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What will change with the new EU organic regulation for 2021

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Organic products have become increasingly popular in recent years. The EU has strict regulations for products that are certified and labeled as “organic”. These rules will be tightened in 2021.

Whether apples, oranges, berries, meat, yoghurt or milk: what is organically grown or produced stands for quality and naturalness - and for strict requirements that apply across the EU:

  • So organic products have to produce with strictly limited use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.
  • In addition, genetic modification of plants and food is prohibited.
  • Animals, which are involved in the production of organic products - whether for eggs or for meat, fish or milk products – no hormones must be given. Antibiotics are only allowed with powerful restrictions.
  • Additional regulations apply to processed organic products: All end products must be checked by an organic certification body, and at least 95 percent of the agricultural ingredients must be organic. Only up to five percent of the agricultural ingredients may come from approved sources that are not organic.

what will change with the new EU organic regulation

Special regulation for flavours

The flavours have so far been traded separately: according to the current organic regulation, all types of natural flavours are permitted in organic products and have always been excluded from the 95 percent calculation.
That should change in 2021: In the future, only two "qualities" of flavours will be allowed in organic products: 1. organic certified flavours and 2. "organic-suitable" conventional flavours. This means that from the coming year, among other things, all end products with natural flavours will have to be reassembled if you want to keep your "organic" label. The following should then be noted:

Flavours - organic certified
In the future, at least 95 percent of the organic flavours must be made from organic certified raw materials and from the eponymous source. For example, in the case of an organic hibiscus flavour 95% must come from organic hibiscus, the remaining 5% can serve to round off the natural hibiscus flavour.
If flavouring is to be carried out from biological extracts, essences or oils, these must be obtained 100 percent from their eponymous, natural source. Furthermore, there are strict requirements for the carriers and additives of flavours.

Flavours - organic suitable
Conventional flavours in the category "natural 'food or food category or raw material (s)' - flavour" - in short "natural X-flavour" - are still permitted as organic-suitable flavours. Here, too, at least 95% must come from the eponymous source and be from natural origin, but not organic certified. The “normal” requirements for carriers and additives also apply here.

Flavours are classified among the agricultural ingredients
In addition, with the entry into force of the new EU organic regulation flavours are also regarded as agricultural ingredients. This means that the maximum permissible amount of "organic-compatible" flavours in an organic product together with all other approved non-organic raw materials may not exceed five percent of the total agricultural ingredients.

What will change with the new EU organic regulation_

Asked: New regulations & good taste in one formula

So what does this mean for beverage manufacturers? It is important to be well advised both with regard to the legal innovations and the composition of the taste. Because the composition of the ingredients in most cases brings more or less changes in taste.

The experts from AUSTRIA JUICE advise you individually on both issues: in addition to the legal support, the flavour competence of AUSTRIA JUICE serves as an elementary component for authentic-tasting beverage concepts of organic products. Tailored for upcoming reformulations of existing products and portfolios or individual new developments alike. In addition to our first-class organic-suitable portfolio of fruit flavours, spicy extracts and flavours from jalapeno and ginger as well as floral and herbal notes are convincing. From apple to curcuma to Swiss pine, a wide range of product solutions can be implemented for the organic segment.

The organic market is booming

The organic market has been on the rise over the past few years. While organic products were once niche products, they have almost become mainstream today. Consumers have become more critical and are becoming more and more aware of the products they buy, the ingredients they contain and where they come from. On the one hand, this has to do with an increasing awareness of one's own health and, on the other hand, the need to help protect the environment and animals.

In addition, the motto "You are what you eat" applies increasingly to consumers. Organic products meet the need for the greatest possible transparency about the origin and the ingredients used in food and beverages.

Source: “Organics in Europe: The challenge of a new generation”, Mintel, Katya Witham, November 2019

In Europe, the organic food market grew by almost eleven percent in 2017. According to the research institute for organic farming, he achieved a record turnover of 37.3 billion euros.

Source: https://www.foodnavigator.com/News/Promotional-Features/How-are-EU-regulations-changing-for-organic-flavourings-and-extracts

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In 2017, 17 percent of the newly launched products already had organic claims, compared to only nine percent ten years earlier.

Another new feature is that organic products are increasingly associated with regional production: according to a Mintel survey, Italians in 2019 were most impressed by organic products that are also produced locally: 85 percent of them spoke in favour of a combination of both qualities. The French had 82 percent, followed by the Spaniards with 81 percent, the Poles with 78 percent and the Germans with 69 percent.

Source: “Organics in Europe: The challenge of a new generation”, Mintel, Katya Witham, November 2019

Conclusion:

Organic products are increasingly conquering the market. The EU-wide requirements for the "organic" label have always been strictly regulated, and this regulation will be tightened in 2021. At least 95 percent of the agricultural ingredients from the organic certified end products must be organic, for the remaining five percent there is a tolerance limit: These may also come from non-organic sources.
There was a special regulation for flavours: According to the current organic regulation, all types of natural flavours are permitted in organic products and were excluded from the 95 percent calculation. In 2021 the ratio scale will also be extended to the flavours. In the future, only two “qualities” of aromas will be allowed in organic products: organic certified flavours and “organic suitable” conventional flavours. In addition, flavours will also be considered as agricultural ingredients in the future.

Trend report food beverage

Gerd Diefenthäler

Gerd DiefenthälerAuthor

Market Intelligence & Innovation Manager

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