«Bio» export is temporarily suspended

Products, in the name of which the words «bio», «organic» are present, are becoming more widespread in the world.

More and more people are willing to pay extra for safe and healthy food.

In the structure of Russian exports, there is also a segment of organic products.

On August 3, 2018, Russia adopted Federal Law No. 280-FZ «On organic products and on amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation.»

The law began to operate on January 1, 2020.

One of the articles of the Law says that the use of agrochemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and other plant processing agents is prohibited in the production of organic products, with the exception of those that are legally permitted by Russian, interstate and international standards.

The point, it would seem, is understandable, but came into conflict with the requirement of the Rosselkhoznadzor to chemically decontaminate (fumigate) goods before exporting them to other countries.

In Europe, products processed in this way are not considered organic.

In this regard, the National Organic Union appealed to the Rosselkhoznadzor with a request to withdraw the requirement, due to which the export of organic matter is currently suspended.

The RF Ministry of Agriculture estimates the potential of this sector at € 10-25 billion a year.

Plant fumigation is the norm for all agricultural producers in Russia, in accordance with the requirement of the Law on Plant Quarantine (entered into force in 2014).

Thus, the Rosselkhoznadzor does not issue phyto-certificates for products that have not undergone appropriate processing.

Fumigation is carried out in warehouses with products, after which it automatically loses its organic status.

Due to legislative discrepancies, exporters of organic matter found themselves between two fires: on the one hand, they cannot export products without fumigation, and importers do not accept goods that have undergone such processing.

Rosselkhoznadzor, for its part, is ready to enter into dialogue with exporters, but at the same time they note that the use of fumigants (gaseous substances), the residual content of which is not detected in products, is not prohibited by the directives of the European Union.

The department has sent a request to the European Commission, but no response has yet been received.


Of course, the share of organic matter in the total structure of exported agricultural products is insignificant.

One can, of course, say that this is a niche segment, and its share is unlikely to increase significantly in the near future.

But the production and export of organic products is a promising direction. The world is becoming more and more wealthy people for whom this segment is in demand.

Online sales of organic products grew by 5% in the first half of 2020.

There are already 11 federal and 10 regional chains in Russia ready to accept and organize the sale of organic matter.

The EU plans to convert at least 20% of land to organic status by 2030, implementing a “farm-to-fork” strategy.

In general, organic farming is the production of agro-industrial products with proven safety for the environment and animal welfare.

And it is safety and the absence of an adverse impact on the environment that the states put at the forefront, providing support to organic producers.