Can the term EU / Non-EU agriculture be misleading?

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It is an increase of trust that the green EU logo for certified organic products carries the mandatory text “EU agriculture” or “Non-EU agriculture”.

But here’s the question Could this EU-organic logo be misleading?

When it comes to well-known farming crops like carrots or tomatoes, the term “EU agriculture” is widely understood as signifying organic production from a farm. However, what about berries like elderberry, blackberry, sea buckthorn, or fruits like açai or rosehip that are often collected in the wild? These fruits may not always originate from controlled organic farming.

The concern here is that the EU agriculture logo might lead consumers to assume that these wild-collected fruits are from controlled organic sources, which isn’t always the case.

Of special relevance, not at least for the consumer, is the organic certification of rosehips, the small red fruits known for their high content of polyphenols and vitamins. Almost all organic certified rosehips on the market are from wild collections. Only a couple of suppliers provide rosehips from controlled organic plantations. However, it can be difficult for the consumer to know the difference.

For wild collections, the origin of the raw materials cannot be stated very precisely, losing a clear traceability. In addition, the risks of pollutions from industry, highways and other sources may be higher and more difficult to control as the fruits are hand-collected from the wild.

In the case of organic rosehip food supplements, the quality of the used wild collected rosehips differs quite a lot from brand to brand due to:

      • Different collection sites

      • Uneven ripening state

      • Mixed genetic varieties of collected rosehips

      • Risk of fruit spoilage from delayed time between collection and drying

    In Germany for example, many brand-owners of organic rosehip supplements add in their marketing the expression:

    From organic plantations / aus kontrolliert biologischem Anbau

    See Certification of Organic Wild Collection Operations-2021

    This is incorrect for most brands and only valid for very few that cultivate their rosehips in organic plantation.

    Therefore, when searching for trusted brands of organic food supplements like organic rosehip powder, consumers should carefully examine product labelling and explore other sources of information.

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