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EU ruling on organic production

Published:  23 July, 2008

The European Union has reached an agreement on organic production and labelling which will form the basis of new rules for organic wine and yeasts used in fermentation.

Organic foods will have to carry the EU organic logo but can also be accompanied by national or private logos. Food must contain at least 95% organic ingredients to carry the EU logo.

But the restaurant and on-trade sector are exempt from the ruling on food labelling and it will be up to individual countries to decide how to regulate the sector until 2011.

Products from non-EU Countries will be subject to the same of equivalent conditions as EU producers and must state where the product was farmed.

Mariann Fischer Boel, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: "This is an excellent agreement which will help consumer to recognize organic products throughout the EU more easily and give them assurances of precisely what they are buying."

In 2005 around six million hectares were farmed organically or were being converted to organic production.

The UK organic market is worth 1.6 billion, and is increasing 30% year-on year.