Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.

Organic claims

Marketers should not claim that food is "organic" or is "made with organic ingredients" unless it comes from farmers, processors or importers who: follow the minimum standards set down in Council Regulation (EC) 834/2007; are registered with an approved certification body; and are subject to regular inspections. The ASA has upheld complaints against ‘organic’ claims where the advertiser did not provide documentary evidence showing that a food product was certified by one of the organic certification bodies in the UK (Lean Muscle X, 21 August 2013; Kidz 5 A Day Ltd, 1 February 2012).

Environmental claims

Unqualified, absolute claims such as “environmentally friendly” or “sustainable” should not be used to describe organic food production because all managed food production systems cause some damage. Claims such as “friendlier” or “more sustainable” are likely to be acceptable if marketers can show that less environmental damage is caused than by conventional farming methods.

Please see Organic: Pesticides and Organic: Animal Welfare.

Health and nutrition claims

There are strict requirements in place regarding health and nutrition claims made on foods (rules 15.1, 15.1.1). “Health” claims are those which refer to a relationship between a food or ingredient and health. There are particular rules in the CAP Code which refer to health claims and these rules apply to claims which suggest or imply a relationship between food and health, not just explicit claims, please see 'Food: Health Claims' and 'Food: General' for more information.

“Nutrition” claims refer to a nutritional benefit of a food (for example “high in vitamin C”). Only nutrition claims listed in the updated Annex of the EU Regulation (as reproduced in the EU Register) may be used in marketing communications (rule 15.1.1). Please see ‘Food: Nutrition Claims’.

Taste claims

Marketers should not make objective claims that organic food tastes better than conventional food unless they hold convincing taste test evidence (see Substantiation: Sampling references and consumer goods).

See Farming methods.

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