In today’s world there are no uniform international standards for organic production. Organic certification is carried out depending on whether a market for organic products: about Bio-EU market – the EU 834/2007, 889/2008, regarding the U.S. organic market – according to the National Organic Program (NOP), with respect to the environmental market in Japan – JAS Standards etc. Accreditation and certification standards, IFOAM is insufficient to achieve the key target markets for ecological / organic products, and in some cases limited.
For the accreditation of certification for compliance with various eco-standards (including Eco-Standards of key target markets) in the world there are a number of organizations such as the International Accreditation Service in environmental management (English IOAS), based on federation IFOAM. Today in IOAS are already accredited or are in the process of accreditation 29 certification agencies in the U.S., Europe, Japan, Australia, China, Latin America, which accounts for about 50-60% of global certification services. There are differences in state regulation of organic agriculture in different countries, as well as private standards, inhibit the growth of world markets for organic products and create obstacles to trade it, as stated in The truth about organic foods.
The motivation of consumers of organic products together with such requirements and expectations: a healthy and environmentally safe food, good taste quality, preservation of natural environment in the manufacturing process, no genetically modified organisms. This motivation determines the willingness of consumers to pay an additional premium (10-50% or more of the regular price) for organic products and demand in the world is constantly growing, as stated in The Organic Food Handbook: A Consumer’s Guide to Buying and Eating Organic Food: Easyread Large Edition.
In 2008, the capacity of the global market for organic products topped $ 52 billion, while the average growth rate is around 10-15%. Under organic farming in the world is given more land: in Europe it is more than 5 million hectares in North America – 1.5 million in Australia – 10.6 million hectares. Europe, the USA and Japan are actively developing the organic movement for over 30 years. More and more farmers around the world are switching to organic farming methods, in almost every supermarket there is a wide selection of products and goods with “green”¯ markings, that are actively developing a network “health stores”¯. According to the British Association – The Soil Association, in 2008, three out of four households in Britain are in a given amount of buying organic food. At this point, in the world there is formed a valuable market for organic products in segments such as: vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy products, baby food, agricultural raw materials for processing (mainly crops).
According to recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to organic products of all kinds accounts for 3% of the total U.S. market, while in Europe the figure ranges from 1% to 7%.
Japan has traditionally been a leader in the organic market among Asian countries. Every year, the demand is increasing for organic products in China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and India, due to increased solvency of consumers. For example, the organic market in India over the past two years increased by 200%, as stated in Organic foods.
Developing countries are slowly moving in this direction, and often for that they have to overpay a significant amount, since development is often caused by “exporting”¯ final environmental products (volumes which initially insignificant and barely small wholesale importer and sold initially at a higher price ) and then the service (Bio-certification, environmental consulting) from more “developed”¯ countries in this direction with a high level of competition in its own market and finished, well-established structure of production, processing, marketing, services, and public support. It is not surprising therefore, that in “developing”¯ countries, organic cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat and milk are often much more expensive than standard counterparts, while a significant part of their population live in rural areas without decent jobs, with dim prospects for the future, chilled in poverty . In China, prices of eco-products may exceed the price of conventional products to 700%, in Russia – up to 1000% (which are much more expensive prices for the same product in the European Union, where it is imported, a factor of 3-4), as described in The Organic Food Handbook: A Consumer’s Guide to Buying and Eating Organic Food: Easyread Large Edition.
In the report, “Consumers Union Research Team Shows: Organic Foods Really DO Have Less Pesticides”¯, published in 2002, stated that the content of pesticide residues in organic products representing 30% of their content in traditional foods. In the U.S., monitoring of pesticide residues in agricultural products and food processing is carried out, guided by program data on pesticides (Pesticide Data Program), which is a set of laws of USDA. The report of the service from 2005 recorded: “The data show that 29.5% of all tested samples of organic products do not contain pesticides, 30% found the remains of one pesticide, 40% – more than one.”¯ A series of further studies of various academic institutions confirmed that 25% of organic foods contain pesticide residues. According to the standards of organic farming, you can not use synthetic pesticides, but permitted the use of specific pesticides, which are obtained, for example, from plants. EPA United States has 195 registered agents, pesticides, animal, vegetable or mineral origin which are used in 780 products. Bio pesticides are less dangerous than conventional pesticides, but this does not mean that they are not toxic. Of course, it’s safer to use organic fertilizers because they are made mostly from manure, peat, seaweed, or compost. But to achieve efficiency, the required large doses of that manufacturer mean big costs. For example, in order to grow the same amount of product necessary to make up to 4 tons / ha of organic fertilizer to 1 ton of chemical. European legislation, as well as the basic international standards with regards to organic production and processing adopted by IFOAM, permitted food additives (for example, E-153, E-170, E-200, and so on.). There is a danger arising from natural contaminants, such as insects or microscopic fungi. For example, the likelihood of contamination of organic corn with mycotoxins is ten times higher than in non-sensitive to insect genetically modified varieties, as described in 12 Foods to eat organic.
All in all, it can be said that the organic foods is rather expensive and contradictive kind of product, as there are many unclear issues that the society does not believe in and also does not understand. Consequently, the organic sphere requires additional research, funds and new approaches to be fully implemented in the society all over the world.