Production Rules

According to the general rules for organic production, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are prohibited in all their forms. Rules concerning the labelling of food allow operators to ensure compliance with this prohibition. Treatment by ionising radiation is also prohibited.

Those wishing to operate both types of agricultural production (organic and non-organic) must ensure that animals and land for these two activities are separated.

Organic plant production must comply with certain rules concerning:

  • ground treatment, which must preserve life and the natural fertility of the ground;
  • the prevention of damage, which must be based on natural methods but which can make use of a limited number of plant protection products listed in the Regulation;
  • seed and plant propagation material, which must be produced using organic methods;
  • cleaning products.

Wild plants collected in some areas are also classified as organic products if they comply with certain conditions relating to their harvest and provenance. Seaweed may also be considered as an organic product as long as its area of production and harvest comply with certain conditions.

Organic livestock production must comply with certain rules concerning:

  • the animals’ origin – they must have been born and reared in organic holdings;
  • livestock husbandry practices, which, inter alia, relate to certain features of animal housing;
  • animal breeding methods, generally natural;
  • animal feed, which must be organic;
  • the prevention of disease;
  • cleaning and disinfection, involving the exclusive use of products listed in the Regulation.

Similar specific rules apply to aquaculture animals.

Regulation (EC) 889/2008 authorises the use of a limited number of products and substances in organic farming. These products may be for plant care, animal feed and the cleaning of buildings used for livestock and plant production. In certain cases, specific limits and conditions have been set for the application of these products.

Holdings which are entering into a new organic farming activity must comply with a conversion period. The rules laid down in this Regulation also govern this conversion period.

Organic processed feed must contain organic raw materials and may not be processed using chemical solvents. Processed food must contain mainly ingredients of agricultural origin. Other ingredients are permitted if they are positively listed in the respective Regulation. Organic yeast must be produced from organic substrates and other authorised ingredients.

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