The IFOAM Standard Version 1.1 with proposed changes in track changes can be downloaded
. The clean version can be downloaded
Questions (both technical or procedural) regarding the IFOAM Standard can be submitted to Joelle Katto-Andrighetto at
Deadline for comments: June 16, 2013. Please send comments preferably in track changes to
August 2012: IFOAM Standard approved by IFOAM membership. IFOAM publishes Version 2012 of the IFOAM Norms
In 2010, IFOAM launched its new Organic Guarantee System (OGS). The
implementation of this new OGS contains major changes to be implemented
in the IFOAM Norms. While the IFOAM Norms have historically been
composed of the IFOAM Basic Standards (IBS) and the IFOAM Accreditation
Criteria, the new IFOAM Norms now contain the following normative
- The IFOAM Standard: an off-the-shelf certification standard based on the IBS, which is replacing the IBS.
The IFOAM Standards Requirements which will adopt the Common Objectives
and Requirements of Organic Standards (COROS) developed jointly by
IFOAM, FAO and UNCTAD. This document is the basis to assess
equivalence of organic standards for inclusion in the IFOAM Family of
- The IFOAM Accreditation Requirements (former IFOAM Accreditation Criteria).
On August 12, 2012, the new version of the IFOAM Norms, Version 2012, has replaced former Version 2005
. What has changed? The following:
- The IFOAM Basic Standards (IBS) has been replaced by the IFOAM Standard, which has been approved through electronic membership vote ending on the 5th of August 2012.
- The Plant Breeding Draft Standards have been deleted (they are now integrated into the approved IFOAM Standard).
- The COROS (Common Objectives and Requirements of Organic Standards – IFOAM Standards Requirements), approved in July 2011, has been added to the book of norms.
- The IFOAM Accreditation Criteria for Bodies Certifying Organic Production and Processing has been renamed the “IFOAM Accreditation Requirements for Bodies Certifying Organic Production and Processing”, in line with the OGS membership vote of July 2010, and the corresponding edits have been included throughout the document, as well as small changes in its introduction. Its reference to the IBS has been changed to reference the IFOAM Standard.
- Introductory and general sections on the IFOAM Norms, the IFOAM Organic Guarantee System, the IFOAM Accreditation Program, etc. have been updated.
The IFOAM Norms, Version 2012 can be found here
The IFOAM Norms are the basis for approval of certification bodies under the IFOAM Accreditation and the IFOAM Global Organic System Accreditation Programs. Learn more about these accreditation programs here.
History of Norms 2012 development
1. The IFOAM Standard
The IFOAM Standard is intended to be an internationally applicable organic standard that can be used directly for certification. It will also be a highly recognized, globally applicable standard.The IFOAM Standard now offers a global platform for organic standard setters to discuss, exchange, negotiate and compromise on detailed standards, thereby taking over the role that the IFOAM Basic Standard had in the past in this regard. The IFOAM Standard will also replace the IBS in the IFOAM Accreditation Program:certification bodies wishing to keep or obtain IFOAM Accreditation will have to use the IFOAM Standard or ensure compliance of their private standard to it.
The IFOAM Standard, version 0.1 was open for a first round of consultation in February-March 2011. You can download it here
. The draft IFOAM Standard was developed based on the IBS Version 2005, but has undergone significant changes to turn what was a “standard for standards” into a “certification standard”. These changes are explained in the Introduction and Comment Questions for Members
(también disponible en espanol aqui
). This standard draft version 0.1 has been developed through the joint effort of the IFOAM staff, IFOAM Standard Committee, IOAS staff and other selected experts. The IFOAM Standard Committee reviewed all comments received and has published responses to these comments
in August 2011. Following this, the committee produced a second draft version (Version 0.2) which was approved by the World Board in early November 2011. This IFOAM Standard Version 0.2
was presented for motions to the IFOAM membership (deadline January 8, 2012). IFOAM members should read the Introduction from the Standard Committee to the membership
before submitting motion on the IFOAM Standard Version 0.2.
Version 0.2 of the IFOAM Standard was published in November 2011 and
members were invited to submit motions on that version, prior to the
final approval of the standard. IFOAM received a total of 15 motions.
All those have been taken into account in the motion reconciliation
process, through which motions could either:
- Be withdrawn by the motion maker, or
- Be accepted as friendly amendments and thereafter integrated into Version 0.3 of the IFOAM Standard, or
- Be merged with other motions of related intention, and /or
- Be put for membership vote.
motion reconciliation process was led by the IFOAM Standard Committee
and the ultimate outcomes are joint agreements between the IFOAM World
Board and the motion makers. An overview of the motions submitted and
the outcome of the motion reconciliation process is available here
. This outcome is what constituted the difference between Version 0.2 and Version 0.3 of the IFOAM Standard. You can access Version 0.3 in a “track changes” format
as compared to Version 0.2, as well as in a “cleaned” version
of the 15 motions could be resolved through the motion reconciliation
process, except for one motion, which the World Board brought to
the IFOAM membership for a vote. Members could vote “in favor” or
“against” the motion. The motion gathered a total of 97% yes (3% blank votes) and was therefore integrated into the IFOAM Standard Version 1.0, which was the version submitted for a final approval vote (up
or down) to the IFOAM membership.
