Organic products are products which are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This practice preserves the reproductive and regenerative capacity of the soil, good plant nutrition and produces nutritious food rich in vitality and is resistant to a lot of diseases.
India’s various agro-climatic regions favour the production of varieties of organic products. The country has huge potential to produce and export organic food.
According to statistics, as per 2013 data (Source FIBL & IFOAM Year Book 2015), India’s rank in terms of World’s Organic Agricultural land was 15.
In the year 2015-16, the total area of India under organic certification is 5.71million Hectare. This area includes 26% cultivable area with 1.49 million Hectare. The rest 74% (4.22 million Hectare) is forest and wild area for collection of minor forest produce.
In the year 2015-16, India produced around 1.35 million MT of certified organic products which include all varieties of food products namely cereals, cotton, coffee, dry fruits, fruits, millets, pulses, tea, sugarcane, oilseeds, medicinal plants, spices, vegetables, etc.
Madhya Pradesh has covered largest area under organic certification followed by Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The total volume of export was 263687 MT in 2015-16. The organic food export net worth was around 298 million USD. Majority of the organic products are exported to Australia, Korea, European Union, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, South East Asian countries, Middle East, South Africa, US, etc.
Oilseeds lead with 50% exports followed by processed food products (25%), cereals & millets (17%), tea (2%), pulses (2%), spices (1%), dry fruits (1%), and others.
Owing to its countless health benefits, the world is drooling over organic food. Plenty of stores have opened up in the market and organic food has become the talk of the town. The organic food market is getting extremely popular. The demand got so high that brands started scrambling ways to satisfy the market. As a result, the quality got lost and the counterfeit organic food was sold freely.
In 2015, the Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) issued a legal notice to The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for issuing the ‘organic’ certificate and logo to companies caught cheating consumers.
FSSAI was blamed for letting “fake, wrongly labelled and misbranded organic products” deceive millions of consumers in India. CCFI collected samples throughout India and clearly found organic brands misusing the certificate and logo issued by the FSSAI.
In the quest to get healthy, don’t fall for this sham!
Markets are flooded with fake organic foods. But the so-claimed organic foods are not chemical or fertilizer free. The customers are duped on the name of organic foods and made to pay more.
Be careful while you go organic shopping. The biggest indicator is the labels that we hardly pay attention to. All the organic foods will have a label from the food authority and will also have the percentage (For e.g. some products will be 100%, some will be 95% and so on).
Do not purchase any food without looking at its label.
You can also avoid buying fake organic food by purchasing from authorised organic stores and vendors.