Organic food and drink – consultation on EU rules

21 January 2013

Strict EU-wide rules for organic food and drink aim to bolster consumer trust and promote Europe’s organic farmers, the care they take of the land, biodiversity and high standards of animal protection.
Currently some 2% of the foods bought by EU consumers are certified organic, with 200,000 farms (2% of the total) counting as organic.
Now, the Commission is looking at ways to improve the EU’s organic rules and boost demand even more. As part of this process, we want to hear from you on:
- simplifying the rules – while ensuring standards are not watered down
- ensuring genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – which are prohibited under the rules – do not accidentally enter the organic food chain
- promoting organic products through labelling rules (especially the compulsory use of the European logo on all EU-produced organic products)
- updating the Commission’s 2004 action plan for developing organic farming
- tightening controls, to prevent fraud
- addressing shortcomings in current import rules.
The online consultation is open until 10 April 2013. The comments received will inform decisions on the next steps to be taken. The Commission plans to table proposals for how the rules can be changed around the end of 2013 (News Item European Commission, 16 January 2013).