Food safety regulatory authority FSSAI has permitted small organic producers, having an annual turnover of over Rs 12 lakh, to sell their produce directly to end consumers without certification till April 2020, but not authorized to use ‘Jaivik Bharat logo’ on their products. The Jaivik Bharat logo is an unique mark to differentiate organic products from non-organic products.
A similar relaxation has been given to ‘aggregators’ having an annual turnover of Rs 50 lakh. However, organic food retail firms have to complete the certification norm. Under the 2017 organic regulation, sale of organic produce directly to end customer has been permitted only with the certification of the National Program for Organic Production (NPOP) and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) India.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) said the norms were relaxed after it examined several representations regarding challenges faced in the implementation of regulations by organic food business operations including small original producers.
"One of the biggest challenges is that there are a large number of producers and producer organizations in the country who are not certified under any of the two systems of certification. Efforts are currently in progress for simplification of PGS-India to make it small producer friendly.
To build confidence in small producers, these regulations might be considered as ‘enabling regulations’ and not be considered for prosecution particularly for small original producers and producer organizations throughout the initial phase of its implementation till April 2020”.
FSSAI said the self-certification of turnover of small organic producers and aggregators will be considered. However, the state food safety officers have been instructed to see if the restrictions of contaminants and insecticide residue as per the standard regulations are being followed. They have also been instructed to check any misuse of the standards 7 regulations.