What is the meaning of the new organic logo ?
If used on a product, the EU organic logo indicates that this product can be legally qualified
organic because it is in full conformity with the conditions and regulations for the organic
farming sector established by the European Union. For processed products it means that at
least 95% of the agricultural ingredients are organic. Next to the new EU organic logo, a code
number of the control body is displayed as well as the place where the agricultural raw
materials composing the product have been farmed.
What needs to be considered by using the new EU organic logo?
The related European legislation is the Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 and the
Commission Regulation (EU) No 271/2010 of 24 March 2010. As the logo is registered as a
European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development has
developed a detailed user manual, which includes concrete guidelines for the application of
the EU organic logo.
- Is the use of the new EU organic logo compulsory?
Yes, the use of the EU organic logo is compulsory from 1 July 2010. Before that date, it was
optional for operators. However, there will be a two years transition period for allowing its
introduction on the packaging.
- Can the logo be used before?
Yes, the logo can be used as from the 7th day after the publication of the Regulation No
271/2010 of 24 March 2010. If used in anticipation all other conditions – like code number of
control bodies and place of farming – must be respected.
- For which product categories is the new EU organic logo compulsory?
From 1 July 2010, the use of the EU organic logo is compulsory for organic pre-packaged food
produced within the European Union. In addition, it is also possible to use it on a voluntary
basis for non pre-packaged organic food produced within the EU or any organic food imported
from third countries.
However the EU organic logo cannot be used for products:
- that are not in scope of the EU organic legislation such as products of hunting and fishing of
wild animals, cosmetics, textiles,
- containing less than 95% of organic ingredients;
- that are in conversion to organic,
- for which only national rules are defined
Examples: can the logo be used on packaging material of the following products?
- Sardines in organic olive oil: NO
- Organic salmon: YES
- Wine made with organic grapes: NO
- Soup made of organic vegetables: YES
Wool from organic sheep: NO
- Milk from a dairy farm in conversion period: NO
- Other organic animal products, where only national rules exist (rabbits, snails, deers, etc.):
- Pet food: NO
- When the logo is used, what additional information is obligatory?
Whenever the EU organic logo is used on the product, it has to be always accompanied by the
code number of the control body and the place where the agricultural raw materials
composing the product have been farmed.
- Where the additional information should be placed?
The code number and the indication of place of farming shall be placed in the same visual filed
as the EU organic logo. Indication of the place of farming should appear directly below the
reference to the control body.
- How the code number should be displayed?
The code number shall appear as follows: AB-CDE-999 where "AB" is the ISO code for the
country where the controls take place, "CDE" is a term establishing a link with the organic
production like "bio" or "eko" and "999" is the attributed reference number composed of 1 to
- How the indication of place of farming should be displayed?
The indication of the place where the agricultural raw materials of which the product is
composed have been farmed shall appear as follows:
• ‘EU Agriculture’, where the agricultural raw material has been farmed in the EU,
• ‘non-EU Agriculture’, where the agricultural raw material has been farmed in third countries,
• ‘EU/non-EU Agriculture’, where part of the agricultural raw materials has been farmed in the
Community and a part of it has been farmed in a third country Indication ‘EU’ or ‘non-EU’ may be replaced or supplemented by a country in the case where all agricultural raw materials of which the product is composed have been farmed in that country.
- If the logo is placed on the package twice, can the code number and the place of farming
be displayed only once?
- Is it compulsory to indicate the code number and the place of farming on products where
the EU organic logo is not used or cannot be used?
The code number of control bodies must appear on all products claimed organic, irrespective
of the use of the logo. The place of farming is compulsory only when the logo is used.
- What are the specific rules for the transition period of the EU organic logo?
Even if the EU organic logo is compulsory from 1 July 2010 on, the gradual placing of the new
logo on the market will last until 2012. This transitional period is foreseen to help operators
adapt to the new regulation and to avoid waste of existing packaging.
Packaging material compliant to the organic legislation as in force before the introduction of
the new logo may continue to be used, and possibly renewed, until 1 July 2012, with or
without the old organic logo.
Products produced, packaged and labelled before 1 July 2010 may continue to be placed on
the market and sold until stocks are exhausted.
- What is going to happen to the old EU organic logo?
It will disappear progressively. The first EU organic logo was introduced in the 1990s, and
contrary to the new symbol, its use was on a voluntary basis. This old logo is obsolete from 1
July 2010, but might still appear on some products as they clear through the supply chain.
- Are the national and private organic logos still valid?
With the adoption of the EU regulation No 834/2007, a single governmental standard for
organic products was established within the European Union. It applies from 1st January 2009
onwards equally in all the 27 Member States. The new EU logo reflects this situation, but is not
exclusive: national and private labels stay valid and can be displayed on organic products next
to the Euro-leaf.
- Can the EU logo be associated with other logos or graphical or textual elements?
YES. "To associate" means here that the logo can be accompanied by another object, including
another logo, symbol, graphical element or text, placed next to it. Those elements must not
modify the nature or interfere into the integrity of the EU organic logo.
- Can the EU logo be combined with other logos, graphical or textual elements?
NO. "To combine" means here that the logo is mixed with other objects, including another
logo, symbol, graphical element or text and by this action the nature of the logo is modified
and its integrity is altered. This is not allowed (e.g. nothing can be written inside the logo)
- What is the minimum size of the EU organic logo?
The minimum size is 9 mm in height and 13.5 mm in width. Exceptionally, for very small
packaging material, it can decreased to 6 mm in height. The proportion ratio height/width
1:1.5 shall always be kept.
- Can the shape of the EU organic logo be modified?
- Shall the EU logo always be placed on the front side of the packaging material?
No, not always, as there is no legal obligation on which side of the package the logo shall be
placed. The logo and its indications must be easily visible, clearly legible and indelible.
- What is the master colour of the EU logo? Are there any other possibilities?
The master colour version is green, referenced as follows: Pantone n°376 or green 50% cyan +
100% yellow in a four colour process. The master colour version of the logo must be preferred
for a better identification of the organic claim. However, only if it is not practicable to use the
master colour, there are other possibilities. A black and white version may be used. There are
also defined cases where the master colour may be changed for another colour: for another
green type which appears in a national logo when associated to the EU logo, for another
colour when a one colour printing process is used for producing the packaging material.