Organic farming is expanding rapidly as a sector, and Italy is the EU leader in terms of farmable land dedicated entirely to these methods of agriculture. In order to enter the EU as “organic”, food products must obtain certification, as well as respect a series of specific requirements. Only producers who pass these rigorous controls are authorised to use the certification, and apply the official label to their products.
The organic, or biologico, logo can only be used for food that is comprised of no less than 95% organic ingredients. The use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) is prohibited, including anything that is derived from them. The period for converting from conventional to organic agriculture is 2 years. If both methods are employed by a producer, it is obligatory to separate production completely. All regulations are ensured through inspections carried out at the national and European level.
Packaged organic foods have displayed the EU organic label since July 1, 2010. In February 2013, the EU also signed a reciprocal recognition agreement with the US on organic products to reduce bureaucratic formalities and favour trade between both sides of the Atlantic.