From 16 June 2011 to 28 July 2011, IFOAM’s members voted on the approval of the IFOAM Standards Requirements. The membership voted “yes” with an impressive 93.8 % of the votes. Two percent voted “no”, and 4.2 % of the votes were invalid/blank. A total number of 145 IFOAM members (among 632) voted, bringing the vote participation rate to 23 %.
With this vote, IFOAM’s membership ratified the decision of the IFOAM World Board and accepted the IFOAM Standards Requirements, also named COROS (Common Objectives and Requirements of Organic Standards), as the new norm and reference for acceptance or rejection of organic standards into the IFOAM Family of Standards. This ratification comes on top of the official support of FAO and UNCTAD who already approved the COROS in the framework of the GOMA project. The COROS therefore now benefits from both the full legitimacy of the organic movement and endorsement at the highest inter-governmental level, to act as the tool to draw the line between organic and nonorganic standards, and to promote multilateral equivalence of organic standards.
IFOAM has started using the tool to assess the 13 applicant standards and the 42 other standards already approved in the Family, based on initial criteria, IFOAM reports. The IFOAM Family of Standards, once fully set-up, will be the one single directory of all recognized organic standards and technical regulations. It can serve governments in their analysis of the equivalence of other standards. In addition, it also provides a rigorous technical review of standards for standard owners and a chance to further improve their standards to meet all COROS requirements.