IAF Regions' news

New European organic food regulation

Amandine Combe

The European Union (EU) organic farming rules cover agricultural products, including aquaculture and yeast. They encompass every stage of the production process, from seeds to the final processed food. There are therefore specific provisions covering a large variety of products.

Producing organically means respecting the rules on organic farming, which are designed to promote environmental protection, maintain the biodiversity of Europe and build consumer trust in organic products.

In light of the experience gained from the application of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, the rules on Organic Production (OP), the EU identified several areas of improvement to meet the high expectations of consumers and clarify the products involved. Therefore Regulation (EC) No 2018/848 will replace Regulation (EC) No 834 with effect from the 1st of January 2021.

The new Regulation has been developed in a similar spirit, however the main changes include:

  • Details of production rules
  • Introduction of groups of operators in the EU
  • (Physical) inspection of operators every 2 years under certain conditions
  • In third countries (outside EU), transition from the current equivalency recognition to compliance recognition

For these reasons, accreditations granted to control bodies for control of Organic Production will need to be updated. After discussions with the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission (DG AGRI), the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) Certification Committee Working Group Food has proposed a harmonised approach that will involve:

  • Transition on the national level
  • Transition between Equivalency and Compliance approaches
  • Expiration of equivalency recognition

As a result, EA-3/12 EA Policy for the Accreditation of Organic Production Certification will be revised. It is intended that the new Regulation (EU) 2018/848 shall come into force the 1st of January 2021.

For more information on the transition of accreditation, click here.

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