The EU Organic Farming Regulations have been modified to authorise “Recovered struvite and precipitated phosphate salts”, as defined in the EU Fertilising Products Regulation (FPR). The modifying Regulation (2023/121 modifying 2021/1165), published 17th January 2023, specifies that, to be authorised for use in Certified Organic Farming, the recovered phosphates “must meet the requirements laid down in” the FPR and that “animal manure as source material cannot have factory farming origin”. ESPP notes that there is to date no official EU definition of “factory farming”. The European Environment Agency indicates a definition here and the EU Expert Group on Organic Farming (EGTOP 2013) refers to 1995 EU Guidance (not referenced in the EGTOP document). ESPP also notes that the modification to the Organic Farming Regulations does not include the words “and derivates” which are included in the FPR CMC12, suggesting that recovered precipitated phosphates can be used in Certified Organic Farming as such, but not after chemical reprocessing. ESPP further notes that the text specifies that the recovered precipitated phosphates must “meet the requirements” of the FPR, and does not state that they must be EU-Certified under the FPR. It could be surmised that this choice of wording means the precipitated phosphates must respect the criteria of FPR CMC12, and of at least one FPR PFC, and of FPR Labelling (Annex III), but do not require FPR Conformity Assessment (Annex IV), but this interpretation should be verified with national Certified Organic Farming implementation authorities. ESPP notes that the obligation to respect CMC12 excludes (for the present) any struvite or precipitated phosphates derived from manure or from other animal by-products (ABPs) (e.g. from digestate where manure [even if not from factory farming] or separately collected municipal biowaste are inputs to the digester), until the ABP Regulations are modified to include relevant ABP End-Points (amendment underway, see ESPP eNews n°71). It is ESPP’s understanding that under the wording of this amendment as proposed, precipitated phosphates derived from ABPs would only be authorised in the FPR CMC12 if (1) they are precipitated from digestate where the digestion process respects the Standard Processing Requirements of the ABP Regulation 142/2011 “standard” processing requirements (Annex V, ch. I, II and III) or (2) if the precipitated phosphate is sterilised according to the requirements of 142/2011 Annex XI, chapter I ($2 a, b & d, that is treatment at ≥70°C for ≥60 minutes), and (in both cases) if the processing plants were appropriately authorised and controlled by national ABP authorities.
Note: the German language published version of this Regulation contains a translation error (the materials are “deleted” from the list instead of being “added”). The European Commission is aware and correction is underway.
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/121 of 17 January 2023 amending and correcting Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1165 authorising certain products and substances for use in organic production and establishing their lists https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32023R0121