Organic Product Mass Balance

The organic certification process requires Organic Products to be Mass Balanced, so what is that and why is it required.

A mass balance is an exercise used to verify that the products marketed as organic were capable of being produced organically, and that the required records were maintained in adequate detail.

The exercise is completed over a defined period of time, generally 12 months, determined by your certifier or inspector. A formula is used to calculate the total weight of an organic product, commodity or ingredient that was produced, purchased, sold or used during the time period.

There are several important types of documents required to complete the mass balance:

  1. Inventory records (for the start and end of the period)
  2. Purchase records (for seeds, commodities, ingredients etc)
  3. Production records (harvested crops, Slaughter records, processing records, etc)
  4. Sales records
  5. Records of spoiled or wasted products or products returned to supplier

The above documents can be provided electronically or in hard copies and will generally be verified against other records for accuracy at the discretion of the inspector.

The mass balance process can be a frustrating exercise if your records are not properly maintained or information isn’t readily available but with some planning and persistence even the most complicated of systems can be balanced with relative ease.