What is Organic Certification?
Organic certification is a certification process for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products. In general, any business directly involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, retailers and restaurants. A lesser known counterpart is certification for organic textiles (or Organic clothing) that includes certification of textile products made from organically grown fibres.
Requirements vary from country to country and generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging and shipping that include:
- avoidance of synthetic chemical inputs (e.g. fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, food additives), irradiation, and the use of sewage sludge.
- avoidance of genetically modified seed.
- use of farmland that has been free from prohibited chemical inputs for a number of years (often, three or more).
- for livestock, adhering to specific requirements for feed, housing, and breeding.
- keeping detailed written production and sales records (audit trail).
- maintaining strict physical separation of organic products from non-certified products.
- undergoing periodic on-site inspections.
In some countries, certification is overseen by the government, and commercial use of the term organic is legally restricted. Certified organic producers are also subject to the same agricultural, food safety and other government regulations that apply to non-certified producers.
USDA ORGANIC RULE
Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering (GMOs) may not be used.
Visit the USDA Organic website >
QAI ORGANIC CERTIFICATION
QAI (Quality Assurance International) is a leading international third-party organic certifier and advocate for certified organic production. QAI is committed to fostering increased consumer trust in the organic label.
Visit the QAI website >