What exactly is organic food?

What exactly is organic food?

Despite advancements in food legislation and labelling what we often end up with are consumers who are often confused about what they are buying. This is also the case with organic food. The most frequently question organic producers are is what exactly is organic food?

In the EU the term organic is legally binding when it comes to food so if it says organic on the label then it must carry a certification logo such as IOFGA’s. If it is prepacked then it must also contain the EU organic logo. That is the customers guarantee that it has met the organic standards.

But what sets organic food apart from non organic food is really how it is produced. Organic food and farming does not allow the use of artificial pesticides (including herbicides, fungicides and insecticides). Organic food does not contain any GM ingredients. Meat and animal products coming from an organic farm follow the highest animal welfare standards in agriculture. Organic food is climate friendly. These farming methodologies are enshrined in organic farming standards and food carrying an organic logo must be produced adhering to these standards.

Any other benefits to organic food are purely subjective such as observations that organic food has a better taste and flavour, organic food is fresher. It is true that organic food particularly fresh produce has a shorter shelf life but that is because nothing can be added to it to extend its shelf life!

Therefore as National Organic Week approaches with many organic products being promoted be aware of what you are buying and what exactly organic food is (or isn’t!). There is a greater availability of Irish organic products now available which reflects the growing interest in organic food in Ireland.

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For more information please contact

Grace Maher

Development Officer IOFGA

Tel 087 6125989 grace.maher@iofga.org



Note to editors:


Attached please find below a copy of the IOA organic certification logo in black and white and a copy of the EU organic logo in green.

IOA are the largest certification body in Ireland and are responsible for certifying the organic provenance of its members produce and the IOA symbol indicates that a product has met the highest standard of organic integrity. IOA also works to inform the public about the benefits of organic food and to support the development of organic food production in Ireland.