National organic standards for Iran: I. Concepts, principles and aims of organic production and standards for agronomic and horticultural products

Document Type : Scientific - Research


Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran


Traditional agriculture and non-chemical crop production have a long story; however organic agriculture which relies on local and in-farm inputs, with the aim of protecting ecological balances and developing biological cycles on the one hand while regarding regulations and specific standards on the other hand, doesn’t have a very long history. There are numerous environmental reasons for the priority of organic agriculture to conventional systems such as increasing biodiversity, reducing chemical residue in plant and animal products, reducing greenhouse gases and air temperatures; and socio-economic factors like equity and sustainability. Worldwide, in 2006 about 31 million hectares were managed organically with estimated international sales of over 38 billion US dollars. There are very specific standards, regulations and criteria for organic agriculture for the security of producers and consumers, suitable competition between producers and clear regulations for international trades of organic products. Standards in organic agriculture are principles, regulations and criteria that must be considered from production up to processing and consumption. Although Iran has a very long history in agriculture and a variety of cereals and pulses have been domesticated in its regions, unfortunately, there are no organic production plans and standards for this country. During these recent years, there have been international interests especially on behalf of European countries towards exporting some organic products such as pistachio, walnut, date, fresh fruits and saffron from Iran, but the main reason for the refusal of our products could be the absence of organic standards which are to be considered during the production of those products. The present paper recommends the principles and standards, considering IFOAM standards for organic plant products in Iran.


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