The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had recently issued regulations that required food companies selling organic produce to get certified with one of the two authorities — National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) or the Participatory Guarantee System for India (PGS-India).
- For nearly two decades now, organic farming certification had been done through a process of third party certification under the NPOP.
- It was run by the Ministry of Commerce and was used for certifying general exports. Nearly 24 agencies were authorised by the NPOP to verify farms, storages and processing units and successful ones got a special ‘India Organic’ logo.
- The PGS-India programme, in contrast, had been around for only two years and — unlike the top-down approach of the NPOP — involves a peer-review approach.
- Here, farmers played a role in certifying whether the farms in their vicinity adhered to organic-cultivation practices.
- This programme was implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture through the National Centre of Organic Farming.
- The FSSAI has introduced the ‘Jaivik Bharat’ logo; this one is among a few special logos on packaging of foods that is used to identify foods as organic.