Organic agriculture is, without a doubt, in fashion.
People are demanding increasingly more natural and organic products.
Some consumers are even willing to pay more money for a product if they know it has been grown according to more ecological practices.
However, there’s always been some confusion regarding the criteria under which a product can be considered organic.
To prevent misinformation, a lot of governments and international organisations have created regulations to this end in order to eliminate any uncertainty and to ensure that only truly organic products can be marketed as such.
In the case of agricultural products, various regulations have been created to bring order to their labelling and ensure that the terms “organic” and “ecological” are only displayed on those items that truly comply with regulations.
At Barcelonesa —as suppliers to the main agro-chemical companies dedicated to manufacturing agro-nutrients and fertilisers— we too are interested in ensuring that the agricultural inputs we sell are consistent with these regulations.
Thanks to that concern, our clients can rest assured knowing that the formulas they ultimately sell to farmers comply with current regulations.
The issue is that there is no market unity and the applicable regulations in the European Union are not the same as those that apply in the United States.
In fact, it is possible that a fertiliser used by a Spanish farmer complies with European regulations, yet it is not authorised for use in the United States.
In that case, that farmer’s crops cannot be exported to the United States.
For that reason, as part of the supply chain —one of the very first links— at Barcelonesa, we work hard to ensure that the raw materials we sell to the leading agro-chemical companies comply with both European and American regulations.
Therefore, when the manufacturer produces a specific formulation for farmers to use on their crops, that formula will display the organic seal.
This is where the NOP certification comes into play, the very one that Barcelonesa recently obtained.
Continue reading if you’re interested in learning more about this certification which will open doors to the United States for many farmers with export capacity.
What is NOP certification?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) manages a regulatory programme for organic agriculture by means of a seal that enables the identification of organic and ecological products.
The NOP certification (National Organic Program) is responsible for ensuring that the agricultural products that end up on consumers’ tables comply with the USDA regulations.
The NOP seal certifies that agricultural products, both fresh and processed, as well as livestock products, are truly organic (because, at the very least, they have been grown, processed, or raised with organic ingredients).
Any farmer who wants to sell their products in the United States must have the NOP certificate.
To obtain said certificate, the farmer must be audited by an accredited certifying agent which ensures that:
- The organic farm has an Organic Production and Management Plan: this is a document that must be reviewed by the certifying agent and which details all the established protocols and procedures that lead to a truly organic production process.
- Animal manure treatment is documented: compost treatment and temperatures must be documented in writing.
- All the agricultural inputs used in growing the crops are organic: this is where Barcelonesa can use its NOP certification, considering that the fertiliser and agro-nutrient manufacturers who use our raw materials already know that our products are organic and suitable for certification.
Advantages of being NOP-certified
Despite the fact that at Barcelonesa we don’t sell products directly to the end consumer (in this case the farmer using the agro-nutrients), our clients —the agro-nutrient manufacturers— do appreciate this step forward which opens the door to many things.
These are the reasons why it is so important to have NOP certification, and why we have obtained it for Barcelonesa:
- It facilitates the work of manufacturing companies: because a company that manufactures fertilisers, for example, can ensure that their formulation passes certification simply due to the fact that it uses certified raw materials, such as those we sell at Barcelonesa.
- It simplifies the certification process for fertiliser manufacturers: it reduces the number of audits and documentation reviews.
- An NOP-certified product can also be certified in the European Union: the American regulation is stricter. Therefore, our clients can purchase a raw material that can be used to manufacture agricultural inputs for either the European Union or the United States.
- It is easy for our clients’ clients to export to the United States: if a Spanish farmer wants to sell their organic crops in the USA, they must first prove that all the fertilisers they have used were organic and comply with the NOP regulation. If the fertilisers have been manufactured with NOP-certified raw materials —like those we sell here at Barcelonesa— then the process is much shorter.
The Barcelonesa NOP certification
As you can see, obtaining NOP certification is a massive step that guarantees better service for our clients.
The piece of news of which we are truly proud is that at Barcelonesa we have certified —for both the European Union and the United States— a hydrolysed soy protein called BD AMINO S 75, which is made up of 75% free amino acids.
This hydrolysed product is characterised by its high organic nitrogen content and its balanced aminogram, which highly increases its bio-stimulant effect (to improve crop resistance in conditions such as extreme weather, drought, high temperatures, excess salinity, and other issues caused by climate change).