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What are the Organic Regulations?

This Regulation controls all organic food production by specifying:

  • That each member state must establish a Control or Inspection Authority to implement the law in the state;
  • How organic products (made of essentially plant ingredients intended for human consumption) must be labelled;
  • How the agricultural ingredients must be produced;
  • What inputs are permitted for soil fertilising and conditioning and pest and disease control by listing these in the annexes;
  • How organic products must be processed;
  • What additional non-organic ingredients, non-agricultural materials such as additives and processing aids can be used by listing these in the annexes;
  • The procedures by which organic products can be imported from non-member states, known as third countries;
  • The minimum inspection requirements that all organic operators must be subject to;
  • The penalties which must be imposed when infringements of the Regulation are found;
  • The mechanism by which amendments to the Regulation can be made.

All organic plant and animal products are subject to statutory control.

The consequence of the Regulation is that a farmer or grower, food processor, or an importer of organic food from a non-EU country must be registered with an approved control body, such as OF&G, and undergo regular inspections to ensure that they meet the strict organic standards. Only then can their products legally be labelled and marketed as organic.