Italian Input List, a database of substances allowed in organic farming, is born


FederBio, in collaboration with FiBL, a leading Swiss institute for research and consulting on organic agriculture, launches the Italian Input List. An online database where to check the ‘technical means’ allowed inorganic farming in Italy.

From fertilizers to additives, the ‘technical means’ allowed in organic

Technical means (or inputs) are those materials used in organic crops, livestock and food production. Namely, fertilizers, soil conditioners, substrates, plant protection, detergents and disinfectants, feed raw materials and additives, and processing aids.

All inputs must comply with thelist established in Annex to reg. EC 889/08 and the standards shared between FederBio and FiBL. These were fine-tuned with input from an advisory committee composed of representatives from research institutes (IBIMET-CNR, CREA, MACH Foundation, IAMB, University of Cagliari and Laimburg), operator organizations and certification bodies that are members of FederBio.

Italian Input List, the reference database

The database of inputs allowed in organic production is a very helpful tool for organic operators. So as to verify the actual possibility of using the materials presented as suitable for such productions. Aiming to prevent contamination by unauthorized and undeclared substances on product labels, such as phosphites and matrine.

The detection in organic food of even trace amounts of the banned substances can in fact cause serious harm to even bona fide operators. Resulting in the automatic downgrading of production, from organic to conventional. As well as undermining consumer confidence in the entire industry.

‘Organic farming is the most controlled and certified form of agriculture in Europe. Just as much clarity, rigor and proper certification schemes are needed for defense inputs and fertilizers, to date in fact the only sector of the organic supply chain that is not certified. That’s why this platform revolutionizes the industry through reliable lists of technical means supervised by FiBL‘ (Enrico Maria Casarotti, delegate for technical means at the FederBio Bureau).

The European network of inputs allowed in organic

The Italian database flows into the
European Input List
, in which the national platforms of the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Croatia already participate. The European repository brings together both European and nationally defined requirements. With possible additional criteria for the use of inputs formulated because of the specific needs of organic agriculture in different geographic areas.

The Italian Input List, already online, is open for product registration by manufacturing companies. Starting in February 2020, the archive will be able to be accessed through special substance search indexes.

Marta Strinati

Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".