For more than 35 years, Premier Tech has been committed to research on natural active ingredients, to be incorporated in crop input products for professional growers. Professional brands owned by Premier Tech, such as AGTIV®, include products that are approved for use in organic agriculture, and some that are eligible to be approved for use in organic agriculture.
As organic certification is a rather complex subject, here is a short summary of how it works, especially in the North American market. Better understanding the principles may help you look for the right resource when it comes to choosing the right inputs for your crops, or even knowing that Premier Tech may helps you in the approval of products with your certifier.
Let’s start at the beginning!
To a certain extent, both Canadian and American authorities share a similar system as to how organic produce (food/feed/seeds) are certified, along with crop inputs. The USDA (United States Dept of Agriculture) applies the NOP (National Organic Program) the same way the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) applies the COR (Canadian Organic Regime).
Both authorities accredit third parties in their respective territory, called “Certification Bodies” (for example, the CFIA accredited: Pro-Cert, Ecocert, Québec Vrai, to name a few) to review and inspect organic producers so that they are conducting their operations in compliance with the Organic Standards, and that crop input manufacturers respect the same standards in their operations. The standards consist of two components:
Note that OMRI is not accredited as a certification body, neither in Canada nor in the US, but may act as an input reviewer in both countries according to the NOP and the COR. Reviews by OMRI can be accepted by certification bodies for input approval.
Hence, to be suitable for organic agriculture, a multi-ingredient input product (such an inoculant) must contain ingredients from the permitted substances list exclusively and must be produced according to the right practices.
As a crop input manufacturer, Premier Tech can choose to work with certification bodies to figure in the list of certified products and use the certification bodies’ logos (Pro-Cert, Ecocert, etc.) on product packaging and promotion. Different products can be certified by different certifiers, depending on targeted markets and other considerations.
To be certified, an input and all its ingredients must be evaluated against the targeted territory’s organic production standards as well as the processing of both ingredients and finished product, ensuring:
The manufacturer must provide the certifier with all required documentation regarding the standards and let inspectors, when needed, visit and audit operations. Most will conduct on-site inspections to validate control and traceability throughout the supply chain including inputs, production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, storage and distribution. Certification bodies may conduct renewals to ensure that approved products continue to be compliant with the requirements.
Every organic grower works with a certification body to ensure his or her production respects the standards. A grower may choose crop inputs from lists of certified inputs or may look for eligible products with the manufacturers.
Along with many certified products, Premier Tech offers several products that are eligible (but not certified) for the use in organic crop production and offers to help growers with the validation process. And it’s way easier than it looks!
If you are looking for eligible products or have already found one in our portfolio, feel free to contact our Technical Experts for them to connect you with one of our Regulatory Advisors. They will gladly contact your certifier to give them the required documentation. Your certifier will then validate that you can use the product without jeopardizing your organic certification.
Certification bodies and our Regulatory Advisors are used to the process, which is quick and effortless for the grower.
Helpful tools & links:
Learn how the addition of biological active ingredients, such as beneficial fungi and bacteria, helps stimulate and improve the health of agricultural soils and increases crop yields.
Marc Béland, Senior Director - Agriculture at Premier Tech, is wishing everyone a great 2023 season!
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