Monthly Archives: May 2011

Organic Food

Curious if the apple you ate for a snack is organic? Not sure how to tell one kiwi apart from the next? Whether you want to become more familiar with the produce aisle at your grocery store or are interested in where your food is coming from, here is some basic information about organic or bio products in France and where you can find them in Paris.

France uses two major labels to designate certified organic food. Organic food is labeled with the European Union’s organic food sticker which became mandatory for pre-packaged food in July 2010. According to information from the European Commission’s organic farming initiative, any food displaying the green and white leaf motif of the EU organic food label meets the following criteria:

1) Contains at least 95% ingredients from organic production methods

2) Complies with the rules of official inspection and certification

3) Comes directly from the producer or preparer in a sealed package

4) Bears the name of the producer, preparer or vendor and the name or code of the certification body

The EU sticker was created to standardize organic food labeling across the 27 member countries, but French organic producers have the option to add the national green and white “Agriculture Biologique (AB)” logo in addition to the EU organic sticker. The “AB” label, first introduced in 1985, meets all of the EU organic farming requirements. The AB certification process is overseen by Agence Bio, but certification itself is left to a variety of French authorities.

EU certified organic food may also include items imported from non-member states, including countries such as Brazil, New Zealand, and Costa Rica. The EU recognizes the production practices in these countries as being equivalent to EU standards thus allowing you to buy organic Thai rice or Indian chamomile tea right here in Paris. When filling your cart or market bag with food, scan your goods for the “EU-leaf” sticker and you’ll know your purchases are certified organic. Spot an “AB” label and you’ll know your food is coming from your backyard–the fields just beyond the French capitol to the far corners of the France.*

Where can you find food labeled with the EU or “AB” logo? Head to these markets and stores to make your organic food purchases:

Raspail Organic Market
boulevard Raspail between rue du Cherche-Midi and rue de Rennes 75006
Metro: Rennes
Sunday 9AM to 3PM

Batignolles Organic Market
boulevard des Batignolles between rue du Cherche-Midi and rue de Rennes 75017
Metro: Rome or Place de Clichy
Saturday 9AM to 3PM

Brancusi Organic Market
Place Constantin Brancusi 75014
Metro: Gaîté
Saturday 9AM to 3PM



Elan Nature

Touch of Bio

Bio Culture

Nature a Paris
47 Boulevard St Germain
Paris 75005
Tel: 01 44 07 36 99

Canal Bio
46 Bis Quai Loire, 75019 Paris
Paris 75019
Tel: 01 42 06 44 44

35 rue Debelleyme
Paris 75003
Tel: 01 42 78 03 26

*To learn about other French bio distinctions, such as the AOC and AOP, visit here.