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Organic Products Law Standard (LPO: Ley de Productos Orgánicos)

Published in October 2013, the Organic Products Law (LPO) Operational Guidelines define a standard for organic products sold in Mexico. All companies selling products in, or exporting products to, Mexico must be certified to the LPO or an equivalency agreement. The law was published in February 2006, but the federal organic regulation program wasn’t in operation until three subsequent publications: the Regulation of the Organic Products Law in April 2010 and the Operational Guidelines and the General Rules for Use of the National Seal in 2013.

The LPO standard encompasses nine main scopes: crop production, wild crop harvesting, domestic animal production, animal production from natural ecosystems or non-domestic, insect-class production (including honey production), fungi-class production, processed products from agricultural activities and commercialization of products from agricultural activities. This standard is very similar to the NOP standards, with a few critical differences: hydroponics, aeroponics and Chilean nitrate (NaNO3) are not permitted in organic production, and organic certificates have a one-year expiration date from the date of inspection.

Standard and Equivalency Agreements

The Secretariat of Agriculture in Mexico (SAGARPA), through National Service of Agro Alimentary Health, Safety, and Quality, division (SENASICA), is the organic production authority that oversees the organic standard and approves organic certification bodies. SENASICA is in the process of negotiating a standard and equivalency agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the European Commission (EC) for Agriculture and Rural Development. It expects to have a draft of the agreement with the USDA by the end of 2017.

QAI’s office in Mexico (NSF de Mexico S de RL de CV, part of NSF International) is approved by SENASICA to issue LPO certification for organic products or food claiming to be "100% organic," "organic" or "made with organic" to be sold in the Mexican marketplace, and for organic ingredient importers that want to enter the country with the third largest number of organic food producers.

Labeling Under LPO

Products labeled as "100% organic," "organic" or "made with organic" need to meet a series of requirements established by the LPO, and in case that the Distintivo Nacional optional seal is used in the label a series of rules must be followed, including:

  • A certified by NSF/QAI (or similar phrase) statement
  • SENASICA-assigned NSF/QAI identification number "OC-260617-22-PO-012"
  • QAI-assigned certified operator identification number
  • A non-GMO claim identifier

It is important to consider that all labels for organic products commercialized in Mexico should be in Spanish and compliant not only to the LPO set of rules, but also to the National Official Mexican Norms (or NOM). The main labeling regulation in Mexico is NOM-050-SCFI-2004, while the general food and non-alcoholic beverages labeling regulation is NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010. There are also specific norms for each kind of product.

Additional Resources

A modification proposal to the LPO Operational Guidelines has been submitted to the Federal Commission of Regulatory Enhancement (COFEMER), and after a public comment period, it is expected to be published and enforced by SENASICA. The full record is available on COFEMER’s website under the case file number 12/0109/271016.

For additional questions, please contact Rodrigo Garcia at +52 442 242 2926 or rgortega@qai-inc.com.

Relevant Documents

QAI Tip

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