How to meet EU standards for organic farming and apply for funding.
You must register with an organic control body if you’re going to produce, prepare, store, import or sell organic products.
You’re breaking the law if you call a food product ‘organic’ if it hasn’t been inspected and certified by one of the UK’s 9 organic control bodies (CBs).
You’ll have to complete application, inspection and certification steps to become certified to produce or process organic products. You can download information packs from more than one of the approved CBs or talk to them to find out more.
Find out about organic food inspections and tests.
What counts as organic farming
Organic farming can include:
- avoiding artificial fertilisers and pesticides
- using crop rotation and other forms of husbandry to maintain soil fertility
- controlling weeds, pesticides and diseases using husbandry techniques and where necessary approved materials to control pests and diseases
- using a limited number of approved products and substances where necessary in the processing of organic food
How long it takes to get certified as an organic producer
Usually it’ll take you 2 years to get certified as an organic producer. it might take shorter or longer depending on your situation, eg:
- 3 years for established orchards of perennial soft, top and vine fruits
- 12 months for grass for pig and poultry grazing if no banned products have been applied to soil over the previous 12 months
- 2 years for land intended for ruminant grazing and annual crops
Contact the CBs to find out what you need to do.
Get funding to convert to organic farming
You can get financial help for converting to organic farming through any one of the following:
- the Countryside Stewardship scheme
- rural grants and payments
- organic conversion grants
- organic land management grants
Organic conversion grants
Find out about eligibility and requirements for converting your land to these types of organic farming:
- improved permanent grassland (OR1)
- unimproved permanent grassland (OR2)
- rotational land (OR3)
- horticulture (OR4)
- top fruit (OR5)
Organic land management grants
Find out about eligibility and requirements for these options of managing your land organically:
- improved permanent grassland (OT1)
- unimproved permanent grassland (OT2)
- rotational land (OT3)
- horticulture (OT4)
- top fruit (OT5)
- enclosed rough grazing (OT6)
Get a certificate that proves you’re a certified organic farmer
You’ll be sent a certificate by your CB after you’ve registered and passed an inspection.
Your certificate is valid for 1 year.
Get your certificate renewed
When it’s near the time for your certificate to be renewed, your CB will inspect your farm. Your certificate will be renewed if it passes the inspection. Contact your CB to find out more, eg when you’ll be inspected, how your certificate will be renewed and how much it might cost.