MEP committee called for traceability in all parts of supply chain

MEP committee called for traceability in all parts of supply chain

Everyone involved in the production, buying and selling of organic food products across the EU must meet higher standards and undergo strict food fraud checks in order to build trust in the EU organic label, as part of new organic legislation, said members of the European Parliament said today (13 October). 

MEPs on the EU’s agriculture and rural development committee introduced new plans to help farmers turn organic while implementing measures they hope will avoid contamination of organic food on mixed organic and conventional farms. 

Martin Häusling, German MEP for the Green and European Free Alliance parties, who will lead the European Parliament talks with the European Council on the final wording of the new organic law, said it was vital all organic operators "take responsibility to make organic farming work better". 

The committee believes steps should be introduced to tighten organic farming regulations right through the supply chain to prevent food fraud. MEPs argue there also needs be annual on-site checks of all EU organic farms. Member states should also ensure the traceability of each product at all stages of production, preparation and distribution to give guarantees to consumers that the organic products they buy are truly organic.

If a product is found to have used, for example, a non-authorised pesticide it will not be able to carry the EU organic label under further investigations have been completed. The product can only go on to be sold as an organic product if it is clear the contamination was unavoidable and the organic farmer had applied all the precautionary measures.

The committee has also scrapped the Commission’s plans to abolish mixed farms, producing both organic and non-organic food, providing the two farming activities are clearly separated and differentiated from each other. 

It also supported the Commission's initial proposal to ensure all imported products comply with tough EU rules. But, aware it could result in disruptions of supply, the committee recommended the Commission should be able, for a maximum of two years, to adjust import requirements for some products which do not fully comply with EU standards.