GOPCA Internal Standard

GOPCA Organic Standard-Guideline (based on NPOP/NSOP)


Conversion Requirements

  1.  The whole farm, including livestock, should be converted according to the standards over a period of three years.
  2. The standards requirements shall be met during the conversion period. All the standards requirements shall be applied on the relevant aspects from the beginning of the conversion period onward
  3. If the whole farm is not converted, GOPCA shall ensure that the organic and conventional parts of the farm are separate and inspectable.
  4. Before products from a farm/project can be certified as organic, GOPCA will carry out inspection during the conversion period. The start of the conversion period may be calculated from the date of application to the certification programme or from the date of last application of unapproved farm inputs provided it can demonstrate that standards requirements have been met from that date of implementation.
  5. Simultaneous production of conventional, in conversion and/or organic crops or animal products which cannot be clearly distinguished from each other, is not allowed.
  6. To ensure a clear separation between organic and conventional production, GOPCA will inspect the whole production system, where appropriate.
  7. A full conversion period is not required where de facto full standards requirements have been met for several years and where this can be verified through several means and sources. In such cases inspection shall be carried out with a reasonable time interval before the first harvest.
  8. Converted land and animals should not get switched back and forth between organic and conventional management.
  9. The farming practices should facilitate biodiversity and nature conservation.



  1. When organic seed and plant materials are available, they shall be used. GOPCA will set time limits for the requirement of certified organic seed and other plant material.
  2. When certified organic seed and plant materials are not available, chemically untreated conventional materials shall be used.
  3. The use of genetically engineered seeds, pollen, transgene plants or plant material is not allowed.

Duration of Conversion Period

  1. Plant products produced can be certified organic when the standards requirements have been met during a conversion period of at least two years before sowing or in the case of perennial crops, at least three years (thirty-six months) before the first harvest of products.  GOPCA may decide in certain cases (such as idle use for two years or more) to extend or reduce the conversion period in the light of previous status of the land but the period must equal or exceed twelve months.
  1. The conversion period can be extended by GOPCA depending on e.g. past use of the land and environmental conditions.
  1.  GOPCA may allow plant products to be sold as "produce of organic agriculture in process of conversion" or a similar description during the conversion period of the farm.
  2.  For the calculation of inputs for feeding, the feed produced on the farm unit during the first year of organic management, may be classed as organic. This refers only to feed for animals which are themselves being produced within the farm unit and such feed may not be sold or otherwise marketed as organic. Feed produced on the farms in accordance with the national standards is to be preferred over conventionally grown, brought-in feeds.

Diversity in Crop Production

  1. Where appropriate, GOPCA shall require that sufficient diversity is obtained in time or place in a manner that takes into account pressure from insects, weeds, diseases and other pests, while maintaining or increasing soil, organic matter, fertility, microbial activity and general soil health. For non perennial crops, this is normal, but not exclusive, achieved by means of crop rotation.

Fertilization Policy

       1.   Biodegradable material of microbial plant or animal origin shall form the basis of the fertilization programme.

       2.    GOPCA shall set limitations to the total amount of biodegradable material of microbial, plant or animal origin

brought onto the farm unit, taking into account local conditions and the specific nature  of the crops.

        3.    Brought-in material (including potting compost) shall be in accordance with Appendices I and 2.

        4.    Manures containing human excreta (faeces and urine) shall not be used on vegetation for human


        5.    Mineral fertilisers shall only be used in a supplementary role to carbon based materials. Permission

                 for use shall only be given when other fertility management practices have been optimised.

        6.    Mineral fertilisers shall be applied in their natural composition and shall not be rendered more   

                 soluble  by chemical treatment. The certification programme may grant exceptions which shall be   

                 well  justified. These exceptions shall not include mineral fertilisers containing nitrogen (see

                Appendix 1).

         7.   The certification programme shall lay down restrictions for the use of inputs such as mineral    

potassium, magnesium fertilisers, trace elements, manures and fertilisers with a relatively high heavy metal content and/or other unwanted substances, e.g. basic slag, rock phosphate and sewage  sludge  (Appendices I and 2)

        8.    Chilean nitrate and all synthetic nitrogenous fertilisers, including urea, are prohibited.

         9.   Urea, DAP, SSP and such other synthetic fertilizers are not allowed.

Pest, Disease and Weed Management including Growth Regulators

  1. Products used for pest, disease and weed management, prepared at the farm from local plants, animals and micro-organisms, are allowed. If the ecosystem or the quality of organic products might be jeopardised, the Procedure to Evaluate Additional Inputs to Organic Agriculture (Appendix 3) and other relevant criteria shall be used to judge if the product is acceptable. Brand name products that have been approved as organic can be used.  
  1.  Thermic weed control and physical methods for pest, disease and weed management are       permitted.
  1. Thermic sterilization of soils to combat pests and diseases is restricted to circumstances where a proper rotation or renewal of soil cannot take place.
  2. All equipment from conventional farming systems shall be properly cleaned and free from residues before being used on organically managed areas.
  3. The use of synthetic herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and other pesticides is prohibited. Permitted products for plant pest and disease control are listed in Appendix 2.
  4. The use of synthetic growth regulators and synthetic dyes are prohibited.
  5. The use of genetically engineered organisms or products is prohibited.
  6. Farmer should ensure that measures are in place to prevent transmission of pests, parasites and infectious agents.

