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Specific rules on organic production, labelling and control

Specific rules on organic production, labelling and control



Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 laying down detailed rules with regard to organic production, labelling and control


It is an implementing act laying down specific rules governing organic production, labelling and control.



  • The regulation applies to the following products (referred to in Article 1(2) of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on the production and labelling of organic products — see summary) originating from agriculture, including aquaculture:
    • live or unprocessed agricultural products;
    • processed agricultural products for use as food;
    • animal feed;
    • vegetative propagating material* and seeds for cultivation;
    • yeasts used as food or feed.
  • For livestock, it covers only bovine including bubalus and bison, equidae, porcine, ovine, caprine, poultry (as listed in Annex IIIto Regulation (EC) No 889/2008) and bees.
  • For aquaculture products, it applies only to species of fish, crustaceans, echinoderms and molluscs listed in Annex XIIIa (in the consolidated version of Regulation (EC) No 889/2008).
  • The products of hunting and fishing are not considered organic.

Production, processing, packaging, transport and storage of organic products

The rules, which also cover disease prevention and veterinary treatment, govern the following areas.

  • Plant production
    • soil management and fertilisation;
    • pest, disease and weed management;
    • special rules apply to mushrooms;
    • hydroponic production is banned.
  • Seaweed production
    • suitability of aquatic medium and sustainable management plan;
    • sustainable harvesting of wild seaweed;
    • seaweed cultivation;
    • anti-fouling measures and cleaning of production equipment and facilities.
  • Livestock production
    • origin of organic and non-organic animals;
    • housing and husbandry practices, including specific rules for mammals, poultry and beekeeping;
    • access to open air;
    • stocking density;
    • landless livestock production is banned;
    • simultaneous production of organic and non-organic livestock;
    • managing animals, avoiding cruelty and suffering.
  • Feed
    • feed from own holding and other sources;
    • feed meeting animals' nutritional requirements;
    • in-conversion feed (i.e. during the period land parcels are being converted from non-organic to organic status);
    • use of certain products and substances in feed.
  • Aquaculture animal production
    • suitability of aquatic medium and sustainable management plan;
    • simultaneous production of organic and non-organic aquaculture animals;
    • origin of organic aquaculture animals;
    • origin and management of non-organic aquaculture animals;
    • aquaculture husbandry practices;
    • specific rules for aquatic containment systems;
    • management of aquaculture animal;
    • using hormones is banned in breeding.
  • Feed for fish, crustaceans and echinoderms
    • general rules focusing on animal health, product quality, and low environmental impact;
    • specific rules for carnivorous aquaculture animals, organic juveniles, and molluscs (including oysters).
  • Preserved and processed products
    • rules for preserving products and for the production of processed feed and food;
    • use of certain products and substances in processing of food;
    • use of certain non-organic ingredients of agricultural origin in processing food;
    • specific rules for seaweed, and wine-making.
  • Collection, packaging, transport, and storage.

There are additional rules concerning:

  • products from parcels of land undergoing conversion from non-organic to organic status;
  • climatic, geographical or structural constraints, including rules on tethering and parallel production and for beekeeping;
  • non-availability of organic farm inputs;
  • the use of specific products and substances in processing;
  • catastrophic circumstances;
  • the seed database;
  • labelling, including the EU’s organic production logo, trademarks and specific requirements for feed;
  • infringements and exchange of information;
  • supervision by competent authorities;
  • organic data in the multi-annual national control plan and annual report.


Control rules cover specific requirements for plant products, seaweed, livestock, livestock, beekeeping and aquaculture, and include:

  • operator responsibilities;
  • annual inspections by control authorities;
  • documentation and accounts;
  • access to facilities;
  • imports of organic products from non-EU countries;
  • units using contracts to third parties;
  • units preparing feed.

Transmission of information

EU countries provide the European Commission with statistical information on organic production before 1 July each year.


The regulation repeals Regulations (EEC) No 207/93, (EC) No 223/2003 and (EC) No 1452/2003.


It has applied since 1 January 2009.


See also:


Propagating material: parts of plants and all plant material, including rootstocks intended for the breeding, reproduction and production of vegetables. Examples include bulbs, rhizomes, etc.


Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 of 5 September 2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control (OJ L 250, 18.9.2008, pp. 1-84)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 (OJ L 189, 20.7.2007, pp. 1-23)

See consolidated version.

last update 17.06.2020