‘Organic food’ is food that is been produced by organic production (organic farming). Organic production is a farm management production system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, high quality products, biological cycles and animal health and welfare, without harming the environment or humans. The term ‘organic’ is a basic concept with many names. Many names such as ‘bio’, ‘eco’, ‘biological’ and ‘organic’ are used around the world to refer to organic products. Latin language speaking countries together with the Germanic language use the term ‘biological’ were the English-speaking countries use the term ‘organic’.
There are strict EU regulations on organic production and labeling and organic farmers, processors and traders must comply with these if they want to label their products as organic. Some of the basic requirements are:
- Respect of nature’s systems and cycles
- Responsible usage of energy and natural resources such as water, soil and organic matter
- High animal welfare standards
- Use of organic seeds
- No use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) or synthetic chemical inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics and food additives. Fertilisers and pesticides may only be used if they have been authorised for use in organic production and additives can only be used in case of essential technological need or due to specific nutritional purposes.
- Sustainable cultivation techniques
- 95% of the agricultural ingredients should meet the necessary standards of organic products
Products that do not meet these standards may not be referred to as organic or bear the EU’s organic logo or a national equivalent.
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