|Statistics from 2010|
|Written by Kolbjörn Örjavik|
|Wednesday, 23 February 2011 16:30|
The eigth edition of The Organic Certification Directory was published in February 2011. The Directory lists all the organic certification bodies in the world. Previously, it was issued as a special edition of The Organic Standard but will now be issued separately and distributed for free to the organic world. Two of the many new features in the Directory are that it will be published online on the TOS website and also list Participatory Guarantee Systems Organisers.
There has been modest growth in the number of certification bodies in most regions of the world, though the number has increased rapidly in some European countries. This is because some international certification bodies have started new branch offices, and as these gain approval by, for instance, the EU or local government they are counted as a new certification body by this Directory. The total in 2010 was 532, up from 489 in 2009. Most certification bodies are in the European Union, the United States, Japan, South Korea, China, Canada and Brazil. See table.
Eighty-three countries have a domestic certification body, but this does not mean that producers in the other countries are without the service of certification. Many of the listed certification bodies also operate outside their home country and there are very few countries in the world that do not have a certification body operating within its borders. Generally, certification bodies operating internationally are based in a developed country and offer their certification services in developing countries. Very few operate in several developed countries, for example, though some EU-based certification bodies are accredited to the US National Organic Program (NOP) not a single one offers its services in the United States. A handful work on several or all the continents.
Most of Africa and large parts of Asia still lack local service providers. There are only 12 certification bodies in Africa (in Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia). Asia has 165 certification bodies, most of them based in South Korea, China, India and Japan. The Caribbean has very few certification bodies. The Pacific has certification bodies only in Australia and New Zealand, and these operate in most of the countries in the region.
Since 2003 the number of certification bodies has risen sharply in Asia and Europe, increased in Latin America and has been relatively stable in Africa and the Pacific region. In the US, the introduction of the NOP initially caused a fairly drastic reduction in the number of certification bodies, after which the situation stabilised. In some countries, notably China, Japan and South Korea, the introduction of a regulation has led to a growth in the number of certification bodies. However, in Japan, the number dropped after a few years.
A significant rise of certification bodies is noted in Eastern Europe and a modest rise in Central Europe in the past year. Romania now has 18 certification bodies, up from two in 2009. Poland has increased by four, United Kingdom by three, and Germany has one new body. Denmark reformed their governmental certification system, which resulted in two new certification bodies. Africa got two new certification bodies. See graph below.
Number of operators and farmers
Certification bodies were asked for information about the number of operators they certify. Two hundred and thirty-one responded, representing a total of 192,272 operators. Two hundred and two certification bodies gave an answer regarding the number of farmers. They certified, in total, 1,215,519 farms, with BCS (Germany) topping the list, claiming to certify 342,000 farms. IMO’s head office (Switzerland) alone reports more than 120,000 and its office in Latin America 36,000. Many of the farmers are certified in group certification for smallholders. India has the highest number of organic farms in the world. Although less than half of the certification bodies in India reported the number of certified operators the total of the figures reported was still 315,000 farmers: OneCert India and Apof Organic Certification Agency certify 100,000 farms each, USOCA certifies 51,000 farms and the Natural Organic Certification Association certify 27,000. Naturland (Germany) reports 50,000 farms, and Certimex (Mexico) nearly 30,000 farms.
It should be noted that a farm can be certified twice. For example, Naturland does not have its own inspectors and uses other organisations, such as IMO, to inspect their farmers to Naturland standards. IMO may then certify the same farmer, e.g. for EU approval or NOP, and therefore the same farmer will be included in Naturland and IMO’s figures and count as two in the statistics. Never-theless, the worldwide number of certified farms is likely to be in the range of two million or possibly more, as information is lacking from many important countries and half the certification bodies.
Most organisations are still not transparent about their turnover. Only 80 organisations responded. Of these, many report figures in the range of 100,000 to 500,000. Ecocert France with a reported turnover of 8 million euros, has without question the highest figure. Other organisations reporting a turnover of 2 million or more are CCPB Ltd (Italy), Suolo e Salute s.r.l. (Italy), DIO Certification & Inspection Organization of Organic Products (Greece), BIOHELLAS SA Inspection Institute of Organic Products (Greece), Debio (Norway), ICEA (Italy), bio.inspecta AG (Switzerland), Stichting Skal (The Netherlands), Ecocert SA (International Department) (Germany) and Qualité-France SA (France). The global turnover in organic certification is clearly above 200 million euros, but could be double this or more. A turnover of 400 million euros would represent one percent of the estimated market value, or stated otherwise, 200 euros per farmer.
Of the 339 that responded to the question concerning the starting date of their organisation, only 13 started before 1985; more than half of them started in the decade between 1995-2004. See pie chart below.
Worldwide, there are five significant accreditation schemes, IFOAM, JAS, ISO 65, the EU Regulation and US NOP. Only ten organisations, four Italian and two each from Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, reported all five approvals. The EU represented the biggest increase in approval status with an increase from 182 in 2009 to 214 approved bodies in 2010. The majority of imports into the EU come through certification granted under article 11.6 (i.e., the importer’s derogation).
The first African NOP approved certification body is from Egypt. ISO 65 accreditation in Africa is up by two, from 166 to 168, though this still represents less than a third of the certification bodies operating in the continent. The number of organisations approved by Japanese JAS scheme increased by one. The US system has 128 approved bodies, of which 72 are outside the United States. See graph on right.
IFOAM has lost five accredited certification bodies, four in the United States and one in Japan. These are: Minkan Inasaku Kenkyujo Ninsyo Center from Japan, and CCOF Certification Services, OCIA International, Inc. Organic Crop Improvement Association, Organic Certifiers Inc. and Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) from the USA. See table below
One hundred and twenty four certification bodies claim to have their own standard.
This year, for the first time, The Organic Certification Directory has listed Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS), which worldwide totals 25 schemes. The Directory has also started listing Private Labelling Organisations and companies offering organic inspection services. The three lists are not included in the statistics of approvals and certification bodies.
More information can be found on www.organicstandard.com/directory
© The Organic Certification Directory 2011
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