Russian Law on Organic Food
On January 1, 2020 in Russia the law on organic food enters into force
Organic Food Law Enters into Force in Russia
On January 1, 2020 in Russia the law on organic food (Federal Law No. 280-FZ of 03.08.2018 – hereinafter referred to as the “Law“) enters into force.
The Law is designed to regulate relations in the field of production of organic food, to protect agricultural producers, who produce organic products, and to attract new producers into this sphere. It specifies certain requirements for production of organic food, including:
- separation of production, storage and transportation of organic food from those of non-organic food;
- prohibition on the use of agrochemicals and growth stimulants, except for those that may be used in accordance with international and Russian standards;
- prohibition to use packaging that can lead to contamination of organic products and environment;
- manufacturers who have carried out the certification of organic food are entitled to affix a corresponding label on the packaging, which will be a distinguishing feature of organic products.
The Law also provides for the establishment of a unified register of producers of organic products.
Art. 2 of the Law defines three terms and namely: organic products, organic farming and producers of organic food.
According to Art. 2, Para. 1 of the Law, organic products are environmentally friendly agricultural products, raw materials and foodstuff which production meets the requirements of the Law. According to Art. 2 Para. 2 of the Law, organic agriculture is a series of economic activities defined by the Law “On Development of Agriculture”, which performance includes implementation of methods and technologies that are aimed at ensuring healthy environment, strengthening human health as well as preserving and restoring soil fertility. Under Art. 2 Para. 3 of the Law, producers of organic food are those who produce, store, label, transport, sell organic products and are included in the unified state register of producers of organic products.
Requirements for production of organic food
Art. 4 of the Law provides general requirements for production of organic food. First, the physical separation of production of organic products from the production of non-organic products shall be provided. It is prohibited to use agrochemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, growth stimulants for animals, hormone drugs, other than those permitted under national, intergovernmental and international standards in the field of organic production in force in the Russian Federation.
There is a ban on the use of embryo transplantation, cloning and genetic engineering methods, genetically modified and transgenic organisms, as well as products produced using genetically modified and transgenic organisms. And it is prohibited to use hydroponic techniques for planting as well as ionizing radiation. Pest control shall be performed by using means of biological origin.
The selection of breeds or types of livestock shall be made taking into account their adaptability and disease resistance. Conditions conducing to the maintenance of health and welfare of animals, natural reproduction and the provision of optimal sanitary and hygienic indicators of the conditions in which they are kept shall be provided. At the same time, the use of food additives, technological additives, flavorings, flavor enhancers, enzyme preparations, trace elements, vitamins, amino acids, which are allowed in the Russian Federation at the national, intergovernmental and international levels for production of organic products, is permitted.
It is allowed to use biological, including probiotic, microorganisms traditionally used in food processing, as well as to use measures aimed at protection of animal products from microbial spoilage, based on the interaction of microorganisms in natural environment. Mixing of organic products with non-organic products during storage and transportation is prohibited. It is also prohibited to use packaging, consumer and transport packaging which can lead to pollution of organic products and environment, including the use of polyvinylchloride for packaging, consumer and transport packaging.
Certification of production of organic food
Certification of organic food production is voluntary and shall be performed in accordance with applicable legislation. The voluntary certification is carried out by accredited certification bodies in the field of organic production. Subsequently, a certificate of compliance is issued. It should be noted that voluntary certification of organic food production does not replace the compulsory certification of products provided for in the legislation of Russia and Eurasian Economic Union.
Marking organic food
After the certification, the producers of organic food are entitled to label their products as organic ones. The label may include the word “organic” as well as abbreviations or words that derive from this word, alone or in combination with the name of the organic product. The uniform “Organic” symbol should guarantee the possibility of obtaining information about the manufacturer and the organic products it produces.
Unified state register of manufacturers of organic products
At the same time, the unified state register of manufacturers of organic products is being created. The register is aimed at providing consumers with free information on manufacturers and organic products manufactured by them. In addition to general information, certificate numbers, issue and expiry dates of the certificates and the issuing authority shall be listed in the register. The register will be available online.
With this Law, the Russian government is paving the way for producers to produce clean food while protecting consumers. A large number of empty hectares of land untouched by agrochemicals and pesticides throughout the territory of Russia seems to be a good prospect for the development of organic agriculture.