EU council updates organic pet food labeling rules

Organic labeling in human food will now apply to organic pet food.

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According to the European Council, the European Union (EU) law that covers the rules for organic food labeling in human food will now apply to organic pet food labeling. This comes after the European Parliament and Council’s provisional agreement in June 2023, which made it easier for consumers to buy organic food for their pets.

“The commission argued that pet food is different from other types of feed because it is used for non-food producing animals, is sold directly to the final consumers – often in the same shops as food,” stated the European Parliament in its report from June 2023.

With an increasing demand for organic products in the pet food market, the European Parliament and Council of the EU felt it was only right to make these organic products easily identifiable.

In January 2022, it was applied that pet food could only be labeled as organic if all its agricultural ingredients were organic. Manufacturers struggled with limited availability of certain organic ingredients and it became impossible for them to follow the rules.

Under the new regulation, pet food must consist of 95% of organic ingredients in terms of weight.

If 95% of the pet food contains agricultural organic ingredients, aligning with the high standard of organic products in the EU, manufacturers can label pet food with the EU organic production logo. The organic production logo is now mandatory for any pre-packed organic pet food.

What pet food manufacturers can expect

Pet food manufacturers are expected to refer to organic production in the sales description and the list of ingredients in pet foods, allowing for consumer information and transparency.

For products containing less than 95% of organic ingredients, an organic production reference would only be required in the ingredient list.

Manufacturers will have six months until they are required to place the EU organic logo on their products.

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