Harming the organic farming movement
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has recently announced the Draft Food and Standards (Organic Food) Regulations, 2017, aimed at curbing sales of fake organic products. This regulation, when notified, will require that products sold in the domestic market as "organic" be certified by either of the two present certification systems: the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP), initiated by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, or the Participatory Guarantee Scheme (PGS), led by the Ministry of Agriculture. The difference between the two: the NPOP was designed for the export market and involves third-party companies which verify organic status, while in PGS, a group of farmers work together and guarantee that everyone in the group is practising organic farming. The draft, however, exempts 'unprocessed' organic food sold directly by a farmer or a farmer organisation to the end consumer. In other words, this regulation is only applicable to 'processed' organic food and branded 'unprocessed' organic food sold by a company.