Organic Food traders need to look at the EU's changes to demonstrate organic production. Find out what changed and download the new model document.
European Union organic farming rules cover agricultural products, including aquaculture and yeast. They encompass every stage of the production process, from seeds to the final processed food. This means that there are specific provisions covering a large variety of products, such as:
seeds and propagating material such as cuttings, rhizome etc. from which plants or crops are grown;
living products or products which do not need further processing;
products with multiple ingredients or processed agricultural products for use as food.
EU regulations on organic production exclude products from fishing and hunting of wild animals, but include the harvest of wild plants when certain natural habitat conditions are respected. There are specific rules for wine and aquaculture.
Organic production rules
Producing organically means respecting the rules of organic farming. These rules are designed to promote environmental protection, maintain the biodiversity of Europe and build consumer trust in organic products. These regulations govern all areas of organic production and are based on a number of key principles, such as:
prohibition of the use of GMOs;
forbidding the use of ionising radiation;
limiting the use of artificial fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides;
prohibiting the use of hormones and restrict the use of antibiotics and only when necessary for animal health.
This means that organic producers need to adopt different approaches to maintaining soil fertility and animal and plant health including:
cultivation of nitrogen-fixing plants and other green manure crops to restore the fertility of the soil
prohibition of use of mineral nitrogen fertilisers;
to reduce the impact of weeds and pests, organic farmers choose resistant varieties and breeds and techniques encouraging natural pest control;
encourage the natural immunological defence of animals;
in order to maintain animal health, organic producers need to prevent overstocking.
Action plan for organic production in the EU
EU amends model of the certificate attesting compliance with the rules on organic production
Annex VI to Regulation (EU) 2018/848 sets out the model of the certificate to be issued to any operator or group of operators that have notified its activity to the competent authorities of the Member State in which the activity is carried out and complies with that Regulation.
To ensure a harmonised implementation, the model of the certificate contains common elements, which are mandatory in all Member States, such as the name and address, the activities of operators and categories of products.
However, competent authorities or, where appropriate, control authorities or control bodies that issue the certificate may decide to require specific additional information such as a detailed list of products, information on land and premises, a list of subcontractors and information on the accreditation of the control body. The EU has, therefore, changed the certificate to use, the dedicated part to the certificate. It shall apply from 1 January 2022.