19 January 2021
Intercropping for sustainability

Two-day Conference with AAB, DIVERSify and ReMIX at Reading University

6 September 2021
Organic World Congress 2021

New date! Postponed from September 2020



30 July 2020
ORC welcomes the National Food Strategy

The first major reviewof our food system in 75 years

24 July 2020
The future of organic farming and the environment

All to play for if full benefits of organic farming for wildlife, the environment and health are to be realised



29 April 2020
Tim Bennett is the new Chair of ORC

Former NFU president takes on chairmanship of Organic Research Centre

Organic farming: new EU rules adopted

Category: News
22 May 2018

On 22 May 2018 the Council of the EU adopted new EU rules on organic production and the labelling of organic products.

The Council stated in their Press Release "The new regulation encourages the sustainable development of organic production in the EU and aims at guaranteeing fair competition for farmers and operators, preventing fraud and unfair practices and improving consumer confidence in organic products.

"Old rules covering organic production were uneven across the EU, as they included a wide range of different practices and exceptions. Furthermore the principle of equivalence applying to imported organic food created a situation in which different standards applied to different producers from the same country.

"A new legislative framework was therefore needed to equip a fast-growing sector with clear and stable rules, and to allow organic producers to compete fairly, independently from whether they produce in the EU or in a third country. Moreover thanks to the new rules consumers buying a product bearing the EU organic logo can be sure of getting the same quality across the EU."

Rumen Porodzanov, minister of agriculture, food and forestry of the Republic of Bulgaria and president of the Council said: "Organic farmland has more than doubled in the last decade and is still growing. Thanks to the rules we have adopted today, the organic sector will continue to thrive and consumers can trust that the organic products they buy are of the highest quality."

As from 1 January 2021:

  • production rules will be simplified and further harmonised through the phasing out of a number of exceptions and derogations
  • the control system will be strengthened thanks to tighter precautionary measures and robust risk-based checks along the entire supply chain
  • producers in third countries will have to comply with the same set of rules of those producing in the EU the scope of organic rules will be enlarged to cover a wider list of products (e.g. salt, cork, beeswax, maté, vine leaves, palm hearts) and additional production rules (e.g. deer, rabbits and poultry)
  • certification will be easier for small farmers thanks to a new system of group certification
  • there will be a more uniform approach to reduce the risk of accidental contamination from pesticides derogations for production in demarcated beds in greenhouses will be phased out

Next steps

The new regulation will enter into force on the third day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and will apply from 1 January 2021.

Keywords: EU regulation

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