How does the EU ensure the safety and quality of organic food?

How does the EU ensure the safety and quality of organic food?

Did you know that organic production within the European Union has to meet certain requirements? In fact, the relevant quality systems ensure that food coming from certified farms is safe and offers exceptional quality to end customers!


EU requirements for organic farms

 To be recognised asan organic farm, the farmer needs to produce food in accordance with the rules outlined by the EU. These include three primary objectives:


●       Maintaining biological balance in the environment and in the production process;

●       Increasing the fertility of arable soils by maintaining high humus levels;

●       Balancing crop and livestock production by closing the material cycle within the farm.[1]


Key principles of organic production

 What does this meanin practice? Organic farming in the EU means growing crops without the use of chemicals and mineral fertilisers. Some of the other relevant requirements include a multi-year crop rotation scheme, with planned rotation of individual crops grown in separate  areas divided into fields, taking into account their specific characteristics. [2] This process ensures the optimal use of space, helps combat disease and pests, and keeps the soil healthy.

Livestock production, on the other hand, has to utilise feed produced at the farm, as well as take proper care of animal welfare by providing adequate bedding, grazing areas access to paddocks and pastures and more.[3]

Adhering to these principles requires a lot of awareness on the part of the farmer, along with expertise and ongoing education. Due to increasing consumer demands, food produced while taking care of the environment needs to be safe, tasty and visually appealing at the same time.[4]


Proper labelling of organic food

The farmer is also responsible for ensuring proper visual identification of their products by putting the EU organic production logo on the product’s packaging.[5] Next to the characteristic leaf, one can find the number of the certification body and the place of production on a green background.[6] This uniform label is easy to read and helps you quickly distinguish organic foods from other products.


Transport and handling of organic food

The regulations do not end here – there are concrete rules concerning the transport and handling of certified foods. The farms use sealed packaging, containers and vehicles that prevent tampering with their contents.[7] This ensures that the products get to the consumers without having to worry about their quality!

Certification for organic farms

Obtaining accreditation, which is valid for 1 year, requires a food manufacturer to successfully complete several stages:

-      Conversion of a farm to organic methods (2 to 3years, depending on the type of production)

-      Submission of documents to a certification body (from the list provided by the EU)[8]

-      Signing of the agreement to include the farm inthe control plan[9]


Production control

A certified farm is inspected annually for compliance with organic production rules.[10] Occasionally, additional inspections are conducted without prior notification to the farmer.[11] In this way, the EU ensures the safety and high quality of organic products.


Organic food is worth your while!

The certification process, detailed regulations and inspection plans ensure that only the best products end up on your table. By choosing products with the EU organic production logo, you can enjoy safe and tasty food without any worries!


[1] B. Sazońska, Zasady prowadzenia gospodarstw w systemie rolnictwa ekologicznego, Radom, 2020, pp. 5-7.

[2] Ibidem.

[3] Ibidem.

[4] Ibidem.


[6] Commission Regulation (EC) no889/2008 of 5 September 2008 (OJ L 250, 18.09.2008, p. 1), Article 57.

[7] Ibidem,, Article 31.


[9] B. Sazońska, op. cit., p. 23.

[10] Ibidem.

[11] Council Regulation (EC) no. 834/2007of 28 June 2007 (OJ L 189, 20.07.2007, p. 1), Article 27.

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