Ifoam EU: New challenges for organic Processors and Traders

BIOFACH 2015 seminar

An obligatory system for measuring the environmental performance of processors and traders has been proposed by the Commission. Three reports with recommendations on organic processing practices, additives, flavour and processing aids delivered by the Expert Group for Technical Advice in Organic Production (EGTOP) in 2014. IFOAM EU proposed a way to reach the 100% organic ingredient concepts. All this happened in 2014. It is now the moment for stakeholders to discuss and to support the further progress of organic processing and trading towards the next level of sustainabilityimage003

Moderator:  Erkki Pöytäniemi, Organic Food Finland
Speaker: Dr. Alexander Beck, AÖL
Speaker : Charles Pernin, Synabio
Speaker: Bavo Van den Idsert, Bionext

Friday 13th February at 14.00 – 14.45

Room Istanbul
You can find the rest of the IFOAM EU program at BioFach 2015 here.

Organic EU logo

The situation with EU logo is difficult right now as we are waiting for the new logo to be launched but no-one has seen it yet. It will be chosen from logos submitted by European art-students. Of the over 3000 entries the 100 best have been chosen. This will be narrowed down to 10 and then there will be a Europe wide consumer vote. An interesting process and impossible to say what the outcome will be. One key problem is that only entries which are pure symbols – i.e. without any text – were accepted. It is easy to understand why as there is no common name for organic in the different European languages. But it does pose problems. The organic industry through the Ifoam EU group proposed a label that included the wording Organic – Bio, which would have been understandable for the vast majority of Europeans and also outside the EU. But this was against the rules of the competition and was therefore not considered.

The aspect of how the new label will function outside Europe has been largely overlooked. Maybe there will be some (little) EU funding for promoting the new label inside the EU, thus helping consumers make the link between the label and organic certification, but outside the EU there will be no promotion paid by the EU. This is a major problem for companies in the export
business of organic products. Asia, which is a fast growing market for organic products is an example. A lot of the organic products in Asian markets come from the USA and the USDA organic logo is the most recognized organic logo on that market. The consumer there looks for a Western certification logo for credibility. An EU logo would have that credibility if it existed and could be recognized as an official logo. Weather this can be communicated with the new EU logo remains to be seen. If not we will give markets to the US companies.