the inputs that make up a product comply with the same production rules.

Certification is a guarantee to the consumer that ensures that the organic product meets all the requirements of the Standard, and that this situation has been transparently verified by a certifying company, such as OIA, which has no interest linked to any of the parts.

The Argentine organic standard is recognized in demanding international trade markets, allowing products to access those markets.

Is organic certification mandatory?

The decision to certify organic is voluntary, but if you want to use the word organic, biological or ecological in the production, processing or marketing of products, certification becomes mandatory and you must comply with current organic regulations.

What is needed for a product to be organic?

Organic products meet rigorous production standards. The regulations indicate a productive framework taking into account the environment and include social aspects. Organic products are produced without the use of chemically synthesized fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and without the use of genetically modified organisms. One of the main characteristics of organic products is that the entire production chain must be verified, giving the consumer guarantees that the organic product they purchase was verified at all stages of production, from its origin to its packaging, labeling, transportation. and marketing.

Who certifies an organic product?

SENASA is the competent authority in monitoring compliance with said official regulations on the entire production-commercial process. In turn, it enables certifying entities, such as OIA, to control those who produce, prepare and market organic products. SENASA controls the certifying entities through audits and inspections, providing transparency, ensuring quality and complying with international requirements.

How to obtain an organic product certificate?

To achieve OIA certification of an organic product, a certification application is completed according to the type of activity carried out by the company. Once the Application has been evaluated and approved by OIA, an Adhesion Contract is signed to comply with the requirements of the Organic Regulations.

An information exchange will be carried out where data related to the establishment and the form of production under organic monitoring will be shared.

Then the establishment will receive a visit from an OIA inspector, who will verify the production and the system of the producer or processor in relation to the Organic Standard, the auditor subsequently preparing an inspection report.

OIA will then analyze the inspection report together with the rest of the documentation presented by the company, and will verify compliance with the Standard’s requirements and then proceed to deliver the Organic Certificate.

How to know if a product is organic?

In order for a product to mention organic production through the terms “Organic”, “Ecological”, “Biological”, “Eco” or “Bio” it must be verified by a certifying body authorized by SENASA, such as OIA, who gives approval regarding compliance with the Organic Production Regulations. In this way, the product must bear the “Orgánico Argentina” logo created by Resolution 1291/2012 of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, which identifies organic products and is easily recognized by the consumer, accompanied by the Seal of the Certification and indicating the registration number by which SENASA enables it to certify products of plant and animal origin and processed foods, as appropriate.

What is the difference between an “Organic in Conversion” product and a “Certified Organic” product?

The Argentine organic regulations, which you can download for free on our website, establishes that the producer, before having the organic certificate, will go through a period called “conversion period”, where this complying with the organic regulations but still does not comply with the times established by the regulations to be organic.

What is the difference between a “Natural” product and an “Organic” product?

Organic, biological and ecological products are those that are under the control of a certifier and comply with regulations, while natural ones do not have control and may use pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.

All organic products can be natural, but not all natural products can be organic.