Organic Farming :: Organic Certification

Guidelines for Organic Certification


1. General Requirement for Certification

2. Application for Certification

3. Review of Application

4. Scheduling of Inspection

5. Verification during Inspection

6. Group Certification Standardssz

7. Continuation of Certification

8. Tamil Nadu Organic Certification Department (TNOCD) Standards for Organic Certification


1. General Requirement for Certification

  1. A registered operator shall Comply with National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) norms and shall adhere to the National Standards for Organic Production (NSOP) and TNOCD general standards for organic agricultural production, animal husbandry production, honey, wild collection, processing, packaging, storage, labelling and transport standards.
  2. Prepare, implement, and update annually an organic production plan and submit to Tamil Nadu Organic Certification Department (TNOCD) every year.
  3. Permit on-site inspections with complete access to the production and handling operation, including non certified production and handling operation, areas, structures, offices by the Organic Certification Inspectors and other higher officials of TNOCD and also officials of APEDA whenever required.
  4. Maintain all records applicable to the organic operation for not less than 5 years after creation of such records and allow authorized representatives of TNOCD, State or Central Government officials of accrediting agency access to such records during normal working hours for review and copying to determine compliance with NPOP norms and TNOCD Standards.
  5. Pay the prescribed fees charged by TNOCD within stipulated time.
  6. Operator shall inform the TNOCD in case of any
    1. Application, including drift, of a prohibited substances to any, production unit, site, facility, livestock, or product that is part of an operation and
    2. Changes in certified operations or any portion of a certified operation that may affect the organic integrity in compliance with standards of NPOP and TNOCD.

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2. Application for Certification

A person seeking organic certification of production or handling operation shall submit application for registration in the prescribed format in triplicate. The application shall include the following information

  1. An organic production or handling system plan,
  2. All information requested in the application shall be completed in full i.e. name, addresses, details of contact person, telephone number of the authorized person etc.,
  3. The names of organic certification body to which application is previously made and out come, non-compliance noted if any, copy of such records and reason for applying shall be given.
  4. Any other information necessary to determine the compliance with the standards specified.
  5. The prescribed registration fee, one time inspection fee, one time travel cost shall be paid by the operator along with the application form. The other prescribed fees shall be paid by the operator as notified by TNOCD during the course of certification process.
Download the Application Forms
Form - I A1 Form - I A3 Form - I G Form - 11 Organic Fee Structure

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3. Review of Application

  1. Application shall be scrutinized.
  2. Any information required shall be communicated to the operator and operator shall submit the requested information immediately.
  3. Application without prescribed fee shall not be reviewed.
  4. After review of application decision shall be made by TNOCD on acceptance/ rejection of the application.
  5. The rejected application shall be returned to the applicant citing reasons for rejection along with the fees enclosed.
  6. Fee paid for the applications accepted by TNOCD shall not be refunded at any circumstances.
  7. An initial onsite inspection shall be fixed and communicated to the operator after registration or shall be noted in the registered copy of application itself.
  8. An applicant can withdraw the application at any time but the fees paid shall not be refunded.

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4. Scheduling of Inspection

  1. Initial field inspection shall be fixed at a reasonable time so that the operator can demonstrate compliance or capacity to comply with the standards while conducting inspection of land, facilities and activities. Such initial onsite inspection shall be delayed up to six months from the date of registration so as to give time for the operator to comply  with required standards  including record keeping.
  2. All onsite inspection shall be conducted only in the presence of operator or an authorized representative of the operator who is knowledgeable about the operation. However this requirement does not arise in the case of unannounced / surprise inspections.
  3. There shall be one annual inspection and additional inspection shall be fixed based on the risk assessment carried out  during initial inspection.

