Organic pet food labelling rules adopted by the Agriculture Committee 

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On Tuesday, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development adopted its position on new rules for the labelling of organic pet food.

The Agriculture Committee backed the new rules by 45 for, 1 against and 1 abstentions in order to put labelling of pet food in line with the labelling of organic food as both are bought by final consumers.

To prevent waste of products and packaging material, MEPs propose a transitional period of six months during which the current stock of organic pet food could be sold without adding the new mandatory EU organic logo on their packaging.

MEPs also request that special labels are available to producers of organic pet food whose main ingredients stem from hunting and fishing.

Quote

Rapporteur Martin Häusling (Greens/EFA, DE) said: “With the regulation on the labelling of organic pet food, we have taken an important step forward in closing an existing gap in the area of organic production. I’m happy that pet food producers who have complied with the requirements of the organic regulation in the past are now given the legal certainty to sell their produced goods. Furthermore, it is important that consumers will be provided with guidance, as organically produced pet food will be labelled by using the EU organic production logo which is well known in the EU.”

Next steps

The Agriculture Committee also agreed to open negotiations with Member States on the final form of the regulation. The decision is expected to be announced at the 8 - 11 May European Parliament plenary session. If there are no objections in plenary, the talks with Member States can start once the Council is ready.

Background

The draft rules clarify that pet food can be labelled as organic if at least 95% in terms of weight of its agricultural ingredients are organic. The rules were proposed as a result of a new legislative framework for organic products which do not allow anymore for national rules for the minimum percentage of organic ingredients in organic pet food.

Organic pet food represent 5-6% of market share and an outlet for organic meat cuts that are not being sold as food.