Navigating International Regulations: Crafting Organic Food Products for Global Markets

In our globalized world, we can enjoy foods and flavors from everywhere. International trade is the backbone of our society, and it helps economies expand beyond their geographical limits. However, importing and exporting regulated products, such as organic ingredients, is not always simple.
A food product must be certified organic in the USA and adhere to strict standards. Other countries do not always uphold the same standards for organic farming and food production and may follow different rules entirely. Here’s what you should know about producing organic food for foreign markets.
Exporting Food to Europe: EU Organic Regulations
EU Regulation 2018/848 governs organic food production and labeling in the European Union. Producers who want to sell EU-certified organic foods that bear the EU-organic logo must adhere to all the rules in this law. To qualify as organic products, processed or packaged foods must contain at least 95% organic ingredients.
Under the regulation, organic food production must:

  • Use only natural or naturally derived inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, etc.)
  • Maintain long-term soil fertility
  • Use energy and natural resources sparingly
  • Enhance water and air quality
  • Preserve biodiversity
  • Preserve the natural landscape wherever possible
  • Never use GMOs and GMO-based products
  • Respect animal welfare

International Equivalents to EU Organic Certification
Some producers that want to export organic food into the EU do not have to comply with European organic standards. Growers and manufacturers from the following countries can place specific organic products on European markets provided they hold a recognized local organic certification:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • Israel
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Argentina
  • Tunisia
  • Costa Rica
  • India

The EU recognizes the organic regulatory systems from the above-listed nations as equivalent to its own. However, this recognition will expire on December 31, 2026. After that, countries wishing to export organic produce into the EU must implement permanent trade agreements. Trade agreements exist between Europe, Chile, the UK, and Switzerland.
What About Organic Food Exports to Non-EU Countries?
While some countries outside the EU, such as the UK and Australia, implement their own organic production regulations, most nations follow European standards to some degree. Getting third-party certification from an EU-recognized body will grant access to other markets.
Best Practices for Upholding Global Organic Standards
The biggest challenge organic food exporters face is meeting international regulatory requirements. Additionally, there may be restrictions on the types of products you can place on foreign markets, even with organic certification.
The best way to avoid disputes and foster strong trade relationships is to obtain certification from a highly respected international certification body—for example, EcoCert, the USDA, OCIA, and The Soil Association. Food producers should also always maintain detailed records of their inputs and processes as evidence of their ongoing commitment to organic production.
Ensure Every Ingredient is Organic
In the EU, the US, and most other parts of the world, brands can only label their products as “organic” if they contain at least 95% organic ingredients. That leaves little room for additives that may not be available in organic form, such as vitamins and minerals or bacterial cultures.
Regarding organic packaged and processed foods, trace ingredients like flavorings, fragrances, and preservatives matter. Certified organic extracts can help push your organic content levels closer to 100%.
Advanced Biotech is a trusted supplier of USDA-and EU-certified organic flavorings for the food and beverage industry. Our premium range of distillates and extracts is 100% natural and suitable for organic products destined for international markets – please contact us for more information.