In order for a product to be called ‘ecological’, it must have an appropriate certificate. It should be emphasized that such a certificate cannot be bought. Certificates are issued by certification bodies accredited by the government, which perform a strict control of the manufacturer. The certificate itself is issued only for one year and after that time it must be renewed.
On store shelves, one can find several labels of ecological products. For food products, the official symbol in the European Union is the Euroleaf.
The European Union logo of ecological production can be placed only on products which have obtained an ecological production certificate issued by an authorized certification body or a control body to confirm that the product meets the principles of ecological production.
The products must meet strict conditions on every stage of production, preparation, storage, transport and distribution.
Next to the EU logo of ecological production, the number of the certification body is indicated as well as the production site of agricultural commodities being the product ingredients, together with the inscription: “Organic farming – EC control system” or “Organic farming product”.
But what does that green Euroleaf really mean and how are ecological products different from the ordinary ones? First of all, ecological products are subject to special rules concerning their production, processing, packing, transport and storage. All those processes are conducted with more respect for the nature. In eco-production, no genetically modified organisms are used. Animals in organic farms must be treated well. It is specified what they can eat, what medicines they can be given, in what conditions they can live (suitable space, ventilation, possibility of free movement, grazing in the open, etc.). Important is also their origin. Special conditions apply also to plants and the soil on which they grow. Most importantly, the use of fertilizers and soil conditioners is limited. Significant restrictions apply also to the use of food additives. This all is governed by EU regulations and controlled by certification bodies at least once a year.
So the European Union logo of ecological production offers certainty as to the origin and quality of products bought.