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Different Levels Of Organic Certification In Europe

June 17, 2021 9 min read

European Organic Certification: Demeter, Naturland, Bioland and EU organic

There are many rules and guidelines for labeling products as organic or providing them with the EU organic logo. Expert bodies, a technical committee, and member states support the legislation procedures associated with organic certification and produce.

Organic farming has various benefits to farmers and consumers. Environmental advantages include maintaining biodiversity, preserving ecological balances, enhancing soil, fertility, and quality water sustainability. Organic farming rules have set high standards for farmers to ensure farmers' and animals' welfare and build trust with customers who consume their organic products.


What does European organic certification mean?

Organic certification is a process of legally providing certifications to farmers, retailers, seed suppliers, and food processors. Organic certification ensures that all products undergo a thorough product qualification process that entails quality assurance tests and product performance tests. It is monitored that certified individuals follow the stipulated regulation, specifications, and contracts.


EU Organic Bio is a single European Union mark used to designate packaging of organic food products grown without chemical fertilizers.

The organic farming certification process entails four steps, including application, evaluation, decision-making, and surveillance. In the application stage, the product undergoes product testing processes before the certification process begins. The product testing processes are typically in line with international standards. Therefore, the products tested should meet the international organic standards before being listed for certification.

The evaluation process involves a thorough analysis of the product to ensure that it meets the certification scheme's criteria. The product certifier carefully analyzes the data gathered from the product testing and issue the gatherings to decision-makers.

Decision-makers must ensure that the product listed for certification has qualified in all the previous testing processes and someone thoroughly analyzed other samples from the marketplace.


The different levels of organic farming certification

The certification rules and regulations vary from country to country. The certifications stipulate the growing, processing, storage, shipping, and packaging of organic products.

Organic certification helps protect consumers from consuming synthetic chemical substances in food products and food grown from genetically modified seeds. A significant factor for certifying organic food is to address the production and consumption of healthy foodstuffs in the world.

Many consumers rely on the logos of certified products as a mark of product safety assurance. Certification also facilitates the sale of products in the scheme and regulation of products' costs.

There are also international organic certification bodies that harmonize certification among different countries to ensure the export and import of healthy products for consumers.

The United States has a body called USDA that regulates the certification of organic products. It has categorized certification of organic products into livestock, crops, multi-ingredient products, and wild crops. The United States has other certification plans such as the National Organic Program (NOP) and the Organic System regulation program.

The European Commission has made the EU-wide label for organic products mandatory in the region. Apart from the public EU-Eco-regulation certification program, there are other private certification programs. The private certification programs include Demeter International, Bioland, and the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS).

There are four different levels of organic farming food certification. These levels include 100% organic certified, organic certified, manufactured with organic ingredients, and specified organic ingredients.

When a product is 100% organically certified, all the ingredients and processing activities carried out on the product are certified organic. The product's growth was without using non-organic ingredients, and the product is free from chemical contamination.


European Union regulations on organic farming are designed to provide a clear structure for the production of organic goods across the whole of the EU.

All the documentation made by the farmer while growing the product should show that all the unique practices used for farming were organic. The certified organic products contain 95% organic ingredients and 5% non-organic products. The foods can use the organic seal label. Most supermarket products have this label to show that the product contains some minor ingredients that are non-organic.


What is EU organic?

The EU produces excellent organic certification legislation and regulations in partnership with stakeholders, experts, and the public. The organic action plan by the EU has driven innovation and investment in the organic farming sector to boost the demand for organic food in the market.


What does EU organic logo mean?

The EU organic logo is mandatory for all organic farming products sold and displayed as organic according to the stipulated rules by the EU.

The EU organic logo

The logo aims at enabling consumers to differentiate between organic products and non-organic products. The organic products containing the logo contain at least 95% of organic ingredients, and the other 5% allows strict conditions set by the EU. The logo also has a code number that shows the agricultural farm in which organic products' production took place.

