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Ecomark environmental product certification

What is an environmental product?

Ecological production or organic production is a documented form of agricultural production, which does not use chemical substances as input in production activities and is kept under control at every stage of production until the products reach the consumers. Environmental production is based on the principle of production without polluting land, water and air resources, without harming human and animal health and the natural environment.

In terms of ecological production, the use of chemical drugs, hormones and synthetic chemical fertilizers is prohibited. In addition, the main objectives of organic production are to provide soil fertility, apply appropriate methods to prevent diseases and pests, produce rotation, evaluate plant residues, use green manure, organic waste. And the use of animal manure and the selection of biological control methods.

The basic principles of environmental production are:

  • Establishing a sustainable system in the entire production chain and ensuring high quality and adequate production

  • Working in accordance with the natural cycle within all living systems and production systems

  • Historical background from traditional agricultural systems is important and the protection and use of this information is important

  • Use of modern production techniques in parallel with the functioning of natural production processes

  • Soil fertility, power, production capacity and biological activity of soil by using cultural, biological and mechanical methods, in contrast to intensive input use, rotation, green manure, animal manure and other methods. Upgrading and securing.

  • Conducting disease and pest control activities in compliance with animal or plant production by taking into account existing conditions and selecting appropriate species, breeds and varieties for the product.

  • Minimizing all forms of pollution affecting human and animal health and the natural environment through agricultural activities and not using synthetic chemical fertilizers, drugs, hormones and additives

  • Providing living conditions to meet the natural needs of animals during animal production

  • Conservation of agricultural and natural biodiversity in and around the production environment

  • Reduction of energy consumption of production activities to the extent possible and use of local and renewable resources

  • Proper use and protection of water systems and water resources

  • Ensuring that all products do not lose their environmental product characteristics at all stages including the production and packaging processes

  • To provide a healthy and safe working environment for everyone in and around the production environment to meet their basic needs

  • Encourage the creation of environmentally balanced production, processing and distribution chains

  • Auditing that production is carried out by independent and impartial audit organizations in accordance with domestic and foreign environmental production standards and thus providing consumers with the assurance of an environmental product

What do legal regulations entail?

The Regulation on Principles and Practice of Organic Agriculture was published in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in 2010. This rule is published for the following purposes:

  • Protection of ecological balance

  • Carrying out organic agricultural activities

  • Regulation, development and dissemination of organic agricultural production and marketing

The said rule lays down the principles for achieving these objectives. The subjects covered by the regulation are as follows:

  • All kinds of vegetables, animals and aquatic products

  • Production or supply of inputs used according to organic farming methods

  • Yeast is used as food or feed

  • Collection of products from forests and natural areas according to the principle of organic farming

  • Processing, packaging, labeling, storage, transportation, marketing, control, certification and testing of these products

Organic plant production, organic animal production and organic water production are defined below:

  • Production of organic plants, human food, animal feed, plant nutrition, procurement of propagation materials, supply of organic raw materials to industries related to medical and scientific purposes produced in accordance with the principles of this regulation and production certified by certified organizations. Activities are audited.

  • Scientific study audit of organic animal production, breeding animals or animal production using sperm, human food and animal and plant nutritional products, production of raw materials to agricultural enterprises and supply of organic raw materials and production processes are carried out and verified by production activities.

  • Fish, sponges, marine life, molluscs, shellfish and aquatic mammals and products derived from them, human food used in agro-based businesses using organic aquaculture, marine, terrestrial waters and farms using organic farming methods and are used in raw materials, production processes for sportive, medical and scientific purposes These are production activities that are checked or certified by official bodies.

In detail the rule lays down the following principles:

  • General rules of organic farming

  • Introduction of Organic Farming, Transition Process

  • Organic crop production rules

  • Soil protection, preparation and fertilization

  • Sowing and planting, plant protection, watering, harvesting

  • Organic mushroom production

  • Organic yeast production

  • Organic animal production

  • Organic beekeeping

  • Production of organic seaweed

  • Processing and packaging of organic products

  • Labeling organic and alternative products

  • Storage of organic products

  • Transport of organic products

  • Marketing of organic products

  • Certification process

  • Accredited Institutions

  • Obligations of applicable businesses and approvals

What benefits does Eco Ecological Product Certification provide?

