Friday, August 30, 2013

Switzerland Officially Approves Biochar

Switzerland has become the first European country to officially approve the use of biochar in agriculture.  In April, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture issued formal clearance for biochar production and application under a detailed regulatory framework.  Producers wishing to sell biochar require approval from the Swiss-based nonprofit Delinat Institute, which is administratively responsible for quality control and production oversight.  Delinat Institute approval, in turn, requires producers to obtain a European Biochar Certificate (EBC-Certificate), issued solely by the independent q.inspecta certification body.  For now, only untreated wood may be used as biochar feedstock, but other sources will be considered and possibly authorized over the next three years.  At that point, the government plans to add biochar to the official List of Approved Fertilizers.  Although Switzerland is not part of the EU, it is hoped that this carefully defined new system will encourage greater regulatory clarity and boost biochar market growth throughout Europe.

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