BRUSSELS — The European Union officially enacted new rules on the labeling of organic pet foods in October 2023. Regulation 2023/2419 specifies label requirements needed to sell organic pet food throughout the region, including ingredient specifications and a mandatory organic logo.
The new regulation was proposed by the European Commission following an adoption of Regulation 2018/848, which updated the requirements for organic production. This regulation was enacted in January 2022 and specifies that animal feed can only be labeled as organic if 100% of its agricultural ingredients and at least 95% of its dry ingredients are organic. The commission decided that Regulation 2018/848 should only be applied toward feed for production animals, and not those for pets, hence the new Regulation 2023/2419.
Before the introduction of this regulation, countries established their own national rules or followed private standards that allowed for the use of the term organic. According to the European Commission, Regulation 2023/2419 aims to harmonize all these rules, creating a more cohesive method for labeling organic pet food products throughout the European Union.
Under the regulation, pet foods can be labeled organic in sales descriptions if at least 95% of the agricultural ingredients by weight are organic. Beginning May 1, 2024, pre-packaged organic pet foods that have at least 95% organic ingredients must use the organic logo of the European Union on product packaging. Additionally, the term “organic” must be the same color, font style and size as other indications in the ingredients list.
If products do not meet the 95% requirement, the individual ingredients can be labeled as organic in the product’s ingredients list. Through this method, the ingredients list must also include the total percentage of organic ingredients in proportion to the total number of agricultural ingredients.
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