BRUSSELS — The Council of the European Union recently announced it has reached an agreement with the European Parliament regarding the labeling of organic pet food products. Under the regulation, pet foods made with mostly organic ingredients will qualify for the EU’s organic production logo, making it easier for consumers to purchase organic products.

The new Regulation (EU) 2018/848 has been in application since the beginning of 2022. Prior to this, requirements for organic pet foods were established at a national level. According to the Council of the European Union, this meant that pet food products could be labeled as organic even if not all the ingredients came from organic production.

Under the new regulation, animal feed can only carry an organic label if 100% of the agricultural ingredients and at least 95% of the dry ingredients are organic. However, it quickly became apparent that pet food processors would not be able to meet these requirements, as there is an extremely restricted availability of organic agricultural ingredients necessary to ensure a formula’s nutritional value, like those used for palatability. With this in mind, the Council of the European Union proposed a different regulation for organic pet foods on Nov. 28, 2022.

For pet food products, at least 95% (in terms of weight) of the product’s agricultural ingredients must be organic in order for the product to qualify for the EU Organic logo. Additionally, pet foods labeled as organic will be required to include the EU’s organic production logo.

This adjustment to Regulation 2018/848 eliminates a significant barrier to organic pet food production and will also enable more processors to enter the organic market, increasing the availability of organic pet foods inline with consumer demand, according to the Council of the European Union.

The regulation will also make it easier for consumers to identify organic ingredients in pet food and purchase truly organic formulas.

“For many of us, pets are an important part of our family, and we care about what they eat,” said Peter Kullgren, Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs. “As a result of the agreement, it will be easier for pet owners to choose organic food for their pets.”

EU representatives will be asked to approve the agreement at the Special Committee of Agriculture’s upcoming meeting. The regulation will then undergo revision before being adopted by ministers of the Council of the European Union.

For more regulatory news affecting the pet food market, visit our Regulatory page.