Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by country standards

  • Organic regulations/standards by region
    • Europe
      • France
        • Governmental regulation
Go back to overview Go to complete documents for this section
Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Animal fodder, conventional/organic feed - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
In France, a limited proportion of conventional feedstuff is authorised where the farmer is unable to obtain feed exclusively from organic production. The maximum percentage of conventional feedstuff authorised per year is 10 % of the annual ration for all animals (25% of the daily ration).
French regulation limits the use of non organic feed materials to 10% of the annual ration for herbivores and non herbivores, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 allows 20% for non herbivores until August 2005 and from then on gradually lower amounts. 100 % organic feed is an important goal for organic animal husbandry: It is a question of consistency, independence, traceability, security against GMOs, and confidence of the consumers. In France, organic cereals are widely available and 10% is sufficient for the protein feed materials..
Animal fodder, conventional/organic feed, roughage and concentrate - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
In France, the percentage of non organic feed in the annual ration of herbivores is calculated separately for roughage and for concentrates.
French regulation specifies that the percentage of non organic feed materials must be calculated separately for roughage and concentrates, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not require this. The aim is to avoid all the concentrates in the herbivore ration being non organic.
Animal fodder, origin - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
In France, a minimum part of the ration of the organic livestock must be grown on the farm: 50 % of the annual ration of herbivores, 40 % of the annual ration of non-herbivores. For non-herbivores, the percentage can be lower (but not under 10%) if unsufficient land or if the soils of the farm are not good enough to grow cereals (but all the land dedicated to growing feed must be organic). In this case the difference between the feed produced and the 40 % of ration must be contracted with another organic farmer, a feed producer or a cooperative. It is always possible to sell the feed materials to a feed producer and to buy feed in exchange but it has to be contracted.
French regulation requires organic breeders to grow a part of their annual livestock ration, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 only requires them to grow a part of their herbivores annual ration or to contract it out to another organic unit. This rule has several justifications. Firstly, it seemed necessary to ensure production of enough organic feed in France. It is partly thanks to this rule that France is ready to reduce the part of conventional feed in organic livestock rations. Secondly, it is a way to ensure that each organic farm has enough land, because off-land breeding is not consistent with the principles of organic agriculture, and because organic manure should be used in priority on the farm where it has been produced..
Animal fodder, silage - FR Regulation 2000 Silage may account for not more than 50% of dry matter in daily rations of herbivores. French regulation forbids the use of more than 50% of silage in the annual ration of herbivores whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not limit the use of it. Silage makes for an unbalanced ration, creating bad sanitary conditions for the livestock. It also has a bad influence on the quality of milk products such as cheese or yoghurt. Furthermore in organic farms, we want to avoid systems based on maize silage, which is bad for the environment as maize requires a lot of water and leads to long periods of bare soil, and these systems often have short rotations.
Aquaculture, fish production - FR Regulation 2005
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
There are standards for organic production of farmed fish.
French regulation includes standards for organic production of farmed fish. There are no such standards in the EU Regulation 2092/91. French fish farmers asked for organic standards.
Conversion, livestock and animal products - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
When the first animal on the farm starts its conversion period, the farmer has 8 years to get all his animals certified organic (except for species which are not regulated by the French organic regulation).
French regulation requires that ultimately all animals on the farm be organic, whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 accepts the presence of non organic livestock provided they are reared on units where the buildings and parcels are clearly separated from the organic units and different species are involved. Presence of organically and conventionally managed livestock on the same farm is not consistent (why let cows range freelly and not poultry, for example) and a source of potential fraud. But each farmer needs time to adapt his farm system and so eight years are given to satisfy this obligation.
Free range conditions, access, poultry - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
Table poultry must have free access to an open-air run for part of the day and for at least half their life. Laying hens must have access to an open-air run for the major part of the day and by no later than their 28th week.
French regulation requires that table poultry have free access to an open-air run for at least half of their life, and laying hens by no later than their 28th week, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 requires that poultry have open-air access for at least one third of their life. Organic poultry should have as much access as possible to open-air range. Furthermore, the earlier this begins, the better poultry can cope with outdoor access.
Inspections, frequency - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/other.png
The minimum number of inspections must be at least: 1 full physical check per annum for every operator, plus 1 check per group for table poultry, plus 50% random unannounced checks for every operator, except table poultry (50% unannounced checks per group) and processors (100% random unannounced checks).
French regulation stipulates a minimum number of unannounced random inspections and additional checks. EU Regulation 2092/91 does not specify the number of unannounced inspections. The aim is to reduce the risk of fraud and to harmonize the practices of certification bodies.
Livestock housing, area, pigs - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
he size of pig production units is limited in all cases to 1500 slaughter pigs per year or 200 sows or their equivalent in the case of farrowing-fattening units. These maximum figures for each production unit may be exceeded where 100 % of the feed is produced on the holding.
French regulation limits the size of pig production units, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. Limiting the size limits environmental pollution, noise and odour. It is a way of encouraging small farms, of human scale, socially acceptable and easier to hand down to the next generation.