The logo is for packaged organic products, pre-packaged organic products, EU organic products placed in third-class world countries, and informational campaigns informing the public of the market's legitimized organic schemes. The logo is prominent in many fruits, vegetables, meat, cereals, dairy products, and fish (the typical foods on the family's table).



Bioland is a federation of over 6200 companies dedicated to ecological farming in Germany. The Bioland federation established its foundation in 1971 and has been regulating organic production in the country.

Bioland certification standards. The Bioland certificate allows the evaluation and accreditation of organic products.

They have established seven principles of agriculture for the future that will operate in the economic cycle. Bioland has detailed guidelines for processing and producing organic foods. They have segmented groups of processing food such as meat products and bread & bakery products.

The Bioland has borrowed most of the EU-Eco-regulation certification and agricultural guidelines. For instance, the number of animals an organic farmer keeps per square meter area is as strict as that of the EU, if not more stringent.

Some of the Bioland agricultural principles include animal welfare (fewer animals for more space). Other guidelines stipulate that nitrogen fertilizers are to be used only in small amounts of genetically modified seeds, and 100% of the farm must base their agricultural production on organic food.



Naturland is a German association set up in 1982. It controls its products according to fair and progressive ecological processes. Over the years, it has expanded this set of guidelines in the production process for beekeeping, aquaculture, cosmetics, forestry, and textiles.

 The Naturland logo is only used on products manufactured in accordance with the Naturland criteria.

Naturland has also collaborated with Bioland and formulated the Association for Ecological Practice research, the Research Institute for Organic Agriculture, and the Foundation of Ecology and Agriculture.

Naturland has been operating internationally since 1986. Naturland has been awarding "Fair Certifications" to organic farmers and monitoring their social standards.

They have a much more stringent set of rules and guidelines compared to the EU. Naturland and Demeter advocate for converting farms to ecological production management to allow 22 food additives that positively impact consumers. As a private association, Naturland requires outsiders to follow their management guidelines.



Demeter is one of the oldest organic associations in Germany. They came up with the first biodynamic set of guidelines around 1927 in the European Union. In 1992 Demeter became the first organic farming association to have comprehensive international regulations for producing and processing organic foods. They established Demeter international as a federation in 1997 with 19 Demeter organizations worldwide.

By purchasing natural food products with the Demeter label, you can be absolutely sure of the high quality and environmental friendliness of all its components without prohibited additives and pesticides.

The seal from Demeter marks agricultural products for biodynamic products. The stipulated standards for farmers acquiring the Demeter certifications are similar and more stringent than that of the EU. Only a few regulatory-controlled association programs carry the Demeter logo.


European Organic Baby Formulas

Organic baby formula has organic farming ingredients that are of high quality. Baby formula is manufactured to be free from artificial colors, pesticide residue, growth hormones, synthetic chemical fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, and other toxic substances.

Many baby formulas in the European Union have a variety of benefits to health. Some formulas contain additional whey, which is healthy and nutritious like breast milk. Others even have added probiotics in the formula help boost the baby's immunity.


Why European Baby Products Are Preferred By Many Non-European Families

The contents of the European Union formula are modelled after the contents of breastmilk. It ensures that the babies get a nutritious and healthy meal, even without breastmilk. Here are a few examples of our favorite European baby formulas.

Learn more:  Best Organic Baby Formula 2021


EU Organic - HiPP formula

HiPP formula is a leading brand in organic European formula. Their headquarters are in Germany, and they also produce for other countries such as the Netherlands and the UK. HiPP is renowned for unique formulas designed for babies with reflux, constipation, colic, and gassiness.

HiPP formula - EU Organic

HiPP also manufactures hydrolyzed formulas for babies at risk of milk protein allergies. Further, HiPP formulas feature organic lactose as a significant source of carbohydrates.

All HiPP formulas contain prebiotics as galactooligosaccharides and some have probiotics in the form of lactic acid. Some ingredients you'll find in HiPP formulas include organic cow's milk, lactose, whey, vegetable oils, vitamins, minerals, and omega 3, and omega-6 fatty acids (ARA, ALA, DHA).


