Outlook for the 2022 inspection year

The last organic inspection is hardly a thing of the past, but we already have to prepare for the next one

The last organic inspection is hardly a thing of the past, but we already have to prepare for the next one

Since both the Organic Farming Ordinance and the Bio Suisse standards prescribe an annual main inspection, not a year goes by without a visit from an inspection body. We would like to prepare you for this in the following lines.

In the dynamic environment of a growing market, regulations are also on the move. For Swiss organic farms, this means that they must inform themselves annually about the changes and, where necessary, adjust their farm management. Customers of bio.inspecta AG can rely on the support of the free hotline. Experienced practitioners work on the hotline from Monday to Friday, providing support to the farms with their profound knowledge of the regulations.

2022 – The year of big changes

In the following we would like to point out some rule changes. This list is not exhaustive. The complete list can be found in the brochure «Das gilt neu im Biolandbau» (This is new in organic farming), which can be downloaded free of charge from the FIBL Shop.

Cow's milk production – member or registered?

- All Bud farms keeping dairy cows are obliged to belong to an organic milk organization or to register with Bio Suisse. This also applies to conversion farms or suppliers to independent dairies and cheese dairies. The Bio Suisse guidelines, part 1 (2.2.3), describe in detail which of the two measures your farm should take.

Ruminant feeding – Wherever the Swiss Bud is on it, the Swiss Bud is in it. 

  • Since 1.1.2022, ruminants must be supplied with 100% Inland Bud feed. .
  • The use of concentrated feed is limited to 5%. The only exception to these two innovations is the use of mill by-products under restrictions.
  • Lambs and young goats (gitzi) may be reared on cow's milk for the first 35 days of life. Acidification of milk for rearing ruminants may be carried out with yoghurt, kefir, or sour milk cultures.

Pig and poultry farming

  • Fattening pigs must now be offered 100% organic feed. Dairy waste is the only exception. These may still be used within the 35% DM limit of the total feed content.
  • The outdoor climate area for laying hens and pullets must now be provided with perches. For 100 laying hens and 200 pullets respectively, 1.5 running metres of perches must be available. Half of this can be covered by the edges of the dust baths. These must be 3 cm wide and have rounded edges.

Crop production

  • Farms with less than 20% grassland in the crop rotation area can now count several successively cultivated green manures to achieve the target. The green manures must be incorporated for this purpose. It is important to know that the Direct Payments Ordinance recognises the Bio Suisse soil protection and crop rotation system for the fulfilment of the organic performance certificate. This innovation is therefore relevant to direct payments.
  • - In viticulture, the annual maximum quantity of 3 kg of pure copper/ha of total vineyard area may no longer be exceeded in the 5-year balance. 

Control priorities 2022 – A look in depth

Each year, the control priorities are determined by Bio Suisse together with the two control organizations.

Control focus 1: Recycled fertilizer from biogas plants

Since last year, liquid and solid fermentation products as well as compost from biogas plants must be included in the list of inputs. As the list of inputs is constantly being expanded, it is no longer sent to farms in printed form. The online farm input search can be found at www.fibl.org. This year, as part of the main inspection, we will be taking a closer look at recycled fertilizers from biogas plants. In order not to take up your valuable time unnecessarily, it is necessary to have the necessary documents ready.

Control focus 2: Grazing of productive poultry

Poultry pastures have been declared the second control focus this year. Here the focus is on compliance with the following aspects. The list is not exhaustive:

  • Minimum grazing area and its condition
  • Structural elements – has their ground area been reached? Is the proportion of natural elements sufficient? Are the set distances to reach the structures correct for the poultry?

The above lines do not claim to be exhaustive. Their purpose is to provide an incentive to deal with the innovations and to explain the control priorities. We would like to encourage all readers to study the brochure «Das gilt neu im Biolandbau» (This is new in organic farming). The long winter evenings could also be an invitation to a refreshing study of Bio Suisse, Demeter, and other standards as well as ordinances.


Good luck and many thanks!

We at bio inspecta AG in Frick would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers. We pay great respect to your daily commitment on the farms and look forward to the upcoming exciting encounters with you. Our free hotline is available to answer any questions you may have. Experienced farmers with profound knowledge of the rules and regulations work on this hotline. Our "hotliners" have access to the wealth of experience gained from 9000 inspections every year. You can therefore be sure that you will be well prepared for the upcoming inspection and that you will be able to meet all the requirements in connection with the organic regulations. We wish you a good year 2022 marked by health and happiness.  

Andreas Müller, bio.inspecta AG