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OF&G blasts plans for EU organic logo

Date Published: 19/01/2006

Proposals to impose an EU logo on organic products would lead to extra costs and consumer confusion, Organic Farmers & Growers has warned.

The European Commission has proposed new rules which could enforce the use of an EU logo or the words “EU Organic” on products, in an apparent bid to clarify the labelling of food produced by the sector.

The new regulation would restrict organic labelling to products which are at least 95 per cent organic and which exclude items containing genetically modified organisms where these amounts are 0.9 per cent or less through accidental contamination. [See also: New rule threatens organic integrity]

But OF&G fears the imposition of a new label would only lead to confusion among shoppers, who are already faced with a wide variety of assurance scheme logos, and extra cost to food producers who would need to modify their packaging.

OF&G Chief Executive, Richard Jacobs, said: “The system in the UK is very clear. The label is already required by law to show the identifying number, if not the logo, of the certifying body for organic food. That’s what allows shoppers to be confident about what they are buying. Where is the benefit of just reiterating that with something that probably won’t mean anything to anyone?

“We already have lots of logos for the requirements of various assurance schemes in the UK. This is essentially just another addition to that which is going to make labels more complicated and add to the cost because it’s something else to print on the label.”

It is believed the scheme could be approved within six months, although Defra has said it will consult intensively with all sectors.

OF&G will be making its views known in its response to the Defra consultation.