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Lemons on a tree branchLemons from organic farming © European Commission

Organic Farming

Within the framework of EU rules and regulations on organic farming, the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) assumes various tasks.

They include the approval of eco-inspection bodies and inspectors who supervise compliance with legal regulations on organic farming. As an authorizing authority, the BLE is also involved in control body assessments that are carried out annually within the framework of the bodies' approval pursuant to the DIN EN ISO/IEC 17065 standard.

Upon request, the BLE exceptionally issues transitional authorisations for the use of conventional ingredients of agricultural origin. The BLE collects data for statistic reports to the EU Commission and to the other member states. The BLE is also responsible for the important task of registering and advising companies that intend to use the Bio-Siegel for their certified organic products.

The BLE as an authorising authority

Pursuant to the Law on Accreditation Bodies, the BLE, as an authorising body, is responsible for assessments in the framework of the accreditation procedure pursuant to the DIN EN ISO/IEC 17065 standard for organic farming. BLE staff carries out expert assessments for the German accreditation body (DAkkS). The BLE is a member of the DAkkS accreditation committee, where each accreditation decision is checked and verified. Being represented on the DAkkS advisory board and, as a member of the LEN sectorial committee for agriculture, food, sustainability, the BLE also works on rules and procedures for technical assessment.

Cooperation with the European Commission

The BLE takes part in meetings of the Regulatory Committee on Organic Production (RCOP) in Brussels. Also, in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the EU Commission, the BLE assesses applications for admission lodged by third countries as well as the so-called third country list or the list of equivalent, i.e. compliant inspection bodies. Collecting, processing and forwarding data to the EU Commission for statistical information and for reports on irregularities is another task included in the BLE's fields of activity.

The national Bio-Siegel

The Bio-Siegel may be used to label products and food which were produced and controlled according to the EU regulations on organic farming.

Prior to its first use, manufacturers of certified organic products who intend to use the Bio-Siegel must notify their intention to the Bio-Siegel information service located within the BLE. Details regarding design and use of the Bio-Siegel are provided for in the Regulation on Organic-Labelling (Öko-Kennzeichenverordnung).

In case you want to use the Bio-Siegel, please refer to our website, www.oekolandbau.de/bio-siegel/, for all relevant details regarding legal bases, prerequisites, label design and registration formalities.

Since 1 July 2010, the use of the EU organic production logo to label pre-packed organic food is binding (see Regulation (EU) No. 271/2010). Further details on the matter are available online at www.oekolandbau.de and on the European Commission's website.

Both the German Bio-Siegel and the trademarks of organic producer organisations may be used in addition to the EU eco label.

Information platform Organic Standards

For the production, processing and trading of organic products the EU regulations on organic production (Regulation (EC) No. 834/2007 with detailed rules for its implementation) are in force in Europe while in third countries other production and processing conditions or control procedures apply for organic products.

The information platform Organic Standards aims at making the confusing maze of national and international product standards more transparent. Organic Standards, designed as a multilingual information and communication platform, will continuously be developed. Organic Standards allows an easy research in the various standards as well as their comparison where individual issues are concerned. Access the information platform Organic Standards via www.organic-standards.info.