There will be some changes for organic farming when the revised legislation on organic farming becomes binding on 1 January 2021.

According to the EU Commission in office at the time, the aim of the revision was to ensure fair competition conditions for farmers, prevent fraud and strengthen consumer confidence. Consultations are still taking place and national implementing regulations are being drafted.

The project group on organic farming of the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE) recommends that companies that process organic food should carefully study the amendments already adopted and, if necessary, examine any necessary consequences for their own companies. For companies processing organic products, most of the changes would remain as they are, but there would be some changes that companies should deal with now. Among the changes are the following:

  • Extension of the organic range – Annex I of the new regulation now includes other products close to agriculture, such as beeswax, cork, mate, palm hearts, salt and vine leaves.
  • Prohibition of technically produced nanomaterials – in future, no ingredients or substances may be used that contain or consist of technically produced nanomaterials.
  • Approval of cleaning and disinfecting agents – from 2021 onwards, products and substances are to be approved for processing companies as cleaning and disinfecting agents in processing and storage facilities as well.
  • Use of flavourings – on the one hand, the definition of organic flavourings would be introduced, and on the other hand flavourings would in future be counted as ingredients of agricultural origin. The project group warns that this could lead to far-reaching changes for product recipes.
  • Additional production rules – new production rules will be introduced for game, rabbit and poultry, among others.

In addition, production rules are to be simplified by the gradual abolition of numerous exemptions, and the control system is to be strengthened. Another new provision would be that producers in third countries are to be subject to the same rules as producers within the EU.