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Agricultural policy and rural development

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Organic production

Community Regulation on organic farming


Official title

"Regulation no 2092/91 of 24 June 1991 on the organic production of agricultural products and indications referring thereto on agricultural products and foodstuffs"

Legal references

Regulation no. 2092/91 of 24 June 1991 (OJ L 198 of 22 July 91) amended in particular by:

  • R 94/92 (OJ L 11 of 17/1/92),
  • R 1535/92 (OJ L 162 of 16/6/92),
  • R 2083/92 (OJ L 208 of 24/7/92),
  • R 3457/92 (OJ L 350 of 1/12/92),
  • R 3713/92 (OJ L 378 of 23/12/92),
  • R 2608/93 (OJ L 239 of 24/9/93),
  • R 468/94 (OJ L 59 of 3/3/94),
  • R 1468/94 (OJ L 159 of 28/6/94),
  • R 2381/94 (OJ L 255 of 1/10/94),
  • R 529/95 (OJ L 54 of 10/3/95),
  • R 1201/95 (OJ L 119 of 30/5/95),
  • R 1202/95 (OJ L 119 of 30/5/95),
  • R 1935/95 (OJ L 186 of 5/8/95),
  • R 1804/1999 (OJ L 222 of 24/8/1999),
  • R 331/2000 (OJ L 48 of 19/2/2000).


Create a harmonised framework for the production, labelling and inspection of organic farm products and foodstuffs to increase consumer confidence in these products and to ensure fair competition between producers.


Every part of the Regulation and its amendments are compulsory and directly applicable in each Member State.



  1. Amended Regulation no. 2092/91 applies to unprocessed farm products (plant or animal), produced according to the rules laid down by the regulation, and to foodstuffs in which these farm products are incorporated.

  2. For the purposes of the regulation, the following terms are defined: "labelling", "production", "preparation", "commercialisation", "operator", "ingredient", "phyto-pharmaceutical products" and "detergents".

  3. The regulation limits the use of information referring to organic production in labelling and advertising, laying down certain conditions: the information must highlight the agricultural method of production, and the products must correspond to the rules of production stipulated in the regulation.

  4. With regard to the rules on production, the annexes of the regulation contain the list of substances that may be used as a phyto-pharmaceutical product, detergent, ground fertiliser or soil enriching agent and also list any exceptions. In addition, the regulation lays down the conditions for expanding the list of substances allowed.

  5. In order to guarantee compliance with the production rules, the regulation introduces a system of regular inspection whereby the operators who produce, prepare or import organic products must report their activities to the authorised public or private authorities, appointed for this purpose by the Member States. These inspection authorities must at least implement the minimum inspection and precautionary measures specified in annex III of the regulation.

  6. The Member States may not forbid or limit the commercialisation of products that comply with the provisions of the regulation.

  7. A system is also to be set up to check that the products imported from third countries have been produced and commercialised in production and inspection conditions equivalent to those applicable to Community products. These third countries are part of a list drawn up by decision of the Commission.

  8. The annexes to the regulation specify the following aspects: the principles of organic production in farms; the list of products intended for fertilisation, soil enrichment and the fight against parasites and disease; the minimum inspection requirements and the precautionary measures provided for in the system of regular inspection; the data of the notification; the text indicating compliance with the system of regular inspection in the different languages; and the list of substances allowed as non-agricultural ingredients in preparations and agricultural ingredients.

  9. A regulatory committee helps the Commission implement the regulation. This committee is made up of representatives of the Member States and is presided over by a representative of the Commission.

  10. Regulation no. 1804/1999 harmonises the rules for the organic production of the main species of animals (origin, feed, veterinary care, environment, etc.) and also harmonises their labelling and inspection standards. In addition, the regulation stipulates that GMOs and their derivatives are not compatible with organic production.

  11. Regulation no. 331/2000 specifies how the Community logo provided for in Regulation (EEC) no. 2092/91 is to be used and presented to make identification of organic products easier.
The logo may only be used for food products and foodstuffs whose ingredients are 95% organic and which have been included in a system of inspection for the entire period of production and elaboration.
Use of the logo is optional and may be combined with national or private logos identifying organic products.

Communication means

European Commission, Directorate-General for Agriculture: "Organic farming - Guide to Community rules" by Gwénaelle Le Guillou and Alberik Scharpe. Luxembourg. 2000. Office of Official Publications of the European Communities. Available in all EU languages.

Additional sources of information

European Commission
c/o Alberick Scharpe
84 rue de la Loi - Office 1/12
B-1049 Brussels.
Tel: +32 2 295 59 51
Fax: +32 2 296 59 63

last update: 07/01

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