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Organic food quality: a framework for concept, definition and evaluation from the European perspective



Consumers buy organic food because they believe in the high quality of the product. Furthermore, the EU legal regulatory framework for organic food and farming defines high quality of the products as an important goal of production. A major challenge is the need to define food quality concepts and methods for determination. A background is described which allows embedding of the quality definitions as well as evaluation methods into a conceptual framework connected to the vision and mission of organic agriculture and food production. Organic food quality is defined through specific aspects and criteria. For evaluation each criterion has to be described by indicators. The determination of indicators should be through parameters, where parameters are described by methods. Conversely, the conceptual framework is described according to underlying principles and starting definitions are given, but further work has do be done on the detailed scientific description of the indicators. Furthermore, parameters have to be defined for the evaluation of suitability of these indicators for organic food production. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry