Nowadays, there seems to be lot of interest in the EU to promote more sustainable and more environmentally friendly consumption. This interest is coming both from EU institutions and from private players.
However, something that may look good in principle could be detrimental for the organic sector if new labels and new measuring systems burst in without proper information and proper control.
For cosmetics and textiles, sectors that are not officially regulated in most countries, the current explosion of positive claims and labels is crazy, and it is difficult for consumers to identify what is the real value of an organic-certified product compared with other claims.
Yet even the well-established food production sector – where the term ‘organic’ has been officially regulated and protected for decades, where there is an official EU organic seal and where there are thousands of people working in the sector as farmers, growers, manufacturers, traders, etc – can be threatened by the new seals and the new platforms. The new way of checking if a product is good or not will be according to a certain app that people can take to the supermarkets on their mobile phones, or some new seals displayed on product labels that classify the products according to colours and letters.
The main problem is that defining an agricultural system, a production method, a food culture and so many associated concepts is not simple. The agri-food systems are complex. The EU regulation is complex. The certification system, where accredited certification bodies authorised by the different competent authorities in every country verify the organic production, is complex too, but at the end, everything can be summarised in a seal, easily understandable for consumers.
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