Organic products & mass catering

The European Commission recently published a report to the European Parliament setting out the experience of the 3 year application of the new Regulation (EC) 834/2007 on Organic Farming and Organic Products. Among other issues, the document refers to the new EU logo for organic products, the Regulation for organic wines, genetically modified organisms and organic farming, certification for organic production in third countries, mass catering, organic cosmetics and organic textiles and fibers.

What is the situation with mass catering?

As for the food service (restaurants, canteens, school canteens and hospitals, catering) in Regulation 834/2007 there are currently no rules and the EU Commission has left the decision to the Member-States, whether or not to certify the operators. At the moment 7 countries have established national rules for inspection and certification of organic mass catering. The rules and framework for certification of organic food service sites vary as they provide certification of ingredients, selected dishes, menus or complete catering operations. According to representatives from the Member – Members who already have national rules, they do not face particular difficulties. 10 other countries within the EU-27 operate private standards for certification of organic mass catering. In Greece, the Ministry of Rural Development and Food has not yet advanced in adopting national standards for organic mass catering, but there are already certified Greek restaurants against BioHellas private standard BIO Kouzina (BioHellas is an official Control Body for Organic Products in Greece).

As mentioned in the Report, when the new Regulation 834/2007 on organic farming was conceived, including the catering sector was judged to be rather premature. Today the European Commission recognizes the fact that organic catering is steadily gaining importance, in both private and public sectors. In the short-term , it seems that there is no need for introducing rules regarding mass catering as it is considered that a framework of common rules will possibly be of increased complexity. Nevertheless the Commission is closely following the developments of the sector.

Source: European Commission, 2012.

You may find all the European Regulations for Organic Farming at our respective webpage.

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