EU ministers have agreed that all organic food sold across the continent should have a standardised logo in a bid to end consumer confusion.
The logo will be introduced from 2009 but products will also be able to display national or private logos.
The labels will also have to inform consumers where the products were farmed.
Food will only be able to carry the organic logo if at least 95 per cent of the ingredients are organic.
Non-organic products will only be able to indicate organic ingredients on the ingredients list.
Genetically modified organisms
The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOS) will remain prohibited but ministers agreed that organic food could contain up to 0.9 per cent of GMOs if it got there via accidental or unavoidable contamination.
Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: ‘This is an excellent agreement which will help consumers to recognise organic products throughout the EU more easily and give them assurances of precisely what they are buying.
‘Organic food is a successful and growing market and I hope that this new set of rules will provide the framework to allow this growth to continue – through a combination of market demand and the entrepreneurship of European farmers.’
In 2005, around 6 million hectares of European Union farmland were either farmed organically or were being converted to organic production.