BNN Orientation Values

BNN Orientation ValueOrganic produce does not define itself through the absence of pesticides and harmful substances, but through the global process of its production and processing. Part of this is the conscientious renunciation of chemically synthesised crop protection products and the avoidance of a mix-up with conventional produce at transport, processing and storage. The legal requirements on organic agriculture therefore do not put forward own thresholds for organic produce. Detection of the presence of substances which are not allowed in organic agriculture can however be an indication of their use. By the same token organic produce can be affected by the intensive use of pesticides by conventional agriculture practices during several decades. The Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren (BNN) e.V.  has therefore introduced an Orientation Value for pesticides:

Is the orientation value exceeded, each individual case has to be researched to find out if the legal requirements for organic agriculture have been violated or if the detected is an unavoidable contamination. In case of unavoidable environmental contamination which could affect a multitude of growers, processors and traders the BNN can make public and universal statements.

The BNN Orientation Value is meant as a guideline, it is not a maximum residue level.


BNN orientation value for pesticides – A guideline for dealing with pesticide evidence in organic produce

In 2001, BNN e.V. adopted an Orientation Values for crop protection products, chemically synthesised pesticides and chemically synthesised storage protection products. The decision encompasses that BNN members only trade food products which respect the orientation value. In case the determined value is exceeded, the BNN members commit themselves to causal investigation. When the values are in compliance with the regulations of organic agriculture, the produce can be traded (again).

Public statements on the application of the BNN orientation value for pesticides and contaminants

Exceedance of the orientation value is mostly an isolated case that should be dealt with separately.  Besides, in specific cases unavoidable contaminations can occur which lead to an exceedance of the orientation value of a certain compoundsubstance in a specific product and/or region. Therefore BNN positions itself in such cases of unavoidable contaminations, especially environmental contaminations, in a framework of public statements.

Indications on the procedure/application are to be found here.

All BNN documents including public statements on the orientation value can be found, alphabetically sorted in the download area.