The IFOAM World Board, based on
recommendations from the IFOAM Standard Committee, has reviewed the
motion and has developed its own position towards the motion which is
being put for vote. The motion put for vote, its rational and the position of the World Board are presented and explained in the Motion Vote Document
which has been sent to the IFOAM membership on the 3rd of May 2012. The
deadline for vote on the motions was the 19th of June 2012.
On June 22, IFOAM published the result of the motion vote and opened the final voting period on the approval of the IFOAM Standard: the motion
on organic plant breeding methods was approved unanimously (3% blank
votes, total of 14% participation) and was therefore integrated into the
IFOAM Standard Version 1.0
which was the version submitted for a final approval vote (up
or down) to the IFOAM membership. The vote was open until August 5, 2012. To access the vote document, click here
The IFOAM Standard for Organic Production and Processing Version 1.0 was approved as a result of the membership vote. The IFOAM membership has approved with a 93 % of “yes”” (participation of 13%) to the motion “With this membership vote, the World Board proposes to approve the IFOAM Standard for Organic Production and Processing Version 1.0 as the new section in the IFOAM Norms for Organic Production and Processing, in replacement of the former IFOAM Basic Standards.” Following this approval, the new IFOAM Standard was integrated into the IFOAM Norms Version 2012, which was published on the 12th of August 2012.
Developing the IFOAM Standard will nevertheless be a work in progress and an on-going duty of IFOAM and of its Standard Committee much beyond 2011, provided that there is interest in the commercial use of this standard. The IFOAM Standard Committee is already working on further development of the standard, to be integrated into a next version.
Standard owners and certification bodies can choose to use the IFOAM Standard to directly certify operators globally. The use of the IFOAM Standard for certification is subject to annual fees, according to the fee scheme
. See also the application form
and the contract template. 2. The COROS - IFOAM Standards Requirements
Both IFOAM and the GOMA project have been developing tools for assessing equivalence of organic standards. These tools have been harmonized into a single one named “Common Objectives and Requirements of Organic Standards” (COROS), or in the context of the IFOAM Norms the "IFOAM Standards Requirements". This single tool is expected to become THE international reference to perform bi-lateral or multi-lateral equivalence assessments of organic standards. The tool contains requirements that have been found common across many private and government organic standards. Standards can now be compared to this reference in an equivalence exercise, which will highlight their strengths and weaknesses as compared to the international reference. A spreadsheet is the functional format whereby data is entered following the traditional structure of organic standards, and results are automatically fed into a second sheet that provides an overview of how well the standard addresses the Common Objectives. A third sheet is provided to summarize the results of the assessment. The tool is also provided in Word document form for easier reading and comprehension of the common objectives and requirements that relate to them.
A first round of consultation was organized by the GOMA project in the end of 2011 on the GOMA version of the document (before harmonization and merging with the IFOAM version). Comments submitted during the first round of consultation on the GOMA document, and responses to these comments, are available on the GOMA website: http://www.goma-organic.org/.
The COROS - IFOAM Standards requirements underwent an open consultation period in February-March 2011. Versions proposed for comments are available here for the record: they include the spreadsheet
, the Word document version with IFOAM Introduction
, to be used in the IFOAM Norms and the Word document with GOMA Introduction
, to be used as Annex II of the Equitool. The compilation of comments received during this consultation period, and the official responses to those comments, can be found here
In its April 2011 meeting, the IFOAM World Board approved the revised
version of the COROS – IFOAM Standards Requirements, as a new IFOAM norm
and reference for the acceptance or rejection of organic standards into
the IFOAM Family of Standards. On June 16, the World Board presented a
motion to the IFOAM membership, proposing to ratify the document. The
motion was open for membership vote until July, 28. The membership
approved the COROS with an impressive 93,8 % of the votes. To learn more
and read the final COROS-IFOAM Standards Requirements version, click here
. To download the evaluation matrix template (excel sheet) for the equivalence assessment of standards against the COROS click here
3. The IFOAM Accreditation Requirements
The IFOAM Accreditation Requirements (IAR) establish requirements
for conduct of organic certification by certification bodies. The
IAC are based on the International ISO norm for the operation of
certifying bodies and they are additionally developed to reflect the
particular circumstances of certifying organic production and processing.
The "IFOAM Accreditation Requirements" is essentially the same document (with a name change and minor adjustments) as the IFOAM Accreditation Criteria Version 2005. IFOAM formed an IFOAM Accreditation Requirements Committee to work on the further development of the Accreditation Requirements, with the objective to publish a new version by 2014. The Committee prepared a public revision plan which was open for public comments until September 4, 2012.