Our position on organic salt
The European Commission is currently working on defining detailed production rules on organic salt. These rules will lay down the conditions under which a type of ‘sea salt and other salts for food’ can be produced and labelled as organic.
The EC intends to make virtually all existing salt production methods eligible for the organic label, including the least environmentally friendly ones. Such an approach would destabilize the food salt market, undermine the EU organic policy and go against the European Commission Green Deal agenda.
In February 2019, the European Commission tabled a draft delegated act on production rules for organic salt. The European producers of traditional sea salt – and several Member States – expressed serious reservations as the proposed text would have allowed practically all types of salt production to be considered as organic.
The European Commission withdrew its proposal and asked organic experts of the EGTOP group to look into the issue. As this group did not have expertise with regard to the salt sector, a sub-group of 4 salt experts was set up by an international tender. One of these experts produced a Report on his own calling for all the salts to be eligible to organic labelling while the other three experts agreed in a Joint report that only the salts that met the principles and objectives of the EU organic regulation should be considered.
The European Commission drafted a synthesis of this work and asked the EGTOP group to endorse a document that backs the proposal it made in 2019, overruling the sub-group joint report recommendations.
The content of this document is extremely worrying as the European Commission is preparing to make virtually all existing salt production methods eligible for the organic label, including the least environmentally friendly ones, such as mine salt and vacuum salt.
This proposal would clearly go against the objectives and principles of EU Regulation 848/2018 on organic production. It would undermine the credibility of the EU organic farming policy and go against the objectives set out by the EC in its ambitious European Green Deal for a more sustainable use of resources.
EU Organic salt – what is at stake ? (Presentation file)
Artisanal Sea Salt Europe comments on the EGTOP report (file)
Artisanal Sea Salt Europe position paper on organic salt – (See the pdf version)
6/12/2021 – Powerpoint presentation to the wine, spirits and quality intergroup of the European Parliament on organic salt
Comments on the European Commission’s draft of the delegated act on production rules for organic salt February 2019 – (See the Letter from President of Artisanal Sea Salt Europe to Commission)
PRESS REVIEW 5 NOVEMBER 2021 (see all media coverage here)
- TF1 – 20h – 22 septembre 2021 – https://www.tf1.fr/tf1/jt-20h/videos/pourquoi-le-futur-label-agriculture-biologique-inquiete-les-producteurs-de-sel-14136637.html
- Le Figaro – 20 septembre 2021 – Bisbilles à Bruxelles sur la labellisation bio du sel
Ouest-France – 16 septembre 2021 – Noirmoutier. Le label « agriculture biologique » inquiète les sauniers
Sud Ouest – 12 septembre 2021 – La production artisanale de sel menacée par un projet de label « bio », Falorni écrit au ministre
Le Parisien – 3 septembre 2021 – Le label «bio» de la Commission européenne qui inquiète le sel de Guérande
- Article in “Le Canard enchaîné” 31 July 2019: « Passe moi le sel »
Overview of all salt production techniques (video in French)
Artisanal sea salt production (examples)
Production of artisanal sea salt on île de Ré (France)
Production of artisanal sea salt in AndalousiA (Spain)
Production of artisanal sea salt in Solana Nin (Croatia)
Production of artisanal sea salt in Castro Marim (Portugal)
Production of artisanal sea salt in Piranske Soline (Slovenia)
Production of artisanal sea salt in Trapani (Italy)
Artificial evaporation technique (example)
Anglesey Sea Salt (UK)
Rock salt mining (examples)
Salt mine Varangeville (France)
Salt mine Bernburg (Germany)
Winsford Rock Salt Mine (Cheshire – UK)
Salt mining Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI)
Solution mining (example)
Solution mining explained (Canada)