New EU organic-food logo will confuse consumers, claims FPC

A new European Union organic logo, the rules for which have just been published in draft form, will offer no benefits and cause confusion, insists the Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC).

FPC criticised the compulsory 9mm-high logo, a diamond formation of EU stars fronted by a shooting star on a green background.

The logo goes on all pre-packed organic food from member states from 1 July. It aims to improve consumer protection and promote organic growing and farming.

"Our initial view is this provides no benefits," said the FPC. "We believe it will lead to more confusion among consumers on organic standards.

"There are a lot of organic standards out there and research suggests people are already confused. We also worry the logo will need more effort, resources and promotional activity to ensure consumers recognise the relevance,"

EU ministers agreed in 2007 on new rules for organic labelling on where food was farmed. The logo can only be used if at least 95% of ingredients are organic.

At the time agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said people would recognize organic food more easily and enjoy assurances on what they were buying.

"Organic food is a growing market and I hope the rules provide the framework to continue this growth through market demand and entrepreneurship of European farmers."

The logo is optional for organic products imported from third countries and the draft sets out format, size and use of logo. The FPC is to brief Defra on industry views.


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