What is an organic product?

'La bio' represents the organic agriculture.

"Organic agriculture is holistic production management systems which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity... Organic production systems are based on specific and precise standards of production, which aim at achieving optimal agro-ecosystems, which are socially, ecologically and economically sustainable. Terms such as "biological" and "ecological" are also used in an effort to describe the organic system more clearly. Requirements for organically produced foods differ from those for other agricultural products in that production procedures are an intrinsic part of the identification and labeling of, and claim for, such products."

From the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labeling and Marketing of Organically Produced Foods, 1999

An organic product can either be agricultural or animal.

Agricultural products

In the EU, the organic ways of producing deal with agricultural products not processed such as cereals, legumes, fruits, vegetables and also processed: pastas, breads.

In order to receive the name "organic", an agricultural product has to have been cultivated, conserved and processed without synthetic pesticides or chemicals. It is a certifying agent which decide if the product can or cannot have the label "issu de l'agriculture biologique" (from organic agriculture).

Livestock products
Since July 19th, 1999 Europe has adopted a unique specification, EEC number 1804/1999, for organic animal productions. Its application came into force in August 2000.
Livestock can be certified "organic" if they have been raised on organic feedstuffs (90% of organic food). They must be able to live outside and have a certain comfort. Animals are treated with soft medicines.

Some products are waiting for their specifications; it concerns mostly agricultural non-food products.

Controlled and certified, the products that are proposed by the organic agriculture offer guaranty and transparency. Eating organic is not only a way to eat but also a way of life.

Nowadays, people seem to be more and more preoccupied by their food. They look for quality products, which are offered by the organic agriculture.

Realized by Laurence LIVERNAIS-SAETTEL, Dietitian.
© Copyright L. Livernais-Saettel 2000
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