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Organic logo revealed – but questions remain

Date Published: 11/02/2010

The announcement of the winning design for the new EU organic food logo has been welcomed, but one certifier says significant questions still need to be answered before it can be put to use.

The new EU organic logo
The new EU organic logo

The logo will be required on all new pre-packed organic products produced in the EU from July this year, with labeling on existing products having until January 2012 to comply (more details below).

Leading control body, Organic Farmers & Growers, said the revealing of the chosen design was welcome, but many of the questions organic food processors have about its use are still unanswered.

Chief Executive, Richard Jacobs, explained: “We, along with others, have had our reservations about the method of producing and selecting the designs, but now we have it we need to get on with ensuring everyone can put it to work on their packaging within the letter of the regulations.

“The trouble is, when you come to use the logo on new label and packaging designs a number of questions begin to arise that aren’t dealt with in the regulation and we’re having trouble getting clear answers to those questions.

“My processing department is telling me that we have licensees who should be finalising new packaging in the next few days in order to have it ready for new products in July, but the imponderables are potentially causing delays. We need answers quickly.”

Issues yet to be resolved include the minimum required size for the logo on packaging, whether there has to be (or can be) a border around the image and the definitive pantone colour of the design. There is also currently no final, official version of the logo being circulated for use.

Mr Jacobs added: “We’re doing all we can to get answers to these questions, though it seems Defra is struggling to get clarification from the EU as well.

“What we can tell our licensees is that OF&G will not require the use of its own logo on products, because space on labels is already at a premium due to other regulatory and branding requirements. Organic processors should check with their own control body though. We know that Soil Association Certification Limited will require the use of its logo and others may be doing the same.”