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOM) states the principles of ecological production as follows:

  • To produce high quality nutrients with high nutritional value and in sufficient quantities

  • In production activities, to work according to natural systems, rather than dominating natural conditions

  • Supporting agricultural systems that will stimulate plant and wildlife

  • To provide adequate income to producers and organizations and provide a safe working environment

  • Accepting the ecological production system as a way of life and thinking with a broader perspective

The first objective of an efficient production environment is to ensure efficient use of resources. In this system, consumer demands are predetermined and production capacity is not increased. So strategic planning is needed. In this way, natural resources are not used unnecessarily.

A second objective of effective ecological production is to achieve social justice. According to the estimated data, the registered production rate in the food sector is in XNUMX percent.

The third goal of effective ecological production is to create added value. In this system, all production processes are recorded and every stage of production is controlled by control and certification bodies from the project stage to the delivery of the product to the user.

The production components of the environment are: agricultural land, water resources, production activities and human health. These components are important for ecological balance.

Benefits of environmental product certification studies in various aspects include:

  • To keep chemicals off the table. No synthetic chemicals are used in the production of organic agricultural products. In this way, clean products that are not hazardous to health are produced and presented to consumers in a safe manner.

  • Consume more healthy and delicious products. In organic agricultural production, the products are matured in their natural growth processes, give their natural flavor and there is no external intervention.

  • Protect future generations and ensure healthy growth. This environment is the most important objective of production activities. The product is made without the use of synthetic chemicals and children are encouraged to consume these healthy foods first.

  • To provide consumers with food safety, controlled, traceable and documented products. All production processes are audited and certified by an independent and impartial certification body at the table of consumers from the field.

  • Protect the health of agricultural workers. In environmental production studies, applications from the fields to the consumer's table are accepted as chains. By not using synthetic chemicals on this chain, the health of agricultural workers is protected.

  • An important benefit of the system is to support rural development. Due to the low socio-economic level in these regions, there is migration from a village to the city. However, environmental production activities generate employment and generate income in rural areas. Environmental studies mobilize these people and encourage them to stay in agriculture.

  • The system also supports small farmers. In today's economic conditions, many agricultural workers do not have the financial power to purchase high-yielding seeds that require many fertilizer and pharmaceutical applications, or the synthetic chemical costs required by conventional farming methods. Another problem is that these products cannot be marketed. In organic production, small-scale producers are organized in cooperatives and certified organic agricultural products are also found in foreign markets.

  • To provide biodiversity and sustainability. Planting the soil with the same product every year, using unconscious and natural information, and even worse, producing with GMOs and processing the soil incorrectly are factors that inhibit soil fertility. In addition, important environmental problems such as loss of organic matter and vigor in the soil, deterioration of the physical structure of the soil, disturbance of the nutrient balance and soil erosion adversely affect the soil yield. These factors are the factors that cause the deterioration of the ecological balance. Over time, the chain is broken between living things in nature and living things disappearing in balance.

The concept of sustainability is always given priority in environmental production activities. Production stability has two meanings. The first means long-term conservation of natural resources and ensuring that they are efficient. Its second meaning is to establish a socially, economically and environmentally balanced production system.

  • Finally, an advantage of organic production is the prevention of soil erosion. Fainting and improper use of soil cause erosion over time. Efforts to conserve energy in erological production are also indicated. Soil production is done by processing the smallest amount, which prevents soil damage.

Importance of environmental product studies in Turkey

Despite the many benefits mentioned above, even in many legal provisions on this subject, the people's attitude towards the concept of ecological product in our country has not changed. Since there is not much awareness, environmental production is usually based on exports. However, our country is very suitable for environmental production due to its climatic conditions and geographical features. It also has high export potential. However, if we look at the global environmental product trade, our country does not have a serious share in the global environmental food market.

Considering the increasing demand of ecological products in the world and the advantages of our country in this direction, EO Mark Ecological Product Standard has been developed by TRCERT. This standard is based on the Eco-Label Regulation 2019/2018/EC, designed by the European Union in 1992 and updated in 2010.

The environmental labeling system, which is implemented in the countries of the European Union, deals with the entire life cycle of environmental products. In this process, certain standards are set based on different product groups to reduce the negative impact of production activities on nature. The environmental label system is updated from time to time taking into account that the prescribed criteria are applied, environmental and market research and various analysis results. The most important note that has been emphasized in these studies is which stage of production causes the greatest damage to nature.

