The European Union on Monday unveiled a new Green logo that will have to be shown on all pre-packaged organic products produced in Europe from July.

"I'm delighted that we now have a fresh EU organic food logo," said EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel as she announced that the "Euro-leaf" logo, a green leaf design incorporating the 12 stars of the EU flag, had won a competition to find the right image.

"This exercise has raised the profile of organic food and we now have a logo which everyone will be able to identify with.

"It's a nice elegant design and I look forward to buying products carrying this logo from July this year," the EU commissioner added.

The winning logo - said to combine the two themes of nature and Europe - was the result of a pan-European contest open to art and design students.

Almost 3,500 logo designs were submitted and evaluated by an international jury.

The three logos chosen by the experts were then put online for a public vote and some 130,000 people made the final decision.

The Euro-leaf designed by Dusan Milenkovic, a student from Germany, was the overwhelming online favourite, picking up 63 percent of the votes cast.

From July 1 the chosen logo will appear on all pre-packaged organic products that have been produced in any of the 27 EU member states and meet the necessary standards.

On top of that it will be optional for imported products.

Other private, regional or national logos will be allowed to appear alongside the EU label.

The EU's organic farming regulation will be amended in the coming weeks to introduce the new logo into law.

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