Organic Agriculture and Industry

Usually, the difference between conventional and organic products cannot be judged by outward appearances. Parties who trade in organic products must therefore comply with strict European and Dutch regulations. Organic products are often also provided with certificates showing the organic nature of the product.

If rules are violated, the government can block organic products, investigate further and even withdraw certification. This can have far-reaching consequences for both buyer and seller. Swift action is often required to address this situation. This is certainly the case if products have to be withdrawn from the supply chain or re-labelled as 'conventional' instead of organic.

Another characteristic of the organic sector is that European regulations require an annual inspection by the supervisory authority (Skal), meaning that players in this field are regularly checked for compliance. As of 1 January 2022, a new set of European rules will enter into force. The new European organic regulation specifies the requirements that an organic product or raw material must meet to qualify as 'organic'. These include the minimum percentage of organic ingredients, the labels and the ban on the use of (conventional) crop protection products. These rules are important for anyone dealing with organic raw materials and products. And of course, it is prohibited to call a product "organic" if it does not comply with these rules.

And did you know that from the beginning of 2021 there will be a registration or certification requirement for all shops selling organic products? Think of supermarkets, specialized retailers and market stalls. But also webshops. This requirement already applies to organic farms, processing companies and the logistical parties in the organic supply chain.

All in all, the legal world of international trade in organic raw materials and products can seem like a jungle. Our team will guide you through this jungle. Van Traa offers, among other things:

  • Expertise in the field of European and Dutch legislation on quality schemes for (organic) agricultural products and foodstuffs
  • Special litigation experience (administrative law, civil law, and arbitration) regarding import and (de)certification of organic products
  • Information on registrations, certificates and procedures
  • Preparation for and assistance with, inspections and raids by supervisory authorities
  • Assistance with public law procedures against imposed measures, sanctions and (insurance) claims
  • Advice on insurance coverage and business interruption
  • Assistance with claims from/against suppliers, customers, (recall) insurers and, of course, the necessary arbitration procedures
  • Review of general (storage, transport and delivery) terms and conditions and contracts
  • Providing courses and training sessions

Van Traa is included in the Bio Handbook as a legal service provider in the field of biological regulations. Van Traa is a friend of the “BioBorrel” and a regular participant and/or speaker at various events, such as the “Webinar on Biological Raw Materials”, organised by the Royal Dutch Grain and Feed Trade Association, the Netherlands Oils, Fats and Oilseeds Trade Association (Nofota), the Netherlands Association for the Trade in Dried Fruit, Spices and allied products (NZV) and Van Traa. Van Traa's lawyers are also members of the Dutch Food Law Association (NVLR) and the Environmental Law Association (VMR).

Publicaties Organic Agriculture and Industry


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