Bioland - Lebenswert formula

Holle introduced this brand in 2009 to the market for consumers. They make sure the formula adheres to Bioland regulations by farmers and manufacturers. It contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.


Lebenswert formula have been certified as organic by Bioland

The primary source of carbohydrates in the Lebenswert formula stage 1 is lactose. In stages 2 and 3, maltodextrin is added. It provides babies with a stable source of energy in their bodies. Lebenswert formula has been awarded for biodynamic farming and they have different formula stages for babies starting from the time of birth onwards.

It is suitable for feeding young babies exclusively since it contains carefully processed gentle raw ingredients. New mothers can use stage one for infants from birth, stage two for babies who are 6 months old onwards, and stage three for babies over ten months only.


Demeter - Holle Cow formula

Holle is a top German food manufacturer in the European Union organic production sector. It has provided some of the best food formulas for babies since 1933. This formula is a leader in the market for producing organic infant products. The European Union has other organic certifications such as Demeter, which is noticeable as a label on many Holle products. Organic production of Holle cow formula has led to lots of new mothers having confidence in the product.

Holle Cow formula have been certified as organic baby milk by Demeter

Organic certification has contributed massively in ensuring that all Demeter farms involved in the production of Holle are free from the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and GMOs. 

It comes in the following stages: Pre for newborns,  stage one from birth until six months, stage two from six months to ten months, stage three from ten months to twelve months, and stage four from one-year to weaning age.


Reasons European Formulas Are Well-Known Outside of Europe

There are a few substantial reasons that new parents are opting for European formulas. They include:


1.They are similar to breast milk

The European Union has protections in place to ensure the production of baby formulas is safe and nutritionally complete. Most European formulas contain probiotics and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are present in breast milk.


2.They have high levels of organic ingredients

The European Union has strict guidelines for organic farming procedures. For formulas with the EU organic seal, 95% of ingredients are organic, if they are labelled as Demeter, that number rises to 98%. When it comes to baby formula, most of the inorganic ingredients you'll find are added vitamins and minerals that are essential to your baby's health. 

3.They have lower chances of causing obesity

Studies have shown that some formula additives such as sucrose and corn syrup used in formulas can potentially cause obesity in children. The European Union has stringent rules that prohibit such additives in organic products. European formulas have organic natural sweeteners such as lactose (milk sugar that is also found in breast milk) that do not pose the same health risks that sucrose or corn syrup do. 


4.Nutritional experts are endorsing them for their health benefits

Many health professional and nutrition experts have praised European baby formulas for their high quality and ability to support babies' health. Parents who have used them have sent many positive reviews online, advising other new mothers to consider using them. There are also many nutritional blogs online where experts urge new mothers to try out the European formulas for their formula fed infants. 

There are even specialty formulas that get recommended by doctors to help baby's having complications such as constipation, allergies, and tummy upsets.


5.They can easy to purchase online

Online retailers have made purchasing baby products online easy and fast! Shipping of online products has become available worldwide, and people are accessing these products quickly. There are many reputable sources online, and people can select the best European baby products that suit their needs.


Bottom line

Organic certification has led to the production of highly nutritious foodstuffs to promote the health of consumers. The different levels of organic certifications have allowed consumers to know the type of food they have on their tables.

Organic certification helps support the production of organic baby formulas so that new mothers can rely upon formula to satisfy their little one's nutritional needs.


Please be aware that this information is based on general trends evidenced in babies, it is in no way medical advice. Your doctor should be your first source of information and advice when considering any changes with your child’s formula, and when choosing your child’s formula. Always consult your pediatrician prior to making any decisions about your child’s diet or if you notice any changes in your child.


Disclaimer: Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby, because breast milk provides your child with all the essential nutrients they need for growth and development. Please consult your pediatrician if your child requires supplemental feeding.


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