The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) said Wednesday it is now accepting applications to have products reviewed for potential organic certifier approval for use in growing and processing in the Mexican organic market.
Since 1997, the Eugene, Ore.-based nonprofit has provided independent reviews of materials and processes to determine their suitability for producing, processing and handling food and fiber certified under the standards of the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP). For the last seven years, OMRI has provided input reviews under the Canada Organic Regime standards.
OMRI said its new Mexico Review Program reviews products under Mexico’s organic standards, known as Ley de Productos Orgánicos (LPO), and “aims to provide more clarity to the sector.”
Luis Lopez, who represents the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based organic certification agency, CCOF, in Mexico, said the “lack of information regarding what materials are allowed for organic production is a challenge. There are still misconceptions about the inputs that can be used in organics.”
OMRI said it has already begun the process of clarifying allowed inputs with the creation of the OMRI Mexico Standards Manual.
OMRI said it has experienced increasing interest in recent years in its U.S. and Canada review programs from Mexican suppliers, and has responded by boosting its bilingual staff, launching a fully bilingual website, and offering more resources and services in Spanish.
“Organic stakeholders in Mexico have been asking OMRI to provide a Mexico Review Program, and this is an exciting time for the evolving organic sector in Mexico,” said OMRI Executive Director Peggy Miars.
Organic certifiers are encouraged to consult OMRI’s resources to support their material review process. Certifiers make the final decision when it comes to allowance of a specific input on a specific organic operation.
“The certification of organic products in Mexico will be strengthened with the experience that OMRI has gained in input evaluation,” said Juan Ortega, organic certification manager at organic certification agency PAMFA A.C. “The very history of OMRI’s development can be used to define policies for the evaluation of organic inputs in Mexico. OMRI is very well positioned in the Mexican market and organic operators, as well as input suppliers, already recognize and trust it.”
Interested parties interested in submitting applications for input products under Mexico’s LPO can visit omri.org/get-listed for more information.