To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

April 21, 2008

Launch of EU organic logo delayed beyond 2009

The launch of the European Commission's organic logo, scheduled for 2009, has been delayed following complaints it was too similar to a symbol used by German supermarket Aldi.
The news may signal problems for organic manufacturers, especially those who have started to prepare for the logo to come in at the previous anticipated start-date of next year.

The logo was first suggested by the EC in 2007, and was designed for mandatory use on products that are 95 per cent or more organic and free of genetically modified organisms (GMO).

However, Germany-based retailer Aldirecently contacted the commission to raise concerns over the similarities between the new green logo and its own symbol, said Michael Mann, EU spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Development. The European council of ministers has now been asked to delay the launch until 2010, he added.

Mann remains confident that the delay will not have a negative effect on the food industry, as "voluntary labels are in place;" however, other players in the organic world are not so optimistic.

Richard Jacobs, chief executive of UK Organic Farmers & Growers (OR&G) said the logo had clearly been withdrawn in a confused fashion. The OR&G had told several processors to change their packaging, some of whom have already started to work on new print labels, he said.

"And the commission seemed to have not done its homework in this area," Jacobs said. "How did the commission miss the similarity to a logo from Aldi, one of the biggest food retailers in Europe? And why did Aldi wait so long to complain?"

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) has also voiced its concern on its website, stating that the postponement will cause "serious problems", as many labels will now have to be changed again. "This is absolutely not acceptable for the market," said Francis Blake, president of the IFOAM EU Group.

Jacobs also stated that the OR&G has been disappointed with the logo from the start, as orginal plans were for it to feature the word 'bio,' more associated with washing powder than organic foods by English speakers.

What's more, products packaged in the EU will be able to carry this logo, meaning consumers will not be able to distinguish between organic food from within the bloc and products that come from further away, he added.

Nevertheless, despite concerns over the state of the European organic market, the sector continues to grow, according Eurostat. In 2005 around six million hectares were either farmed organically or were being converted to organic production, an increase of more than 2 per cent on 2004, the analysts said.

Over the same period, the number of organc operators grew by more than six per cent, Eurostat added.

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings expo exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture hydroponics ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maiz maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by

Back to TOP