Ninety-five per cent of Fairtrade organic small-scale banana producers do not meet the new EU Organic Regulation.
Photo: © deden iman/

Negative impacts of the EU Organic Regulation

Many Fairtrade certified farmers may struggle to meet the EU Organic Regulation's requirements. These regulations could create significant challenges for numerous groups and jeopardise the livelihoods of over 800,000 families.

Full compliance with the European Union Organic Regulation in its current form would negatively impact Fairtrade certified organic producers and traders in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Fairtrade International warned in June 2024.

The 2018 regulation outlines the rules for organic production and labelling of organic products. It addresses production standards, certification, labelling and advertising of organic food and feed. This new regulation, which replaced the 2007 version, applies to all organic products produced, processed, packed or imported within the EU or Northern Ireland. The EU Organic Regulation has been in effect for EU operators since January 2022, with a transition period for non-EU countries until the 31st December 2024.

Call for simplification of rules

Fairtrade is calling on European Union to simplify the applicable rules, in particular the definition of “Groups of Operators”, which as a legal entity are composed only of organic or in-conversion farmers as statutory members, who are all under the new farm size/organic turnover limit (<5 hectare total land or < €25,000 organic turnover) and have up to a maximum of 2,000 members. While some certified producer groups meet this definition, the majority will need to establish new legal entities for EU certification, which will be extremely challenging.

Additionally, the new requirements for permitted materials, particularly for plant protection, need further clarification as producers find them confusing. The procedures for residue testing before EU import are cumbersome and need simplification.

Fairtrade also urges that, once the rules are clarified, the transition period be extended by at least 15 months, until the 31st December 2025. Finally, Fairtrade requests the EU to provide support measures in the form of technical guidance and funding to help producer organisations meet the requirements and incentivise organic farming.

Fairtrade-certified farmers do not meet the new EU Organic Regulation

Currently, according to Fairtrade estimates, 60 per cent of Fairtrade certified organic coffee producers, 60 per cent of Fairtrade certified organic cocoa producers and 95 per cent of Fairtrade organic small-scale banana producers do not meet the new EU Organic Regulation.

The business and supply reliability of Fairtrade organic products, along with the livelihoods of an estimated 800,000 families, are at stake.

(Fairtrade International/ile)

Read the full position paper from Fairtrade International on the EU Organic Regulation

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