The leading certification body in Europe and the Lemon and Grapefruit Interprofessional Association AILIMPO have signed an agreement to promote the use of UNE certified inputs in organic production.
The object of the agreement is the promotion and development of standards UNE 142500 (Inputs to be used in organic plant production. Fertilizers, soil conditioners and substrates) and UNE 315500 (Inputs to be used in organic plant production. Products for pest and disease management) among AILIMPO associates, as well as of the development competencies under the UNE 66500 standard (Minimum requirements for the certification of inputs to be used in organic plant production according to UNE 142500 and UNE 315500).
The UNE standards are a firm commitment by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to give harmony to the organic inputs sector and to offer greater guarantees to growers and final consumers, and the CAAE is the first one accredited by ENAC for their certification. AILIMPO, for its part, was also one of the great promoters of the standard due to concerns about the lack of harmonization in the certification of inputs.
According to CAAE managing director Juan Manuel Sánchez Adame, the UNE standards “have been very well received, and proof of this is the almost two hundred companies that are starting preparations to receive the mandatory control visit to obtain this seal.”
For his part, AILIMPO sustainability coordinator Antonio Hernández highlighted the importance of this agreement for the interprofessional organization, as it will provide greater security to the organic lemon and grapefruit sector in the use of inputs.
According to Hernández, "the acreage devoted to organic lemons has grown significantly in recent years as a result of increased consumer demand. For this reason, the use of UNE certified inputs is of vital importance, as they guarantee to both organic operators and their customers that these products comply with a harmonized and rigorous evaluation standard."
It should be recalled that the CAAE also has an Inputs App; a free guarantee tool for the control of inputs that can be used in organic production under the EU, NOP, RTPO and UNE standards. The app allows users to access a catalog of more than 3,000 certified products, sorted based on their permitted use in organic production.
Organic producers using it in their phones or tablets will be able to quickly and directly resolve any doubts that may arise regarding the use of authorized inputs.
The organic lemon acreage in Spain stands at 7,115 hectares, which is 16% of the total devoted to the crop nationwide.