So, How Do You Check If A Food Product Is Really Organic in the UK?
Look for the EU logo on the product. The EU logo has been required as a mandatory logo on all organic products since 2012 in the EU. Its purpose is to make it easier for consumers to identify organic products. Only certified organic companies can legally apply this logo to their products.
Check for Certification code. The Certification code number must also be present in association with the EU logo for traceability. The general format of the code number is GB-ORG-04, where GB is the ISO code of the country where the inspection takes place, ORG is a term establishing a link with the organic production, such as “bio” or “org” or “eko” and 04 is a reference number specific to each certification body. For example the RealFoodSource is certified by Organic Food Federation which is GB-ORG-04.
With the rise of organics fraud, especially online, if you have doubts about the validity of the logo and code you should also ask for the company claiming organic to present their organic certificate with a schedule of certified products. Sadly, certain uncertified companies fraudulently use the organics logo and certification numbers on their products, or even copy organic certificates for a quick sale. Currently the only way you can be 100% certain that a product is genuinely certified organic is to contact the relevant certification body, listed below, and ask them to confirm that both the company and the product are indeed certified.
There are only 9 certification bodies in the UK and we list their contact details below. The Soil Association also have an online checking facility (link here) to help with this. They also provide a small list of the fraudulent companies on their website.
1. Organic Farmers and Growers
The Old Estate Yard
2. Organic Food Federation
31 Turbine Way
Eco Tech Business Park
Norfolk PE37 7XD
3. Soil Association
0117 914 2412
4. Biodynamic Agricultural Association
BDAA Demeter Administrator
2 Upper Grange
5. Irish Organic Farmers and Growers
Republic of Ireland
(+353) 043 42495
6. Organic Trust ltd GB
2 Vernon Avenue
Dublin 3 Republic of
00 353 185 30271
7. Quality Welsh Food Certification ltd GB
Gorseland, North Road, Aberystwyth, CeredigionSY23 2WB
8. Ascisco GB
0117 914 2406
9. Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA)
Scottish Food Quality Certification (SFQC)
Royal Highland Centre
0131 335 6606