Norms and Standards

Make it Fit: Norms and Standards

Labeling Organic Products

Since July 1, 2010, only food products that contain 95 percent of the ingredients from organic production can carry the EU 'organic' label. In Germany, the 'Bio-Siegel' is the official label for organic foods. Even though it is a voluntary label, there are more than 50,000 products bearing this seal, which is widely recognized and demanded by consumers. Producers may print the German 'Bio' seal or other private organic logos in combination with the new EU logo on their products. Please note that the EU organic logo is voluntary for products imported from third countries and mandatory for products originating within the EU.

In order to classify products as organic, the ingredients are subject to inspection by an EU-accredited inspection body. These authorities are responsible for the control and verification of the organic agricultural production and processing. They also supervise imports from non-EU countries and enforce the proper labeling of organic products. The inspection bodies additionally help foreign exporters and importers with the application procedures to obtain the import permit(s) required by the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE) for all organic agricultural products from outside the EU.

The two largest non-profit organizations for organic agriculture in Germany, Bioland and Naturland provide an additional organic label for their members. This label is voluntary and means that the applicable products have met or exceeded the EU's stipulations for organic agriculture as well as a series of additional requirements set by the organizations themselves.

Natural cosmetics can also be labeled with the BDIH Certified Natural Cosmetics seal (Bundesverband deutscher Industrie- und Handelsunternehmen e.V.). In order to earn this seal, products must, among other things, be made from natural, organic ingredients and not tested on animals. Further details on the exact requirements for BDIH-labeling are available online.

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