The Family of Standards is the core of the IFOAM Organic Guarantee System and contains all standards officially endorsed as organic by the Organic Movement.

IFOAM – Organics International recommends any program that relies on "organic" products or ingredients to consider referencing the IFOAM Family of Standards as a criterion for what constitutes a trustworthy organic standard.


Download the Current Family of Standards

A global framework to approve organic standards! Available here.

Frame work of Programs using the IFOAM Family of Standards

View the framework of programs that are using the IFOAM Family of Standards as a requirement here


Programs listed in this new framework require that products be certified to a standard approved in the IFOAM Family of Standards. These programs are therefore considered by the organic movement as having a sound and credible criterion to ensure organic integrity of products accepted under their program, from the standard point of view.

Approval in the IFOAM Family of Standards is the only international recognition mechanisms for standards to demonstrate their true “organicness”. A brochure available here explains the benefits of applying and being approved in the IFOAM Family of Standards.

Application for the IFOAM Family of Standards is open to all standards of any geographic or product specific scope within the scope of the IFOAM Standards Requirements/COROS, including private certification standardsgovernmental standards and technical regulations.

All organic standards that can be used for certification or other forms of verification (e.g. PGS) are eligible to apply for the IFOAM Family of Standards, if they are final (not draft) documents that can be made public.

Private Standards

For private standards, the application packages must include

1. the submission of the applicant standard in English, French or Spanish
2. the duly filled application form for private standards
3. the payment of the application fee as per the Family Fee Scheme.

The application will be followed by the signature of a contract between the standard owner and IFOAM. You can view an example of the contract template for new applicants.

Government Regulations

For government regulations, the application process can be initiated through either of the following

A) a submission of the application form for governments regulations
B) an official letter or in-person negotiations with IFOAM
C) a unilateral decision by IFOAM

The approval will depend on the results of an equivalence assessment using the COROS and is regulated under IFOAM Policy 42.

Standard owners that are currently developing or revising organic standards or regulations can also request assistance from IFOAM on how to bring their standard in line with the COROS. This is a separate service (not part of the formal IFOAM Family application process).

Please submit your application files and inquiries to the IFOAM OGS Team.

Common Objectives and Requirements of Organic Standards (COROS)

For use in international equivalence assessments of organic standards and technical regulations and provides the basis for assessing equivalence of standards for inclusion in the IFOAM Family of Standards.

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The Family of Standards: A Brief Introduction

In view of the multitude of organic standards worldwide, the IFOAM Family of Standards serves the following purposes:

  1. Draws the line between credible organic and non-organic standards (and also inadequately written organic standards), while acknowledging the need for diversity and local adaptation of organic standards.
  2. Improves transparency and public understanding about the differences between different organic standards.
  3. Facilitates equivalence agreements between organic standards and regulations, including unilateral, bilateral and multilateral equivalence agreements.

The IFOAM Family of Standards is the only tool set up to enable multilateral equivalence between organic standards and technical regulations. Its principle is to conduct equivalence assessments of each standard against a single international reference: the COROS - Common Objectives and Requirements for Organic Standards (also called “IFOAM Standards Requirements”). In dealing with import approvals, IFOAM – Organics International recommends that governments use the IFOAM Family of Standards as a basis for approving equivalent standards and regulations (see our Policy Brief).

Policy 42 of IFOAM – Organics International regulates the approval of standards into the Family. Equivalence assessments are conducted by experts in accordance with a codified procedure, involving the Standards Requirement Committee of IFOAM – Organics International. Upon approval and publication of a standard in the Family, the results of this assessment are published with the Family Frame. Entrance and continued approval in the Family are subject to admission and annual fees, in accordance with the Family Fee Scheme. All organic standard setters or owners who want to have their standard approved in the Family can apply (see application procedure), including governments, CBs, associations and PGS initiatives.

Approval in the Family entitles standards to the use of a specific logo in relation to the standard. Standards and regulations can be further promoted by subscribing to the promotion package (see fee scheme). To read about the conditions of the use of the logo, click here.


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