The Indian marketplace is stuffed with new organic products coming up on a daily basis. With the increase in demand and production of these products, the product’s genuineness and quality have become a severe matter of concern for everyone.
Considering the severity of the situation, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched the Jaivik Bharat logo to let end users identify legitimate organic foods from the rest. Any product affixed with this logo claims to meet all the guidelines or norms of organic farming.
What is an Organic Food?
Organic foods are produced through holistic agricultural practices, and they are free from pesticides or harmful substances. Their productions are done in accordance with organic production standards.
People in India have a negative perception of these foods due to a lack of credibility and trust. For years, our country has been facing unlawful packaging and production of organic foods that endanger public health in one way or another. Thus, it is imperative to check if the food item is labeled as organic or not.
In the past, there was no robust system in place that can help consumers identify the authenticity of the organic product. But after the arrival of the Food Safety and Standards Regulations 2017, such adversities have been taken care of.
What does Jaivik Bharat Logo Indicates?
- The Javik Bharat logo comprises images of a leaf, circle, and a tick mark.
- The circle reflects global holistic wellness. The leaf manifests nature, and the tick mark gives the implication of FSSAI certification.
- The unified logo refers to an identity mark that empowers end users to distinguish organic food products from the rest, supported with a tagline “Jaivik Bharat” located at the bottom, which indicates Organic Food from India.
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Legislation Governing of Organic Food in India
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) held the right to administer manufacturing, distribution, and sale of “organic foods” as per Section 22 of the Food Safety Standards Act, 2006. Organic produces are governed by the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017.
Which Food Products is Eligible to be Labeled as ‘Organic ‘?
Food Products which is Eligible to be Labeled as ‘Organic are divided into two institutions, which are as follows:-
Under NPOP System
A single ingredient product can be labeled as ‘Organic’ if it is found to be compliant with the specified standards. A multi-ingredient product can be labeled as ‘Certified Organic’ if it 95% of ingredients are certified.
Under the PGS-India system
A single ingredient product may be labeled as ‘PGS- Organic’ if it duly complies with the prescribed standards. Multi-ingredient products may be labeled as ‘PGS- Organic” if 95% of its ingredients are organic.
Who can use Jaivik Bharat Logo on Organic foods?
As per the Jaivik Bharat online portal, India’s government has established two different institutions for granting certification for organic Foods. These are as follows (a) NPOP- National Program for Organic Production & (b) PGS-India- A Participatory Organic Guarantee Programme.
Under NPOP, 28 Accredited Certification Bodies allow farmers to avail the certification for the export of their organic produce. Meanwhile, PGS-India is supported by 562 Regional Councils (RC’s) that helps farmer obtain certification for domestic sell of organic foods.
Both bodies deal with the authenticity of the organic produces and promote the production of the same. The interested person can visit the Jaivik India portal to obtain the list of the aforesaid Certification Bodies. Without these certifications, the trading of organic products is not possible in India.
The following steps can help you avail Jaivik Bharat logo for organic foods:-
- Obtain FSSAI for organic foods.
- Depending on the scale of farming, trading requirement, and product type, either applies for ‘NPOP’ or ‘PGS-India’. This can be done by contacting nearby Regional Councils or Certification Bodies.
- Upon receiving the request, these bodies will send an application form to the applicant.
- All applicants need to fill the application form without error and sent it back to the respective Regional Council or Certification Body.
- An agent will scrutinize the application and decides your produce meets the guidelines for authentication. This may involve on-site inspection as well.
- After successfully completing the verification process, the applicant shall become eligible to use the Jaivik Bharat logo.
An Overview on Jaivik Bharat Portal
The government has taken several measures to clear the vagueness around organic foods’ authenticity. To promote public health, three apex institutions of India, i.e., FSSAI, APEDA, and PGC India, have collectively launched an online portal to help Indian farmers and agriculturists verify the authenticity of organic food.
An “Indian Organic Integrity DataBase” is being utilized by this portal to serve that purpose. Apart from that, the portal also provides the following information to the accessee.
- Producer information.
- Certification System.
- Availability of certified organic products
Important Points to Consider for Organic Production
- The importation of organic foods negates the requirement of re-certification if there is a bilateral or multilateral agreement regarding the equivalence of standards in accordance with National Programme for Organic Production. In such cases, a Transaction Certificate is required from the Accredited Certification Body to validate imported produce.
- ‘In-conversion’ Organic foods don’t have access to Jaivik Bharat Logo
- ‘In-Conversion’ organic food generally refers to non-organic foods
- Certification under NPOP/PGS-India set out the guidelines for handling organic food or availing license under FSSR.
- In terms of Microbiological parameters, the Organic Foods must stay in line with the limits and parameters given in Appendix B of FSS (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011
- The organic food must ensure conformity with maximum contamination limit as per given under Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues) Regulations, 2011.
- The maximum residue limit in organic food under Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues) Regulations, 2011 shall be 5% of the maximum limits prescribed or LoQ (aka Level of Quantification), whichever is higher.
Organic foods that lack the Jaivik Bharat logo and FSSAI License number can be potentially harmful to the customer’s health. The lack of these credentials implies that the given food item is untested and highly unsafe for public health. Customer needs to remain on their toes before flipping organic foods into their shopping cart.
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