The Danish organic label

The unique and governmentally certified Ø-label has been very important for the widespread success organic food products have achieved in Denmark. The Ø-label makes it easier to achieve several goals at the same time and it makes a difference.

Denmark was the first country in the world that implemented a state control for organics in 1987. The governmental control was a crucial success factor for convincing Danish consumers about organics. Today, organic products that bear the red Ø-label are highly respected.

Danes trust the red Ø-label

The department for organic products of The Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fishery (known as Agrifish Agency) conducted a survey for learning about the knowledge and trust of the Danish citizens in the red organic Ø-label.

100 per cent of the respondents said they knew or have heard about the organic label, which makes it the best known label in the whole of Denmark. Demographical factors such as sex, residence, age and buying habits played no important role. In addition, the survey revealed that around 81 per cent highly trusted the Ø-label.

Qualitative state controls

Before a farmer is allowed to name and sell his products as organic, he needs to seek for a permission at the relevant authority. This includes that the farmer has to manage his fields organically for two years. During these two years, the field has to meet the strict organic standards - but the harvest is not yet allowed to be sold as such. It is only after the successful compliance of the formalities within this 2-years-period that a product is truly organic.

At least once a year, organic producers are controlled by a regionally responsible food authority or by the Agrifish Agency. Also nascent organic farmers who are in the 2-years transition period are controlled.

State control is also about the process and storage of organic products. In this way, organic farms must ensure that organic products are not coming into contact with non-organic goods. If a farmer disregards this regulation, he can be fined or even loose his entitlement for the distribution of organic products.

Danish Veterinary and Food Administration: Organic food