Imported organic food
Complicating the matter further is the fact that demand for organic products in the EU is currently higher than supply, which means EU citizens often also need to have the opportunity to buy imported food and beverage if they want to buy organic.
Examples of typical organic products imported into the EU include:
- Coffee from Brazil
- Kiwis from New Zealand
- Rice from Thailand
- Bananas from Costa Rica
- Tea from India
The EU Regulation 2092/91 not only gives guarantees concerning the control of organic food and beverages produced and/or processed within the EU, but also covers those organic goods which come from outside the EU, from so called third countries. Indeed, some third countries, namely Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, India, Israel, New Zealand, and Switzerland have been recognized to have equivalent rules on organic production as those in operation throughout the EU, so organic products can freely be imported from those countries.
For all other third countries, importers can be granted authorisations by Member States to import certain products. They have to prove that these products satisfy identical or equivalent requirements as organic products from the European Union and that they have been inspected accordingly. These organic products have to be accompanied by an import certificate, which is checked at their entrance into the EU.
So, if you buy organic products coming from outside the EU, you can be sure that all of the operators, involved in the production of that product will have been subject to organic inspection.
Essentially, the EU Regulation provides consumers with confidence when buying organic products. They can be sure that all of the operators involved in the supply chain have followed the same rules regardless of the geographic origin of their organic food or beverages.
It is also important to remember that the EU produces some of the world’s most highly sought-after delicacies and that more and more of these products are now also being made from organic ingredients for export outside the EU.
The international trade in organic produce not only allows EU citizens the opportunity of accessing tasty and exciting produce from outside the EU, but also creates opportunities for its own organic products to be enjoyed and recognized by citizens around the world.