Livestock housing, area, poultry - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/other.png
The total usable area of poultry houses for laying hens and table poultry of any production unit must not exceed 1,600 m2.
French regulation limits the size of the total area of poultry house for laying hens and table poultry, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 only limits it for table birds. We see no reason not to apply the same rules to laying hens as to table poultry. Limiting the size limits environnemental pollution, noise and odour. It is a way of encouraging small farms, of human scale that are socially acceptable and easier to hand down to the next generation.
Livestock housing, area, poultry - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/other.png
The area of poultry houses for table birds on each production site must not exceed 400 m2.
French regulation limits the area of poultry house for table poultry whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. Limiting the size limits environmental pollution, noise and odour. It lowers the risks of sanitary problems. It is more acceptable for nearby residents.
Livestock housing, cleaning - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
In the case of mammals reared in uniform age groups, the housing and facilities must be entirely emptied, cleaned and disinfected after each group has been removed.
French regulation requires a period when the buildings are empty, cleaned and disinfected for all mammals reared in uniform age groups, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 only requires it for poultry. Mammals reared in uniform age groups are exposed to the same sanitary risks as poultry.
Livestock housing, flooring - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
Slatted floors are prohibited for mammals except for cattle & pigs in upland areas. In these cases, at least three quarters of the total covered floor area must be made of solid material and cannot therefore be made up of gratings or grids.
Concerning mammals, French regulation only allows slatted and grid construction for pigs in upland areas and for cattle, and to a maximum of 25% of the floor area, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 allows it for every species to a maximum of 50%. Slatted and grid construction are not good for animal welfare. They should be strictly limited.
Livestock management, general requirement, ostriches - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/other.png
Standards for organic rearing of ostriches exist in the French governmental regulation.
French regulation includes standards for organic ostrich rearing. There are no such standards in the EU Regulation 2092/91. French ostrich breeders asked for organic standards.
Livestock management, general requirements, rabbits - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
There are standards for organic rearing of rabbits.
French regulation includes standards for organic rabbit breeding. There are no such standards in the EU Regulation 2092/91. French rabbit breeders asked for organic standards.
Livestock management, tethering - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
Tethering of cattle is possible during winter time in buildings which already existed before 24 August 2000, until 31st December 2010 and in small farms, provided that regular exercise is provided and rearing takes place in line with animal welfare requirements with comfortably littered areas as well as individual management.
The French regulation limits the tethering of cattle to the winter season, whereas in the EU Regulation 2092/91 this is not specified. There is no reason to tether cattle indoors when weather conditions allow them to go out.
Parallel production, livestock - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
In France, it is forbidden to alternate organic and non organic livestock in the same building or open air run, except during the initial introduction of organic livestock.
French regulation forbids alternating organic and non organic livestock in the same building or open-air run whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not cover this topic. Alternate organically and conventionally managed livestock in the same building is inconsistent (why give organic treatment to one animal and not to another?), and is detrimental to the credibility of the organic market. Moreover, there could be a pollution of the open-air runs with antibiotics.
Processing, general requirements - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/other.png
There is a list of possible processes for each kind of food (milk, meat, vegetables). For example, egg products have only 10 possible processes (heating, cooling, freezing, breaking...)
French organic regulation specifies a list of possible processes for each kind of food, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. Processing has an effect on the nutritional quality and taste of the final product. Organic products should be unique in both of these aspects. Therefore only certain processes should be allowed.
Slaughter, minimum age - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
Minimum age at slaughter is defined for each species of poultry (81 days for chickens, etc.)
Minimum age at slaughter is the same for every strain of poultry, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not require this minimum age if the farmer uses slow growing strains. By definition, slow growing strains mature after the other strains. There is absolutely no reason to slaughter them before the others. Plus 81 days is the minmum age for slaughter of chickens under the Label Rouge, the French conventional quality standard.
Slaughter, minimum age, pigs - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
Minimum age of slaughter for pigs is 182 days.
French regulation defines a minimum age at slaughter for pigs. There is no such obligation in the EU Regulation 2092/91. The aim is to avoid organic pigs with poor meat quaity. 182 days is the minimum age for slaughter of pigs under Label Rouge, the French conventional quality standard.
Veterinary treatment, allopathic products, treatment frequency - FR Regulation 2000
/style/images/fileicons/unknown.png
The number of treatments allowed with chemically synthetised veterinary medicines varies from one species to another. For example poultry may have none, while ewes can have two. The number of treatments for parasites is limited, depending on the species.
The French regulations give a maximum number of chemically synthetised allopathic treatments, including parasite-treatments, for each species. EU Regulation 2092/91 limits chemically synthetised allopathic treatments to 3 a year (or 1 if the animal lives less than a year) for every species and puts no limit on the number of chemically synthetised allopathic treatments for parasites. Chemically synthetised allopathic treatment should be restricted if possible. Treatments for parasites should not be systematically applied, because systematic allopathic treatments are not consistent with organic farming principles.