This development was in response to governments recognizing the emerging importance of organic markets and wanting to organize and regulate that kind of production. In Europe, 3 countries – Denmark, France and Spain – had national legislation in place within that decade.A very significant step was the implementation of the EU Regulation 2092/91, which took place in Europe in 1991. This Regulation, which covered all EU Member States, meant that more countries than ever before, including some that had shown little interest in organic production became governed by an organic regulation. 13 years later the Regulation is still in force. Throughout that time a total of 25 amendments and new standards, proposed by the Committee that represents all the EU Member States and approved by the EU Commission have been incorporated, so that now it has grown into a much more extensive document than the original one in 1991.In 2000 Japan published its Organic Regulation (JAS) and the final regulation for organic food in the US, the National Organic Program (NOP), came into force in October 2002.
Several other countries throughout the world now have a national legislation that regulates their organic production, and many others are putting the necessary resources into developing legislation.Until recently, countries from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe did not have an internal market for organic produce. Any certified organic production in these countries was to supply the international markets of the richer countries of Europe, North America, Japan and Australia. These organic enterprises were managed according to the standards of the importing countries, and were mainly certified by certification bodies from the countries where the Organic Movement started.But things are changing, especially in Latin America and Eastern Europe.
In Latin America the situation has developed from the first national organic legislation being implemented in Argentina in 1992, to the current scenario, where several countries have recently published, are drafting, or are discussing the drafting of national standards. At the same time some accredited local certification bodies are also emerging. In Eastern Europe several countries joined the EU on 1 May 2004, and big developments are expected regarding their organic production and legislation.At the international and global level, the role played by IFOAM should be recognized.
Founded as in International Federation for Organic Agriculture Movements in 1972, it has published basic organic standards since 1980. These standards, continuously updated and enlarged, are used as a reference, a common point and a guideline for the development of many new and different organic standards throughout the world. The IFOAM Basic Standards (IBS) have thus provided the basis of standards and regulations in regions of the world with very different climates, cultures and agriculture practices. Parallel to this project, was the development of Codex Alimentarius (or food code), which was drawn up under the joint FAO/WHO food standards programme. The purpose of the Codex Alimentarius was to act as a guideline on the production, processing, labeling and marketing of organically produced food. They were finally adopted in 1999.