EU organic leaf logo becomes compulsory
By Ed Bray | Friday 29 June 2012
The new ‘Euro-leaf’ EU organic logo
(1) will be compulsory from 1 July onwards on all pre-packed organic food products that meet the necessary standards, the European Commission confirmed, on 28 June. Agreed by agriculture ministers on 12 June 2007, the EU’s rules on organic food labelling also require producers to indicate the place of farming of the food products and the code number of the national authorisation body in charge of organic controls. Operators have had a two-year transition period to adapt to the new rules in order to avoid wastage of existing packaging.
Private, regional or national labels may continue to exist alongside the EU logo. But the ‘Euro-leaf’ logo will continue to remain optional for non-packed and imported organic products. Under a series of bilateral deals signed with third countries, such as the US, non-EU organic products may be recognised if produced “under the same or equivalent conditions as EU producers”. However, their labels must clearly state the source of the product.
Commenting on the launch of the label, DG AGRI officials stressed the importance of a logo “that everyone can recognise” in view of the “confusing” number of different labels on the market. Meanwhile, Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos expressed his hope that the new logo “can further develop into a widely recognised symbol of organic food production across the EU”. The ‘Euro-leaf’ design – created by German student Dusan Milenkovic as part of an EU competition – emerged as the winner in an online poll back in February 2010. Meanwhile, Commission officials said that the label was already gaining widespread recognition among consumers. According to a Eurobarometer survey, soon to be published, the logo is already familiar to some 24% of EU citizens.(1) See ec.europa.eu/agriculture/organic/home_en