On the market
Typical distribution channels through which consumers like you might encounter organic produce include:
- Local and specialised organic markets
- Specialised organic shops in rural or metropolitan areas
- Roadside stalls in rural areas
- Directly from the farm where the food was produced
- Delivered to your door or a collection point through web-based home delivery and/or box scheme
Throughout Europe the supermarket is becoming an increasingly popular source of organic food and drink and the size and sophistication of most supermarkets' organic operations is increasing. At supermarkets you can regularly find dedicated and highly visible organic fresh fruit, vegetables and meat sections. And if you look closely enough, processed organic foods are also available on most shelves and in the refrigerated sections.
Restaurants and catering
The EU restaurants and catering sector is also increasingly sourcing a wide range of organic products to fill its menus and feed its patrons. In fact, in the past few years an increasing number of new eating establishments have opened which serve nothing but organic food, while several high profile companies have also chosen to stock organic food in their cafeterias.
Meanwhile the next generation of consumers is getting first-hand experience of organic food and drink as more and more school canteens across the EU regularly choose to provide it for their students; and other canteens, in both the public and private sector, are following the same trend.
The distribution channel through which organic food is delivered to consumers corresponds with the demands made by modern consumers. Wherever consumers choose to buy or eat their organic products they should have confidence that they were produced in accordance with strict EU rules. Without compliance with these rules, producers and processors are not allowed to use the term organic or equivalents such as eco or bio, or carry the EU or other EU Member States organic farming logos.
The rules contained in the EU council regulation on organic farming do not only apply to the production and processing of organic food, but also to its labelling and marketing.
As well as the usual ingredients and nutritional information contained on all produce, organic product labelling should help the consumer learn various facts about the product, including the name of the last operator who handled the product, e.g. the producer, the processor or the distributor.
It should also contain the name or code number of the inspection body within the EU Member State which inspected the producer and processor of the products to ensure its organic authenticity.