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German Firm, LACON GmbH Withdraws From Organic Certification In Third Countries Temporarily

In light of revisions to the European Union's Organic Farming Regulation, LACON GmbH has chosen to temporarily withdraw from certification in third countries, including India.

Chintu Das
Organic Food
Organic Food

In the light of revisions to the European Union's Organic Farming Regulation, LACON GmbH, one of Europe's major organic certification agencies, has chosen to temporarily withdraw from certification in third countries, including India. 

LACON, which has an Indian subsidiary LACON Quality Certification (India), said in a statement published on Thursday from its headquarters in Offenburg, Germany, that it was withdrawing from certification in third countries since the requirements for "organic regulations" were changing. 

Compelled To Alter Their Plans 

As a result, LACON, which has more than 30 years of expertise in the organic industry, has been obliged to "alter direction and withdraw" from the certification. 

It criticised the EU's publication of regulation 2021/2325 last month, stating that "the principles and standards are getting increasingly ambiguous, and choices are becoming arbitrary." 

The European Union stated in a regulation released last month that organic goods imported by member nations must not only be prepared properly but also be devoid of any chemical residues. 

Concentrate On Residue-Free Products 

The emphasis on residue-free as an organic attribute for products from a third nation, according to LACON, represents a "political shift away from process certification." 

"For the time being, we feel ourselves constrained to withdraw from the international organic industry." This will be the case until the circumstances of the new certification system (compliance) in third-country are clear and the standards are set in stone. "We are very sorry about the incident," it stated. 

Willing To Provide No Assurances On product integrity 

According to a trade analyst, the most recent EU regulation on organic products required process and product integrity. Lacon does not wish to guarantee product integrity by withdrawing from organic certification in third countries. 

All organic shipments had to be approved for the procedure rather than the product up to now. The certification authorities oversee the manufacturing of organic products and approve them for export. 

However, after testing in Europe revealed the presence of pesticide or other chemical residues, the EU opted to tighten the rules, requiring that any organic goods imported by member nations be completely residue-free. 

India is one of the nations whose organic goods are being scrutinised more closely by the EU. Last month, the EU decided to ban five certifying bodies from clearing or ratifying organic product exports beginning January 1 this year because they failed to fulfil ethylene oxide (ETO) residue standards in consignments, primarily sesame. 

The governing agency in India, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, has barred five certification entities for failing to satisfy regulatory criteria. 

India Will Be Unaffected 

According to the analyst, LACON's departure from third nations would have no impact on organic shipments from India because other organisations can handle the certification requirements. 

The certifying company, on the other hand, has promised to bounce back after the "storm" has passed. 

According to the National Program for Organic Production, LACON has been approved by the National Accreditation Body of the Government of India (NPOP). It also provides USDA-NOP organic certification for items meant for export to the United States. The European Union has also classified the company as an analogous certifying authority for the purposes of equivalence. 

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