Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Global Certified Organic Standard (GCOS) by Marie Seshat Landry

The Global Certified Organic Standard


This document outlines the key principles and requirements for achieving certification under the Global Certified Organic Standard (GCOS). GCOS ensures adherence to rigorous practices that promote sustainability, biodiversity, and the ethical treatment of environments and animals.

Core Principles

  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Biodiversity
  • Animal Welfare
  • Human Welfare
  • Regenerative Practices
  • Sustainable Resource Use
  • Transparency and Integrity
  • Community and Culture

GCOS Requirements

  1. Environmental Sustainability:

    • Promote soil health through practices like composting and cover cropping.
    • Conserve water through efficient irrigation and water management techniques.
    • Reduce pollution and waste by avoiding synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
    • Employ practices that restore and maintain ecological balance.
  2. Biodiversity:

    • Use non-GMO seeds to protect genetic diversity.
    • Enhance and sustain populations of native plants and animals.
    • Support natural ecological relationships within the farming system.
  3. Animal Welfare:

    • Provide animals with living conditions that accommodate their natural behaviors.
    • Ensure animals are free from cruelty and unnecessary suffering.
    • Feed animals organic feed that is free from synthetic growth hormones and antibiotics.
  4. Human Welfare:

    • Guarantee safe working conditions and fair wages for workers involved in organic operations.
    • Uphold workers' right to assemble and advocate for their rights.
    • Provide consumers with safe, nutritious food produced in accordance with fair-trade principles.
  5. Regenerative Practices:

    • Implement practices like crop rotation, cover cropping, and reduced tillage to maintain soil fertility and crop health.
    • Prevent land degradation and enhance resilience to climate change.
  6. Sustainable Resource Use:

    • Encourage the efficient use of resources such as energy and water.
    • Promote renewable energy sources and water conservation techniques.
  7. Transparency and Integrity:

    • Require full disclosure of all farming, processing, and handling techniques.
    • Ensure products are traceable from the farm to the consumer, guaranteeing integrity throughout the supply chain.
  8. Community and Culture:

    • Support local economies and traditional agricultural practices.
    • Foster social and economic sustainability alongside environmental sustainability.

Maintaining Certification

Continuous improvement in these core areas is essential for maintaining GCOS certification. Regular inspections and reviews ensure ongoing compliance with the evolving nature of organic standards globally.

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