What is the difference between organic certification in Spain, France, Germany or England?
Our customers in France sometimes ask us "what is the difference between Spanish and French organic certification?" This is a very good question and the answer is also valid for other European countries, so let's analyse it!
The brief answer is that in the EU organic farming is regulated by one and the same law, the Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products. All operators are subject to the control of a certification body. In France, these are private companies accredited by a national entity, the INAO. In Germany, certifiers are accredited by the national accreditation office DAkkS.
In Spain, it is the state that guarantees certification. Each autonomous community (equivalent to the French departments or the Länder in Germany) has its own certification body, called "organic farming committees". From what we see, they take their work very seriously. The controls are extremely strict and quite random in their appearance. This means that it is not easy to hide cheating, since you don't know when an auditor will come. The office of the Valencian Organic Farming Committee http://www.caecv.com/val/ operates in a highly efficient manner. They know the standards by heart and they have always responded to all our requests quickly and accurately.
Of course, there will always be fraudulent actors, in Spain, France and everywhere. La Montesina is made up of a small group of family-owned organic farms and we are proud to practice organic farming strictly according to the guidelines. When a new disease appears in our orchards, we start looking for an organic way to protect our crops. Our first reflex is to discuss it within the network, to benefit from the exchange with the other La Montesina producers, some of whom have decades of experience in organic farming.
Another very important point are the working conditions on our farms. We are proud to treat our employees in a fair, equitable and, of course, humane manner. They are well paid, they are all insured and the vast majority of them have been working for and with us for many years.