Agrarmarkt Austria Marketing is the body responsible for the promotion and marketing of agricultural products domestically and abroad.
The seal establishes a quality assurance system for agricultural primary production and processing.
It covers production, labelling and documentation steps as well as measures to ensure high levels of hygiene. The guidelines are broken down into production regulations for primary production and production regulations for processing.
Food products bearing the seal must be free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or ingredients produced from GMOs.
“The aim of the guidelines is to encourage better quality and quality assurance for agricultural products and products produced therefrom,"
"They are also used to provide consumers with relevant information on quality, consumer protection and animal welfare, as well as other properties of the products in question.”
Participation in the AMA quality seal scheme is voluntary.
The Austrian authorities notified the European Commission this week of the draft regulations, which cover a range of products such as processed foods, meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables, animal husbandry practices and organic food.
Lara Skoblikov, food law expert and partner at Food Compliance International said: “There would be no issue with the EU single market rules as long as this voluntary quality seal is available to products from every EU Member State and there is no discrimination between imported and domestic products.”
Manufacturers must ensure traceability of the raw materials and food production, such as processing locations, shall be ensured by appropriate batch labelling and documentation, and the origin of a foodstuff must also be labelled.
The notification states: “The indication of origin shall be based on either a region, such as a province/federal state (e.g. Tyrol, Bavaria) or country (e.g. Austria, France), or a general area covering various states or countries (e.g. the Tauern region, the Alps, the EU).”