Control and certification activities play an important role in introducing ecological products in the domestic and international markets. Explanation about environmental products increases consumer confidence towards these products. The Ecomark Ecological Product Standard has been an important study based on these control and certification studies. Ecological products with ecomark environmental labels increase the consumer trend towards environmentally friendly products.

One of the outcomes of the certificate study is to increase awareness of nature conservation. Awareness has been raised about the effects of production, consumption and waste processes of environmental products for producers and consumers.

Products with the Eco Environmental Product Certificate prove that:

  • These products are produced within the limits of harming or causing harm to the natural environment.

  • These products are manufactured strictly according to natural conditions

  • These products disappear unnecessarily in a short period of time in the natural environment.

  • Product packaging has no negative impact on nature

  • The document does not guarantee that the products are of good quality, but instills confidence in the quality

Features of the ECO Ecological Product Certification System

In the third part of the regulation on the principles and implementation of organic agriculture issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in 2016, it describes the certification studies under the heading of the control and / or certification system.

Environmental production is characterized by the fact that all stages of the process are under control and the product is certified. Control and certification are two key factors for securing ecological products. Control and certification can be done by the same organization or by different organizations.

Manufacturing companies are restricted to submit all information and documents related to environmental production to the control and certification body and keep them at the same time. In addition, producer companies have to prepare plans for transition and production in organic agriculture that include information related to their field of activity.

Information and documentation to be provided by manufacturers for control purposes are as follows:

  • Enterprise identification information, date of conversion to organic farming, history of land up to that date

  • Area of ​​activity

  • First the method of production was applied in business

  • Planning of business and commercial buildings

  • Azar plans and sketches

  • Plant owned machinery and equipment

  • Adequate ability to the location of the business, characteristics and purpose of the warehouse

  • Product change plan

  • To use records of entries

  • Business books represent the assets of the enterprise

  • Product release plan, product quality, stock status, quantity, packaging material and packaging type

  • In case of collection of products from nature, information such as description of collection area, official permit, technical intervention on site, destruction and quarantine measures

Certification is the certification of the final state of the enterprise, product and input after all control operations. After the inspection by the competent authority, the products will be issued an environmental product product operating certificate and an ecological product certificate, if deemed appropriate. The information that must be in these documents is included in the annex to the regulation (Annex 11 examples of certificates). The prepared document has also been communicated to the Ministry.

The features of the certification system are as follows:

  • Certification works are carried out by real or legal entities that have received this authority from the Ministry. The receiving authority cannot transfer this authority to another entity.

  • The control and certification body will establish a certification scheme and submit it to the Ministry. In addition to the price list implemented by the organization, this system should include information about document samples, testing and inspection methods, analysis methods, techniques and documentation system.

  • If the certification body has not completed the control function itself, it receives all the control information and reports of the manufacturer from the inspection management to ensure that the environment has been produced. The testing organization must provide this information to the certificate body.

At the same time, the inspection and certification body TSNNS. IS / ICS 2018 (Conformity Assessment - Standards of Requirements for Organizations Certifying Products, Processes and Services) should make compliance with the criteria and certification principles stated in the said regulation mandatory.

Why is environmental product production and consumption important?

Environmental production is important in many ways. These are the main reasons:

  • The first reason is to save water resources. Irrigation requires large supplies of water and large amounts of energy. With a simple calculation, an irrigated field needs three times more energy than a field that receives the same rainfall.

  • Plant and animal manure used in environmental production keeps the soil moist for a long time. It shows that organic production provides less water consumption.

  • Pesticide-based agrochemicals and synthetic chemical fertilizers are used carelessly and improperly, the residue of this substance washes down to ground water sources with rainfall. In this case, such spring waters are found to be dangerous to human health, such as nitrates and nitrites.

  • In traditional production methods, fossil fuels are usually used as sources of energy. In this case, the energy consumption in traditional production methods is higher than ecological production. This leads to depletion of energy resources. In environmental production methods, renewable energy sources such as solar or wind are used in addition to energy saving. In this way, energy saving is more.

  • An important reason for environmental production is to provide a balanced economy. In environmental production activities, manufacturing companies implement crop rotation and produce more than one product at the same time. In this way, manufacturers are not much affected by fluctuations in market prices. In addition, the input costs in production are low and the enterprise has an advantage.

