Released today, the new requirements come into immediate effect.
The standards for organic seaweed cultivation and collection directly reflect those imposed by the EU regulations, and while licensees were previously able to use the Soil Association symbol under the provisional use of seaweed standards, this launch marks the availability of standards fully endorsed by the Board of Trustees, a spokesperson told FoodNavigator.
Head of standards at the Soil Association, Chris Atkinson, said: “Aquaculture is increasingly important as it has the potential to provide fish for global markets while limiting pressure on wild stocks which face a
variety of threats. Having strict but straightforward standards for organic production will ensure that this does not come at the cost of environmental pollution or poor animal welfare,” adding that in these key areas, the Soil Association’s standards exceeded the criteria required by the EU.
Industry experts, producers and interested members of the public all contributed to the new standards, which were drafted and finalised in conjunction with the Soil Association’s independent Aquaculture Standards Committee.
When the public consultation process was launched in November last year, a spokesperson for the Soil Association said the revised standards would also be more plain speaking, practical and “clearer than ever about the aims and benefits of organic food production”.
The Soil Association has reviewed its standards several times since they were established in 1973, the last time being in 2004.
The standards for aquaculture can be seen here.
The standards for seaweed production can be seen here.