Organic standards define organic practices. Organic standards are sets of requirements applicable to organic operators (including farmers, processors, and traders). Operators who want to sell their products as organic must, in many cases, comply with at least one organic standard, and be verified against this standard.
A high number of organic standards exist throughout the world. It is estimated that there are hundreds of organic standards. Some are government regulations, others are private standards. Some have a very localized scope of application (e.g. one country or even one region in a given country), whereas others are applied internationally. Trade between systems that are based on different standards requires these systems recognize and accept each other.
To facilitate such acceptance, IFOAM has developed the IFOAM Family of Standards, which is a list of all standards officially endorsed as organic by the international organic movement. In a sense, the IFOAM Family of Standards draws the line between what is organic and what is not, from a standards point of view. Standards that are approved in the IFOAM Family of Standards are organic standards and can be trusted as such. Approval is based on a detailed technical assessment of each standard, and follows a defined procedure with the IFOAM Organic Guarantee System.
To learn more about the IFOAM Family of Standards, please visit the IFOAM Family of Standards page.