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Brexit             |             Certification Resources             |             Packaging

NEW 'What is Organic?' marketing materials

We've launched a new set of marketing materials to help your audience understand the benefits of choosing organic. These support the What You Can Say booklet published in July 2020 and include the most up to date marketing messages on organic. With a design symbolising the holistic, ecosystem approach of organic farming, and a focus on the positive impact organic has on the planet, these materials are ideal for popping into delivery boxes, displaying in-store or using across your social media platforms.
Download the materials

NEW Organic Resource Pack

As a Soil Association Certification client, you have access to exclusive business and marketing support, ranging from reports and insights to campaigns, events and marketing resources. We've gathered all of these resources together to form a 'one-stop reference' for our organic businesses, so you can easily find information on the latest market report, download the 'What You Can Say' booklet, sign up for events, access the Soil Association organic logo, marketing materials and much more.
Download the Organic Resource Pack

Free entry to the 2021 BOOM Awards!

This year, thanks to the support of our partners and sponsors, we're offering FREE entry to the BOOM Awards for small businesses (businesses certified by Soil Association Certification with a certified organic turnover under £250k). Entries are flying in, so whether you're large or small, make sure you’re involved and take the opportunity to showcase your organic products, increase sales, gain media coverage and more.
Enter the BOOM Awards

Soil Association Certification to start auditing Pasture for Life certification

The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA), a diverse community of farmers, butchers, academics and consumers that champions the regenerative role of ruminant grazing animals is to have its Pasture for Life certification standard audited by Soil Association Certification from January 2021.
 
We're joining Organic Farmers & Growers (OF&G) and the Biodynamic Association (BDA) in getting behind the PFLA and the growing interest in 100% pasture-fed practices across the food and farming community. 

This news will be of particular interest to our certification clients that manage cows, sheep and goats, many of whom will be at - or near - 100% pasture-fed practices. As a result of this new agreement, those licensed with Soil Association Certification will also be able to have a joint audit, saving time and money. If you'd like to find out more about Pasture for Life certification, please contact our Inspection Admin team.
Get in touch

Brexit updates in brief

For all the latest up to the minute information on Brexit and organic, visit the Brexit hub on our website.

Labelling requirements continue to change 
With a trade deal between the UK and EU now announced, there have been a number of recent changes to requirements, in particular to the labelling of organic goods. Not only can the UK retain its existing organic Control Body certification codes (for example ‘GB-ORG-05’ for Soil Association Certification), but UK agricultural origin statement (i.e. UK/non-UK Agriculture) need not be added if the EU leaf logo and associated EU agricultural origin statement is used.

In accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the EU and Northern Ireland (NI) will continue to accept products from GB with existing labelling, provided the products were placed on the market, either in the EU or the UK, prior to 31st Dec 2020. A grace period also remains in effect until August 2022 for product placed on the GB market where existing labelling does not meet new UK organic labelling requirements. Find out more about post-Brexit labelling of organic goods on our Brexit labelling page.


Clarity on certificate validity 
Where licensees hold an organic certificate referring to the EU Organic Regulation that has an expiry date beyond the 1st January 2021, these certificates will remain valid. Licensees in Northern Ireland will still be certified to the EU Organic Regulation, so there will be no changes to the standards referenced on their certificates. For more information on certificate validity, read our recent Certification Update article on our website.
 

Import and export requirements 
Just prior to the announcement of the deal, there was also welcome news regarding Certificates of Inspection (COIs). These will now not be required for goods entering GB from the EU and EEA for the first six months of 2021, and Authorised Traders - supermarkets and their trusted suppliers - will also benefit from a three-month grace period relating to COIs for products going to Northern Ireland (NI). If you're exporting to the EU or NI, it still remains important that you're certified to export, and that businesses responsible for import of goods (or who act as the first consignee) in the EU and NI have valid organic certification with a control body in the country of import.

Licensed GB organic import businesses that have previously used the EU’s TRACES NT system may have noticed that it's no longer possible to register as an importer. Certificates of Inspection for organic goods entering GB will now be a paper-based system (but will not be required for goods from EU/EEA until 1st July 2021). 
 
GB businesses that export goods to the EU or NI (or produce goods for a contracted exporter) should now register on TRACES NT as an exporter to ensure their certifier can endorse certificates of inspection for their organic consignments before they reach their destination port. For more information on organic import or export, please refer to our Brexit Import page and Brexit Export pages.
 
There may be further changes to the requirements for import, export and labelling as a result of the trade deal being announced. If you're a Soil Association Certification license, we'll continue to update you via Certification News.
EVENTS
SAVE THE DATE!
Save the date for the 2021 Organic Market Report launch and the latest Insight session on the market, taking place from 10am - 11am on Wednesday 24th February. Keep an eye out for more information in the February edition of Trade News.

SAC are taking part in the first ever online ORFC global conference, which kicks off today
 
The Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC) - which has become the unofficial gathering of the UK's real food and farming movement - starts today, running from the 7th - 13th January. The conference brings together farmers, growers, activists, policy-makers, researchers, and all those who support agroecology, including organic.

We're holding a series of sessions, including 2 drop-in meetings for farmers interested in organic conversion, and an organic market session, in which we'll be sharing organic market trends. In the latter session, we'll be joined by flagship organic farm businesses, Riverford and the Ethical Dairy, who'll be sharing insights into how they're responding to changing markets and building resilience.
 
Check us out!
Our incredible Producer Support, Policy and Standards teams are actively participating in the conference, sharing their breadth of knowledge by delivering 14 sessions and contributing to an additional 3!
 
FABULOUSFarmers, EcoFeed, Liaison2020, RELACSeu and Defra (Taking Stock) are some of the Soil Association's partnership projects that we're shouting about. We have three virtual exhibition spaces: Soil AssociationSoil Association Certification and Innovative Farmers. The ORFC positions us as thought leaders, and allows us to talk about what we do and why to a large interested audience in the UK and beyond.
 
Staff and participants from the Innovative Farmers programme will also discuss the results from field labs on a range of sessions across the conference. To complement this, they're excited to be launching the first-ever digital field lab journal showcasing results and perspectives from 6 field labs in the farmer-led research network. Help them promote this great initiative by sharing the journal with your networks!
 
Last but not least, it's an exciting time for agroecology with the Food, Farming Countryside Commission launching new research looking at how future farming systems based on agroecological principles could be feasible for UK nations. The research builds on work carried out by French think tank, IDDRI, at a European level, which we helped launch in the UK last year.
Book your tickets
Organic in the Press
Financial Times: "Britain's Soil Association shows how to woo the EU" [view]

Fruitnet: "Soil Association Certification report urges packaging rethink" [view]

FMCG: "Soil Association Certification partners with Ocado for 2021 BOOM Awards" [view]
Farm Business: "UK-EU Trade Deal ‘positive news’ for British agriculture" [view]

Natural Products Online: "Soil Association releases tips for a sustainable Christmas" [view]

Farmers Weekly: Defra paves the way for more agroforestry in England [view]
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Trade News is a monthly newsletter from Soil Association Certification featuring the best from organic in the press, our latest news and campaigns, updates to policies that affect our certification clients, and opportunities for business support and events.
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