Research Institute of Organic Agriculture
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What should you know about organic products?

Why is organic good?

Organic products contain fewer residues

Chemical substances such as synthetic fungicides or pesticides have become widely used in conventional agricultural production, and their residues can often be found in the produce we consume. The level of residues, if measured per product, are usually below the health-based limits (in 95% of cases in the European Union), although in most cases, residues of not only one, but several (even up to a dozen) different synthetic molecules can be detected in a vegetable, a fruit or a cereal.

As no synthetic plant protection products are used during their production, most organic products have no detectable residues on them. Obviously, organic farmers cannot avoid the pollution coming from the environment, but the chemical burden and risk is much lower in case of organic farming.

Organic products are usually fresh and free from additives

As they do not contain any flavor enhancers or artificial preservatives, organic products usually do not have a long shelf-life. On organic and farmers’ markets fresh produce dominates, often having been harvested that very morning.

A good choice for the environment

Organic production methods preserve the cleanliness of our waters, enhance soil productivity, pose a reduced environmental burden and spare the useful or harmless elements of the ecological network. And what is good for the environment, is good for you too.

Animal welfare

When rearing animals in an organic setting, no preventive antibiotics or growth hormones can be used. In organic agriculture, cutting off body parts of the animals, such as dehorning of milk producing cows, beak trimming in laying hens or cutting the tails of pigs, is prohibited.

In addition, the animals are kept free range, or they have access to outside areas for moving around. Therefore, they are not torn from their natural environment and not limited in meeting their basic needs.

Being GMO-free

Using genetically modified organisms or their derivatives is prohibited in organic farming, and this applies to organic feed as well.

Organic farming is based on the observation of natural systems. Organic farmers see an organism as an individual whole, and not as a collection of genes. The dignity of living creatures is of higher value.


Organic farmers use seeds and propagating materials produced via organic methods or at least not treated with chemicals. As a result, even young plants comply with the requirements of organic farming.         

With every new organic area, the transition to organic farming takes at least two years. All relevant provisions have to be observed during the transition period as well. This waiting period ensures that organic products contain fewer plant protection product residues that may have been left from the previous land use. During the transition period, the products from these plants are handled separately.

Organic agriculture and organic food is much more than you think.

Organic farming is a sustainable agricultural method that prefers local resources and natural processes rather than external additives and artificial substances during production.  

In organic agriculture:

  • Instead of chemical plant protection products, weed killers, synthetic fertilizers and organisms modified with gene technology, agrotechnical and biological plant protection methods, mechanical weed management, organic fertilizers and traditional genetic resources are used.
  • Stringent animal welfare standards are implemented, for example, open-air runs appropriate for the lifestyle of the animals are provided, and maiming animals is prohibited.
  • Ground covering plants and green manure mixtures are used, and thanks to appropriate cultivation methods, food production also serves to preserve soil productivity as well as the health of the environment and people.
  • Organic product markings can only be used by producers who comply with the legal provisions and the requirements of the Hungarian control system.

Therefore, organic not only means high quality, but also a form of agriculture that is closely associated with environmental awareness; and today this is also ensured by the legislation. By buying domestic organic food you are not only voting for quality, but also contributing to the improvement of customer behavior and the sustainable development of the Hungarian agricultural sector.

Be sure. Look for the official organic logo.

If you want to be sure that what you are buying is organic, look for the EU organic logo on the packaging. The European Union’s official logo for organic products is a leaf with white stars against a green background, which must be placed on packaged products from controlled organic farming in every member country, including Hungary. If you buy something on the market, choose controlled organic markets or organic farms where you can receive a fresh produce basket on a weekly basis.


Logos of controlling bodies

In Hungary, compliance with requirements for organic farming is monitored by two controlling bodies, accredited by the NÉBIH (National Food Chain Safety Office, or Nemzeti Élelmiszerlánc-biztonsági Hivatal in Hungarian): Biokontroll Hungária Nonprofit Kft. and Bio Garancia Kft. Our codes presented on organic products are HU-ÖKO-01 and HU-ÖKO-02. It is also mandatory to provide the code on the packaging, but the placement of the logos of controlling bodies, unlike the EU organic logo, is not obligatory on organic products.



Did we convince you? So, take these 5+1 simple pieces of advice, which will help you support organic farming too

Look for the organic label and read about it.

If you want to buy organic products, look for the logo with the white leaf on a green background in stores, and also seek information on Hungarian organic farmers.

Buy directly from farmers.

Organic markets and the so-called box systems (community supported agriculture – CSA, AMAP) are becoming more and more popular and accessible, mainly because they are economical and transparent. You can save a significant amount by buying directly from farmers.

Is it enough to buy organic, or should we buy Hungarian too?

Yes, if you have the option, do buy Hungarian organic products. This is not only better for the environment, but you are also supporting Hungarian organic farmers, as they can only survive on the market if they can sell their products.

Buy seasonal.

It is much more sustainable and also tastier to eat seasonal fruit and vegetables, and it’s cheaper too. If possible, buy in bulk and put your food away for later (for example by drying, preserving and fermenting).

Try growing your own.

Start with herbs or spices that you can grow in small apartments too. And once you get the hang of it, get some tomato seedlings.


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