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Rules & Requirements for Labelling Organic Food

The rules regarding including or using the word 'organic' on a food label are governed by Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 (pdf 193Kb)  as amended which stipulates for example the minimum percentage of agricultural ingredients that must be of organic origin.

More detailed information on the rules and requirements for labeling organic produce are contained in Article 23 of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 as amended.

If at least 95% of ingredients of agricultural origin are organic

A product may be labelled 'organic' in its sales description where:

  • at least 95% of the ingredients of agricultural origin are certified organic.
  • All the other ingredients are not available (e.g. some exotic fruit) organically and are included on Part C of Annex VI of Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91.

If 70% to 95% of ingredients of agricultural origin are organic

the product cannot be labelled as 'organic' in the sales description but may bear indications referring to organic production methods in the list of ingredients. Indications referring to organic production methods in the list of ingredients may not be more prominent than other indications in the list of ingredients. The percentage of ingredients of organic origin must be specified.

If less than 70% of ingredients of agricultural origin are organic

the product labelling and advertising may not bear any reference to organic production methods.

Crop products in conversion to organic production methods

Crop products that comply with the provisions of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 (pdf 448Kb)  and for which the operator is subject to inspection measures, may bear the words 'product under conversion to organic farming', on condition that a conversion period of at least twelve months has been completed before the harvest. The indications should not be such as to mislead the consumer.