New EU organic logo is unveiled

February 8th 2010


The European Commission has today announced the winner of its contest to design a new logo to appear on all organic food and beverage products in the European Union: a leaf-shaped design from Germany that attracted 63 per cent of the votes.

The Commission turned to design students to come up with the new logo after the initial insignia was withdrawn for resembling too closely the logo of a supermarket chain. The three shortlisted entries were scrutinised closely to ensure there were no infringements, and some 130,000 people voted online for their favourite.

The winning design comprised twelve stars in the shape of a leaf (see below – winning design is on the left). This logo is said to be “a very straightforward sign containing two clear messages: Nature and Europe”. It was drawn up by German student Dusan Milenkovic, who receives €6000 in prize money. The identities and nationalities of the three final contenders have not previously been published, to prevent skewing the voting.

Agriculture and rural development commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said:“This exercise has raised the profile of organic food and we now have a logo which everyone will be able to identify with. It’s a nice elegant design and I look forward to buying products carrying this logo from July this year.”

The new logo has to be inserted into the organic farming regulation’s annex in the coming weeks. It will then be compulsory on new organic products as of 1 July 2010, but industry has until 1 January 2012 before labels on all existing products need to be changed. National, region, or private labels will be allowed to appear on packaging alongside the common EU logo.

“As tends to be the case with EU regulation, the timescales are getting tight for implementation. Lead times on new products can be significant and if the logo is adopted only by April or May, it doesn’t give long before the July deadline for its introduction for new products to be suitably labelled,” Richard Jacobs, chief executive of UK control body, Organic Farmers & Growers, told in December.

He added that the 18 month grace period for existing label stocks is “fortunate”.

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