Contamination Control

  1. All relevant measures should be taken to minimize contamination from outside and within the farm.
  2. Accumulation of heavy metals and other pollutants should not occur.
  3. In case of reasonable suspicion of contamination GOPCA shall make sure that an analysis of the relevant products and possible sources of pollution (soil and water) will be done to determine the level of contamination.
  4. For protected structure coverings, plastic mulches, fleeces, insect netting and silage rapping, only products based on polyethylene and polypropylene or other polycarbonates are allowed. These shall be removed from the soil after use and shall not be burnt on the farmland. The use of polychloride based products is not allowed.

Soil and Water Conservation

  1. Clearing of land through the means of burning organic matter, e.g. slash-and-burn, straw burning shall be restricted to the minimum.
  2. The clearing of primary forest is prohibited.
  3. Relevant measures shall be taken to prevent erosion.
  4. Excessive exploitation and depletion of water resources shall not be allowed.
  5. The certification programme shall require appropriate stocking rates which do not lead to land degradation and pollution of ground and surface water.
  6. Relevant measures shall be taken to prevent salination of soil and water.

Collection of Non Cultivated Material of Plant Origin and Honey

  1. Wild harvested products shall only be certified organic if derived from a stable and sustainable growing environment. Harvesting or gathering the product shall not exceed the sustainable yield of the ecosystem, or threaten the existence of plant or animal species.
  2. Products can only be certified organic if derived from a clearly defined collecting area, which is not exposed to prohibited substances, and which is subject to inspection.
  3. The collection area shall be at an appropriate distance from conventional farming, pollution and contamination.
  4. The operator managing the harvesting or gathering of the products shall be clearly identified and be familiar with the collecting area in question.

Processing Methods

The following kinds of processes are approved :

  • Mechanical and physical
  • Biological
  • Smoking
  • Extraction
  • Precipitation
  • Filtration
  1. Extraction shall only take place with water, ethanol, plant and animal oils, vinegar, carbon dioxide, nitrogen or carboxylic acids. These shall be of food grade quality, appropriate for the purpose.
  2. Irradiation is not allowed.
  3. Filtration substances shall not be made of asbestos nor may they be permeated with substances which may negatively affect the product.


  1. Unnecessary packaging materials should be avoided.
  2. Recycling and reusable systems shall be used wherever possible.
  3. Biodegradable packaging materials shall be used.
  4. Material used for packaging shall not contaminate food.


  1. The person or company legally responsible for the production or processing of the product shall be identifiable.
  2. Single ingredient products may be labelled as "produce of organic agriculture" or a similar description when all Standards requirements have been met.
  3. Mixed products where not all ingredients, including additives, are of organic origin may be labelled in the following way (raw material weight):
  • Where a minimum of 95% of the ingredients are of certified organic origin, products may be labelled "certified organic" or similar and should carry the logo of the certification programme.
  • Where less than 95% but not less than 70% of the ingredients are of certified organic origin, products may not be called "organic". The word "organic" may be used on the principal display in statements like "made with organic ingredients" provided there is a clear statement of the proportion of the organic ingredients. An indication that the product is covered by the certification programme may be used, close to the indication of proportion of organic ingredients.

Where less than 70% of the ingredients are of certified organic origin, the indication that an ingredient is organic may appear in the ingredients list. Such product may not be called "organic".

         4. Added water and salt shall not be included in the percentage calculations of organic ingredients.

          5. The label for conversion products shall be clearly distinguishable from the label for organic products.

          6. All raw materials of a multi-ingredient product shall be listed on the product label in order of their

              weight percentage. It shall be apparent which raw materials are of organic certified origin and which

              are not. All additives shall be listed with their full name.

                          If herbs and/or spices constitute less than 2% of the total weight of the product, they may be      listed as "spices " or "herbs " without stating the percentage.

            7. Organic products shall not be labelled as GE (genetic engineering) or GM (genetic modification) free in order to avoid potentially misleading claims about the end product. Any reference to genetic  engineering on product labels shall be limited to the production method.


  1. Where only part of the unit is certified and other products are non-organic, the organic products should be stored and handled separately to maintain their identity.
  2. Bulk stores for organic product should be separate from conventional product stores and clearly labeled to that effect.
  3. Storage areas and transport containers for organic product should be cleaned using methods and materials permitted in organic production.  Measures should be taken to prevent possible contamination from any pesticide or other treatment not listed in Appendix – 2.