Recent research results show that there has been a positive improvement in environmental productivity. According to the results of the analysis, organic products usually contain nitrates, animal foods, antibiotics and herbal foods, pesticide residues and more vitamins and minerals, and have a more balanced profile of proteins. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has also recognized that organic products contain less pesticide residues and less nitrates.

In a report published by the Food Standards Institute, the nutritional value found in organic products is higher than that of non-organic products. For example, protein percent 13, beta-carotene percent 13, potassium percent 54, sodium percent 3, copper percent 9, magnesium percent 8, phosphorus percent 7, sulfur percent 6, zinc percent 11, and phenolic Mixture percentages are greater than 11.

Meanwhile, one should not go without mentioning one point. The terms biological and biological have the same meaning as the term ecological. Other expressions such as natural, natural, hormone-free, pure or gram products, which are used to suggest that the products are healthy, do not carry any guarantee and have no legal basis. If synthetic fertilizers or some pesticides are used in the production without hormones, then these products cannot be called ecological or organic. Meanwhile, another issue is whether EuropeGAP or GlobalGAP or Good Agricultural Practices are environmental products. These products may not necessarily be environmental products. This document shows that chemicals are used in agricultural products at low and correct levels and that the products are produced under hygienic conditions.

Therefore, environmental production is a very different production system. In fact, even the seeds are not innocent, today the importance of ecological production becomes more important. Nowadays it is almost a dream to find ancient local seeds in Anatolian soil. Today, manufacturers generally use commercial concerns and the structure of seeds to make it look good, to be attractive in size, to be resistant to transportation and storage of the product, in short. In traditional production systems, these types of seeds are modified and called hybrids. In addition, legal regulations allow gene transfer (GMO) seeds.

In organic production, only ecologically certified seeds are used. If these seeds cannot be found, local seeds that have not been interfered with in their original structure, and hybrid seeds without drugs and gene transfer are allowed.

Control and certification organizations control the seeds, seedlings and saplings used by producer companies, as well as invoices and other documents for the purchase of seeds and are necessary when analyzing these seeds.

Why is consuming ecological products beneficial?

From time to time in newspapers, there are news about the importance of environmental products and why it is important for human health. These news are beneficial to be aware of ecological production and prefer these products. People's attention to products with environmental product certification is important not only for health, but also for protecting the ever-growing nature. Some of the reasons for the benefits of consuming environmentally friendly products are:

  • Once ecological products become more palatable. It is an undisputed fact that products that are grown in well-protected soil with firm nutritional properties are more palatable.

  • The guarantee of ecological products is certified. Certification studies of products with ecological labels on them are bound by legal regulations. Each stage of the production process of these products is audited by independent and independent control and certification bodies.

  • Environmentally friendly products reduce human health risks. Scientific research shows that chemicals and pesticides used in agricultural production have a negative impact on human health. Especially for vulnerable children, elderly and people working in agriculture.

  • Environmental production protects the soil. The purpose of soil structure in environmental production is to be healthy and productive. Many microorganisms in the soil meet the water and nutrient needs of the plant. In environmental production, soil is protected by appropriate farm methods and rotation studies. Using natural fertilizers instead of chemicals increases the fertility of the soil.

  • Environmental production protects water resources. Water is an essential food for all living things. One of the main principles of environmental production is the protection of water resources. Since the use of pesticides is banned, the transfer of toxic waste to ground water sources is prevented.

  • Environmental production is open to innovative approaches. In particular, crop rotation and diversification, green fertilization, use of beneficial insects in the soil, vegetative and biological control methods, fertilizers, cultural and mechanical weed control and close monitoring of soil, plant and natural life in ecological production. are part of the activities. Based on environmental production activities, there are continuous monitoring, testing, research and development studies.

  • Environmental production protects rural people. Another basic principle of ecological production is to increase the production cycle, income level and security of small farmers. Ecological producers increase the value of their products with the certificate they receive.

  • Ecosystem production works to protect plant diversity. For known reasons, the earth is experiencing changes in climate, global warming is increasing and the balance of the environment has been reversed. During this time, many species on Earth are becoming extinct and seed resources are decreasing. In this regard, ecological production activities support the growth of plant diversity and protect nature and other forms of life.

  • There is no place for genetically modified (GMO) products in organic production. This type of production, which poses a risk to human health and the protection of nature, is prohibited in ecological production.

  • Animal health and welfare are important. In ecological production, animals are used in the natural environment and given natural nutrients to obtain animal products. Animal health and welfare is the most important issue.