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5. Verification during Inspection

  1. During the field inspection, the OCI shall verify the compliance or the capacity to comply with the NPOP standards and TNOCD standards.
  2. Verification of information on organic production plan submitted by the operator and practical implementation of the standards.
  3. OCI shall ensure that the prohibited substances/ materials are not used and in case of suspicion the OCI, shall draw samples of soil, water, wastes, seeds, plant tissues, plant, animal and processed products.
  4. The samples shall be tested in NABL accredited ISO 17025 laboratories. The operator shall bear the cost of samples sent for analysis.
  5. During onsite inspection the OCI shall conduct interview with the person responsible for the organic production system to confirm accuracy of information gathered during inspection and completeness of inspection, observation gathered during the onsite inspection. The inspector shall also collect other required information as well as issues of concern.
  6. After inspection the OCI shall prepare checklist and inspection report and obtain signature of the operator or his representative.
  7. A copy of the check list and inspection report shall be sent to the concerned operator and Evaluator.
  8. Inspection reports shall be evaluated by the evaluator within reasonable time and any additional information required shall be addressed to the operator.
  9. In case of any non compliance to the prescribed standards an explanation shall be called from the operator and sanctions shall be imposed if required. 

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6. Group Certification Standards

General Requirement

This system applies to farmer groups, co-operatives, producer groups, contract production and small scale processing unit.

  1. The producer group shall have similar production system and within the same geographical proximity.
  2. Farmers holding four hectares and above can be part of group but has to be inspected individually. The total area of such farm shall be less than 50% of total area of group.
  3. Processor and exporters may  be a part of the same group but they shall be inspected annually by TNOCD.
Constitution of Group
  1. Group shall have a legal status or structured organization
  2. The group shall maintain a documented Internal Control System (ICS)
  3. The responsibilities of the group shall be delegated to individual members/committee for carrying out specific activities.
  4. The group shall develop an internal quality system manual comprising of implementation of internal control system and assessment of risk.

Internal standards for group certification

  1. Internal standards shall be prepared in local language under the framework of NPOP standards
  2. The internal standards shall include definition of production unit, method of dealing with part conversion, parallel production, period of conversion, production norms for entire production unit, harvest and post harvest procedures.
  3. The IQS shall include buying procedure, trading procedure and processing procedure for the group.

Granting Of Certification

  1. TNOCD shall issue Scope Certificate or Certificate of Registration, Transaction Certificate and Product Certificate to the eligible operators.
  2. The issue of certificate shall be based on the decision taken by the certification committee.
  3. Scope Certificate 

Denial of Certification

  1. If the Organic System of operation does not comply with the Standards, the operator shall be intimated about denial of certification stating the reasons for such action with non conformities noticed and time limit for submission of correction.
  2. Upon receipt of such reports the operator shall correct the non compliance and submit the action taken report to the TNOCD.
  3. TNOCD shall ensure the correction carried out by the operator before issuing certificate.
  4. Operator with another certification body willing to come under TNOCD certification shall submit a new application form to TNOCD along with the notification of issue of non-conformities issued by the previous certifier.
  5. TNOCD upon receipt of such application shall verify the correction carried out onsite and supporting documents .Any records required shall be received from the, CB previously registered or from APEDA.
  6. TNOCD shall issue written notice to the operator for denial of certificates in case of operator failing to respond to the notification of non-compliance.
  7. A notice of denial of certification shall inform the operator about the reasons and applicants right to reapply for certification or file an Appeal to the Appeal Committee.

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7. Continuation of Certification

  1. To continue certification the operator shall renew registration by paying fees for renewal.
  2. An updated annual report for production or handling operation shall be submitted by the operator.
  3. An updated corrective action for minor non conformities previously identified shall be submitted by the operator.
  4. TNOCD after receipt of renewal application for continuation of certification shall scrutinize the application and verify the facts.

Fair trade

All the operators shall perform their operation with social justice, they shall not employ child labour, and shall protect rights of women, smallholder, traditional agriculture and indigenous people’s rights.
 
Appeal

  1. Registered operator may appeal against the notice of denial of certification, proposed suspension or revocation to the appellate authority (Director, TNOCD ).
  2. An appeal shall be made within the time period mentioned in the notification or within 30 days from the date of receipt of the notification, whichever occurs later. The appeal shall be considered filed on the date of receipt in the office of Director, TNOCD. The decision of the appellate authority shall be final.

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8. Tamil Nadu Organic Certification Department (TNOCD) Standards for Organic Certification


For further details contact

Director
Department of Organic Certification

1424A, Thadagam Road, GCT Post,
Coimbatore - 641 013. Tamilnadu. India.
Phone : 0091 422 2432984
Fax : 0091 422 2457554
E.mail : info@tnocd.org
Website : www.tnocd.org

Updated on 23.08.2013

 

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