The Ministry of Agriculture developed the project on the organic products’ registry and on the logo for it. The project uploaded at the website: regulation. gov.ru, states that the logo is a white leaf on the green background with the sign «ОРГАНИК» at the top and «ORGANIC» at the bottom. Apart from the leaf the logo will have a two-dimensional bar code which will be applied at the consumer’s and (or) transport packing or at any data carriers on it. The project allows to use black and white variant of the logo.
The logo will be applied in case the product is certified as an organic one. If the sign is applied without a certificate, the producer will bear responsibility as set forth by laws. The right to use the logo will be acquired together with the certificate of organic products.
All organic producers will be included in the unified state registry. The project on the registry maintenance is published in the net at the website: regulation. gov.ru. According to it, the register will be maintained by the Ministry of Agriculture and the data will be open. It will include all the organic producers with the certificate of correspondence to “national, interstate and international standards in organic food production industry”.
Mr Oleg Mironenko, CEO of the National Organic Union, says that to date there are about 100 companies which have been certified, 80 of them had only international certificates before. “Since the Law on Organic Products has been signed, 25 out of 80 companies with international certificates turned to Russian certification. I am anticipating that the same amount will switch in summer. That means by the beginning of 2020 the register will contain about 45-50 companies”, counted Mr Mironenko. At the same time, he considers the number of working inspectors in Russia to be an obstacle. “The certification is provided by only one company – Organic Expert. There are four-five inspectors at the market. Every of them can work with maximum 20 companies, meaning that 100 companies is a limit for Russia now”, added Mr Mironenko.
Meanwhile, the data on producers with international certificates will not be reflected in the registry, as informed by the Chairman of the Board of the Union of Organic Agriculture, Mr Sergey Korshunov. “In the given condition the registry fully corresponds to the demands of producers, certified by the interstate All Union State standard 33980–2016”, explained Mr Korshunov. Meanwhile the registry will not include producers with European Union international standards (EU Regulations №889/2008, №834/2007, 1235/2008), the USA (USDAOrganic), Japan (JAS). “Country’s leadership set a task to increase export of Russian agricultural products. The demand for Russian organic produce allows to complete the task. However, all Russian exporters of organic products work only by international standards this is the major demand of all the customers in the world”, states Mr Korshunov.
The Law on Organic Agriculture will come in force on 1 January 2020. Land areas for organic products farming will be chosen in 2020. Mr Putin mentioned organic export in his February message to the Federal Assembly. The Ministry of Agriculture prepared the project on the road map for establishment of Russian protected ecological brands. The project was sent to other departments for approval. The Ministry of Agriculture plans to analyse foreign experience and introduce an administration bill on organic production in Russia to the State Duma in July 2019. State standards for such products are planned to be developed in 2019. By 1 November 2019 the order of the registry managing will be prepared. The document states that there are plans to “introduce changes to the operating order of state registration of agricultural chemicals, admitted for ecological farming”.
Mr Mironenko notices that it is still unclear what is implied under ecological products what chemical treatment is allowed. “The Ministry of Agriculture has not informed us yet about the difference of the organic products. As far as I understand, ecological production will relate to biologizing of farming, when biological and chemical treatment is applied simultaneously”, suggested Mr Mironenko. He supposes that it is better to wait for the Law on Organic Products issuing. After that it is necessary to work on such terms as “organic”, “ecological” and “bio”. “The appearance of another term – ecologically clean products, which allows to apply mineral fertilisers – will only confuse the consumers and influence their trust”, pointed out Mr Mironenko.
The Ministry of Agriculture estimates national organic market at 160 m euros. By 2025 the volume can reach 5 bn euros “counting the potential of Russian ploughing lands, significant freshwater sources, expansion of advanced technologies application and demand growth”.