Organic certification

The IMO certificate

IMO Control Private Limited (IMO India)

Annapurna Farm is a certified organic farm since 2005. It is controlled and certified by IMO – India, an independent Indian certification body for organic agriculture. Organic standards in India are provided by the government in NPOP, the National Programme for Organic Production. IMO controllers come at least once in a year. Organic farming is an integrated farming system, that strives towards sustainability, enhancement of soil fertility, healthy natural food and biological diversity whilst, with rare exceptions, prohibiting synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, growth hormones, nanomaterials, or human sewage sludge.

Organic farming in general relies on fertilizers of organic origin such as manure, compost, green manure, and bone meal and places emphasis on techniques such as crop rotation and companion planting. Biological pest control, mixed cropping and the fostering of insect predators are encouraged. Reasons for advocation of organic farming include advantages such as sustainability, transparency, self-sufficiency, autonomy/independence, health, food security, and food safety.

Organic agricultural methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced by many nations, based in large part on the standards set by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), an international umbrella organization for organic farming organizations established in 1972.

The IMO – Certification: How it works

The IMO inspector comes at least once in a year. He stays a whole day on the farm and a list of requirements have to be fulfilled. Apart from the general standards (see first article above) the inspector goes into the details. To be able to do this, the farm keeps detailed records of all that goes on in the field, processing areas and dairy. All external inputs must be documented and registered. The standards are strict: if a cow gets, for example antibiotics (only given in emergency cases), the milk is not marketed for double the withdrawal time which is indicated on the packaging of the medicine. Or if a new cheese is developed, all details have to be submitted to IMO before it goes on the shelves. In case of external ingredients used, the farm has to supply proof-of-origin and has to supply a GMO-free declaration from the manufacturer. On the farm walk, the inspector looks at the general farm condition, dairy animals, grain storage, etc. Labelling is also meticulously checked. This intense recording makes the farm more transparent and processes can be tracked.

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