The Council has reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament on the labelling of organic pet food.The regulation agreed on today will make it easier for consumers in the EU to buy organic food for their pets.
For many of us, pets are an important part of our family, and we care about what they eat. As a result of today’s agreement, it will be easier for pet owners to choose organic food for their pets.
Peter Kullgren, Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs
Greater certainty for consumers and producers
Under the new regulation, pet food will qualify for the EU’s organic production logo if 95% of its agricultural ingredients are organic, in line with the standards applied to food intended for human consumption. The new rules maintain the EU’s high standards for organic products while ensuring that pet-food producers are not prevented from using the organic label due to excessively strict criteria.
The regulation also makes it easier for consumers to identify organic ingredients in the pet food they buy.This includes agricultural ingredients in pet food that mostly contains products from hunting and fishing.
Today’s deal resolves an issue that has existed since early 2022, when new, EU-wide criteria came into force that required agricultural ingredients in processed animal feed to be 100% organic in order to qualify for the organic label. This requirement was impossible for many pet-food producers to satisfy due to a lack of availability of appropriate organic ingredients.
Encouraging organic production
The regulation adopted today aligns the rules for organic pet food with those of food produced for human consumption, which set the minimum level for organic agricultural ingredients at 95%. This approach also reflects the concern that many owners feel for their pets’ health and nutrition.
By removing the need for 100% of agricultural ingredients to be certified as organic, the new rules eliminate a crucial barrier to organic production, making it more feasible for pet-food producers to satisfy the requirements for organic labelling. This means that more producers will be able to enter the organic market, increasing the availability of organic pet food and contributing to the EU’s organic farming goals under the Farm to Fork Strategy.
Member states’ representatives to the EU will be asked to approve the agreement reached with the Parliament at an upcoming meeting of the Special Committee on Agriculture. The text of the regulation will then undergo legal and linguistic revision before being adopted by ministers at a forthcoming Council meeting.
Regulation (EU) 2018/848 on organic production and labelling of organic products has been in application since 1 January 2022.Prior to 2022, the requirements for organic pet food were generally set at national level, meaning that pet food could be labelled as organic if not all the ingredients came from organic production.This changed under Regulation 2018/848, which stipulated that processed animal feed could only carry an organic label if 100% of its agricultural ingredients and at least 95% of its dry ingredients were organic. However, these rules were impossible for many producers of pet food to satisfy due to the restricted availability in organic form of certain necessary agricultural ingredients, such as certain feed materials to enhance the palatability of pet food, or to guarantee nutritional value.
The Commission adopted its proposal for a regulation on the labelling of organic pet food on 28 November 2022, with the aim of clarifying the situation for producers and consumers by establishing specific labelling rules for pet food.The proposal stipulates that at least 95% (in terms of weight) of the agricultural ingredients in pet food need to be organic in order to qualify for the EU organic logo.Moreover, the organic production logo of the European Union will be mandatory for prepacked pet food labelled as organic.