Birgit Prietzsch
Institut für Marktanalyse


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Code of Practice for organic food processing


 (c) Thünen Institut / Ronja Hüppe

Code of Practice for organic food processing

In Europe, consumption of processed organic food constantly increases. While organic farming is strictly ruled by EU law, organic processing is not. Which processing technologies are in line with organic principles? What do consumers expect from processed organic food?


Background and Objective

ProOrg will develop a flexible and practicable Code of Practice (CoP) for processors of organic foods and labelling organisations. The CoP aims to provide the operators with strategies and tools for making decisions to help them take the best choice for careful processing methods and formulations with a limited use of additives. In doing so, they will consider organic principles, high food quality, low environmental impact and a high degree of consumer acceptance. Regarding labelling organisations, the CoP will provide an assessment and decision support tool to evaluate the compliance of process innovations with the organic principles while taking consumer expectations into account.

Thus, the Thuenen Institute will focus on what consumers expect from selected processing technologies and how they will deal with trade-offs between e.g. naturalness and convenience.

Target Group

Processors and labelling organisations


The development of the Code of Practice will be based on an iterative process. In a first phase, knowledge and data gathered and collected by the scientific part will be integrated by the information, needs, and experiences from the processors and other stakeholders to produce a first draft of the Code of Practice. This will be tested at industry level (case studies), accomplished with scientific experiments and analytical determinations. This phase will allow trans-disciplinary work. Studies will be performed to identify consumer preferences and acceptance of processing technologies of organic food. Often, consumers have a very limited knowledge of processing technologies. Therefore, the project will focus on how to communicate organic food technologies in the best way.  The proposed communication strategies will be included in the Code.

In the last phase, the Code of Practice will be disseminated and promoted. A dissemination plan completes the organization of the project.

Links and Downloads


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • University of Copenhagen
    (Kopenhagen, Dänemark)
  • CREA, Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l'Analisi dell'Economia Agraria
    (Rom, Italien)
  • Università Politecnica delle Marche
    (Ancona, Italien)
  • Wageningen University and Research Centre
    (Wageningen, Niederlande)
  • Assoziation Ökologischer Lebensmittelhersteller
    (Bad Brückenau, Deutschland)
  • Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau
    (Frick, Schweiz)
  • Warsaw University of Life Sciences
    (Warschau, Polen)
  • INRA-Toulouse
    (Toulouse, Frankreich)
  • ITAB
    (Paris, Frankreich)


5.2018 - 4.2021


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