Europe Chooses New Logo to Identify Organic Foods

BRUSSELS, Belgium, February 8, 2010 (ENS) – The European Union today unveiled the new logo that must be placed on all pre-packaged organic foods produced in Europe after July 1.

The logo was chosen by an online vote. Over the past two months, about 130,000 people voted to choose the new organic symbol from among three finalists.

The winning design is by Dusan Milenkovic, a student from Germany, who gained 63 percent of the overall vote for his Euro-leaf logo.

The new Euro-leaf logo will identify organic foods produced in the EU. (Image courtesy European Commission)

From July 1, 2010, the organic logo of the EU will be obligatory on all pre-packaged organic products that have been produced in any of the 27 EU Member States and meet the necessary standards, replacing the current logo, which has been used on an optional basis.

The new logo will be optional only for imported products. Other private, regional or national logos will be allowed to appear alongside the EU logo.

“I’m delighted that we now have a fresh EU organic food logo,” said outgoing Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mariann Fischer Boel, who first proposed the competition to select the logo.

“This exercise has raised the profile of organic food and we now have a logo which everyone will be able to identify with,” said Boel. “It’s a nice elegant design and I look forward to buying products carrying this logo from July this year.”

The new logo aims to enhance consumer protection and promote organic farming, a sector of European agriculture which has seen constant growth in recent years.

The organic farming regulation will be amended shortly to introduce the new logo into the law.

The winning logo was the result of a pan-European contest open to art and design students across Europe. The contest started in May 2009, the jury selected 10 finalists in July 2009. A total of 3,422 future designers submitted their proposals.

A jury of four European graphical designers and of four organic experts, as well as former bicycle racer Miguel Indurain, selected 10 logos from all the submissions, explains Urs Niggli, director of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL and member of the logo jury.

“The criteria for the selection were clearly defined – they should give the message of organic agriculture and of EU origin in a picture, not in words; the logo should be easily recognizable, have high quality graphical design elements and should be applicable in different colours and sizes on food labels,” Niggli said.

After legal, administrative and other investigations, the European Commission selected three logos for the public internet vote.

These three designs were uploaded on the competition website and subject to an online vote which ended on January 31.

The winner and the winners of the second and third prize will be honored by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development at an official award ceremony that will take place in Brussels in July. The three winners will receive prizes of €6,000, €3,500 and €2,500.

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