What does organic actually mean?
Belgians are increasingly piling up organic products in their shopping carts. But... where do all those products come from? And what exactly does the 'bio' or 'organic’ label mean? We’ll give you all the answers below. At the same time, we’ll show how Colruyt Group actively supports the Belgian organic food sector.
There are some things that aren't done when growing vegetables organically. Farmers aren't allowed to use artificial fertilisers. Using organic fertilisers keeps the soil – and the vegetables – healthy. Chemical and synthetic pesticides are banned as well, with preventive measures being the main weapon against disease and insects. Moreover, organic farmers do their weeding by hand, just like in the past, or mechanically: for example with specialised machines or with heat treatment. To stop soil exhaustion, they also sow different crops on a rotating basis in the same field. Including, for example, yellow mustard, red clover, common vetch, phacelia and other crops known as ‘green manure’. This multi-year plan prevents the soil from being depleted of its nutrients.
Organic chickens and organic eggs
Which came first? Naturally, if you want organic eggs, then you have to look after the chickens properly. In organic farming, chickens are kept in separate sections with no more than 3,000 animals, which works out at six chickens for every square metre. During the daytime, they can also roam around outside, where each one has four square metres of space. Naturally, the chicken feed is also organically grown: wheat, sunflower seeds, soya and maize – 100% plant-based. And the end result of all the farmers' efforts? A delicious organic egg.
The EU organic label
Once a product meets all legal European standards, then it can be labelled as organic. These products are marked with the green logo of the European organic label, so you can be sure you’re buying something that meets strict organic farming regulations and has undergone stringent checks before going on sale in our shops. This certificate is also part of European legislation so, if you see it on a product in another European country, you can still be sure of its organic origin.
How Colruyt Group boosts organic food
As a sustainable company, Colruyt Group naturally has a heart for organic food. We’re taking numerous initiatives to actively support and further develop the Belgian organic food sector. We also ensure that our customers have an increasingly wide choice of organic products at correct prices. This way tasty, healthy and conscious food is within everyone's reach!
- In Bio-Planet supermarkets (founded in 2001) the Belgian consumer can choose from a huge range of more than 8000 organic products. These include fresh organic fruit and vegetables, meat and veggies, bread and spreads, ecological care and cleaning products... We also offer a wide range for people with intolerances (gluten, lactose, etc.). In short: the ideal shop for those who want to eat delicious and sustainable food.
- Our Bio-Planet webshop delivers 100% organic groceries everywhere in Belgium.
- We support local and social projects such as De Lochting: an organic farm where life is good, where employees find a second chance and where local vegetables are grown ecologically.
- Thanks to our investment in bioboerderij Het Zilverleen, in the province of West-Vlaanderen, we ensure that 25ha of organic land is preserved. We provide a rich harvest of fresh, local organic vegetables that we offer in our Colruyt and Bio-Planet shops.
- We offer a high-quality and growing range of organic products in our Colruyt, OKay and Spar supermarkets. This includes our own brand Boni Selection Bio.
- Demanding customers can also rely on us for high-quality organic pork from Belgium. For this purpose, we started a cooperation project with Biovar.be and Delavi. BioVar.be takes care of rearing organically farmed pigs, while Delavi is responsible for coordinating transport, slaughter and cutting. This sustainable meat is sold in our Colruyt and Bio-Planet stores. Thanks to this partnership we stimulate organic farming in Flanders, help maintain local craftsmanship and meet the growing demand for locally produced, high-quality and organic meat.
With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.