Organic farmers warned
about imposter products
Organic farmers and growers are being warned to look out for products
that are falsely marketed as suitable for use on organic farms.
The Soil Association - the UK's main certifier and promoter of
organic food - is aware that some companies are falsely claiming
that their products are approved for use on organic farms. The
warning concerns inputs such as products to control pest and disease
as well as composts and supplementary nutrients.
Some products are being marketed as suitable for organic farms
even though they contain materials that are prohibited under organic
standards. Others are falsely marketed as approved for use in organic
systems by the Soil Association, when no approval has been granted.
Examples include a company that actively marketed a 'natural herbicide'
as suitable for use in organic systems even though herbicides are
prohibited under European organic law. In another case, a pest
and disease product was sold for use in organic systems when it
was not even registered with the Pesticides Safety Directorate.
"This type of marketing practice is unacceptable. We will
seek legal advice on behalf of our members if necessary. We may
have to make public the names of companies who persist in making
false claims," says Phil Stocker, head of agriculture at the
Soil Association Certification Ltd (SA Cert) operates a product
certification and verification service for inputs used in organic
systems. The organisation can fully assess any product submitted
to us by a manufacturer to ensure it is suitable for use in organic
systems. This offers organic farmers and growers a credible guarantee
of the integrity of any input, and the manufacturer the chance
to market with integrity.
The Soil Association is urging organic producers to check with
manufacturers or suppliers that the product is permitted for use
on organic farms. Any company with a product that is legitimately
certified by the Soil Association will be able to give details
of their licence to anyone making an enquiry. If there is any doubt,
farmers are advised to check with their certification body or call
the Soil Association on 0117 314 5000. Companies who would like
information about the organisation's product certification and
verification service are also encouraged to call.