Domestic producers understand this and are ready to work, starting with the basics of legislative regulation of production. The presidential decree on the adoption of the law "On organic products", which will enter into force on January 1, 2020, has become a key topic for discussion at the round table "Standardization in organic agriculture. What awaits us after the law on organic production comes into force of?", writes The DairyNews.
Sao Tome and Principe is an island state in Central Africa, located almost at the equator. The country includes two main Islands: Sao Tome and Principe, the distance between which is 160 kilometers. You ask, what does Africa and the Islands have to do with this? The thing is that in Sao Tome and Principe six times more organic products are produced than in Russia. This was stated by Alexander Kalinin, Head of the Technical Committee 40 of Rosstandart "Organic Products". By the way, about two hundred thousand people live in Sao Tome and Principe.
Is the domestic market of organic products so sick that is not able to compete with a small island state?
The message of the President of the Russian Federation to the Federal Assembly of December 3, 2015 says: "We can not only feed ourselves, Russia is able to become the largest supplier of healthy, environmentally friendly, high-quality food products, which some Western manufacturers have been missing for a long time. Moreover, the demand in the global market for such products is growing steadily".
Indeed, there are more people who constantly consume organic products – in 2016, the corresponding figure reached 700 million people. The average consumer of organic products is distinguished by a commitment to a special style of nutrition, health care and as a result – an increased requirement for quality. To guarantee the latter, the manufacturer must be personally sure that he puts the environmentally friendly product on shelf. What can give such confidence? Only a clear regulation, compliance with standards and statutory requirements.
Currently, the Russian Federation has approved three national standards, in particular:
- State Standard (GOST) З56104-2014 “Organic food products. Terms and definitions”
- State Standard R (GOST R) 57022-2016 “Organic Production. Procedure for voluntary certification of organic production”
Since January 2018, the inter-state standard GOST 33980-2016 “Organic production, the rules of production, processing, labelling and sale (CAL/GL 32-1999, NEQ)” entered into force, there began the process of negotiating the standard with IFOAM International.
In early August, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the adoption of the law "On organic production". It is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2020.
- The date of entry into force of the law, on the one hand, calms – some market participants believe that there is still enough time left. But on the other hand, many are too active, often not fully understanding what is happening. It should be noted that organic products existed in the country before the signing of the law, - commented Oleg Mironenko, Executive Director of the National Organic Union of Russia.
– Cooperation with the Rosselkhoznadzor, Rospotrebnadzor and the Federal accreditation service must begin today. When the law comes into force, there will be problems. We must have an understanding of how to deal with them. Cleaning the shelf from falsified products is the main issue for the consumer and the manufacturer. It demands the decision, but we have no accurate understanding yet, whether the law will help in this case, – Mironenko concluded.
The issue of falsification is a separately important topic in the development of the relevant law. It's no secret that dishonest manufacturers often illegally position their products as eco products to get additional profit. The new law establishes requirements for labeling products as organic and creates a single state register. As it was previously commented by the speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, it will displace dishonest market participants and have a positive impact on the quality of products.
The law does not allow to determine the set of processes for the final product, it concerns the identification features, said the Head of the Department of food hygiene of the Rospotrebnadzor Lyudmila Chikina.
- Organic product begins with the subsoil and goes into a multi-stage process, where each stage must be certified. What are organic products? It is not clear. So far, it can only be recognized by labelling. But today there are many dishonest manufacturers who use it illegally. There are reference rules in the law that relate to sanitary regulations, but these documents must be revised, since much has changed – said Chikina.
- The law coming into force is better than nothing, now we have a reference point at least. But the law has a long way to go. In particular, the requirements for organic products of animal origin are poorly prescribed in it - said the Head of the Technical Committee 40 Rosstandart "Organic Products" Alexander Kalinin.
The speaker added that the proposals in the relevant direction were presented to the Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation on agriculture, natural resources and ecology Alexey Gordeev. According to Kalinin Necessary, work in the direction of the conformity assessment of organic products in the country – training, establishment of laboratories and centres authorized by the Federal accreditation service, as well as correspondence of requirements on the countries of the EEU seems to be really necessary.
- We see that Armenia is moving in one direction, Belarus is looking in the other direction. The level of development of the process is far from unambiguous. We need common fundamental requirements for organic products – said Kalinin.
In turn, Deputy Director of the Department of agro-industrial policy of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Aina Kusainova noted that Armenia, Kazakhstan and Russia have their own specialized laws in the field of organic production, and other countries also seek to create a base at the national level. However, from an organic point of view, there is a legal vacuum: the rules of one state can become an obstacle for the other.
- The solution to the situation may be the development of a separate agreement on mutual recognition or unification. The existence of industrial sectoral legislation is already a progress. Within the framework of the EEC, a working group was created to develop a joint work plan", Kusainova added.
Alexey Alekseenko, Advisor to the Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor, supported the strengthening of work in the sphere of legislative regulation. The speaker proposed to create an expert group for risk assessment.
- We are talking about a full-scale public-private partnership. When the law comes into force, the number of consumers who want to turn their products into premium will increase. To avoid this, it is necessary to control the circulation of products and to get rid of ghost companies in the market. The idea of the conference is to imagine that today is December 31, 2019 - if everything remained as it was, the market would definitely not have succeeded. We still have a lot of work to do. It is necessary to pay attention to safety rules, to the system of accredited certification companies - it should be transparent and strict. Certification rules must be negotiated separately; they must be registered and protected by law. Otherwise, we will lose this market, – said Alekseenko.
A clear understanding of the further development of the situation in the organic market is not available both for representatives of the industry and those who take part in the development of the legal framework. However, there is a positive point: they all care.