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    What's in a label?

    “Organic” or “Certified Organic”. The two terms sound synonymous…or are they?

    The difference between the two is something that has become hot topic in the food industry lately, and in particular, the health and food manufacturing industry. Throw in a few other words like “natural” and “local” and it all becomes a bit confusing…and so today, we’re going to clear things up a little!

    So what exactly is “organic”?

    By definition, the term “organic” is used for any “food or ingredients that are the product of a farming system that does not use insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, or any genetically modified components.” It’s the entire process of farming that takes into account the wellbeing of nature, our wildlife, and waterways, animal welfare, as well as our own health (basically an approach to producing food in a sustainable, socially and environmentally-friendly manner!)

    By law, a food brand or product doesn’t require certification to be labeled as being “organic”. BUT they must be able to prove that that the food item or ingredients used are in actual fact, organic.

    So what exactly is the difference between “organic” and “certified organic”?

    The two labels might seem interchangeable, but there’s a big difference!

    Certified organic means that a brand or product has undergone intensive auditing, testing and investigation by a third party as an assurance to consumers and as a stamp of trust. And you can be confident that it’s 100% organic and exactly what the product/brand claims to be.

    So what’s the process?

    Each year at Loving Earth, we undergo an intensive, voluntary audit with the ACO; Australia’s largest certification body for organic and biodynamic produce, which allows us to maintain our organic integrity and for us to stamp the Australian Certified Organic BUD logo on all our products. Being Certified Organic is truly a supply-chain affair: working with our suppliers and other companies that operate to the same standards as we do. Not only are we impacted by the way in which our suppliers operate, but also the growers and farmers we source our ingredients from. In order to be accredited as Certified Organic, all our suppliers, growers, and farmers must also be Certified Organic.

    As you can imagine, with an entire-supply chain, whole-system approach in place, the process to become certified within the farming industry is also a lengthy and labour-intensive process. The entire process for a crop farmer to become certified organic takes approximately 3 years!! However, by going through this process its gives us (and our consumers!) assurance that the raw ingredients retain a high level of quality and nutrition, are produced in a way that does not compromise the health of the environment, where the biodiversity of the surroundings are protected and where the land is regenerated.

    But it doesn’t just stop there. The process of becoming certified takes into account all areas within our business too. The cleaning products and methods we use here at Loving Earth, the manufacturing processes and facilities are also placed under a microscope. That’s why being “organic” doesn’t just mean that it’s “chemical-free”.

    Becoming “Certified Organic” might be a rigorous process but by putting into practice a holistic approach of caring for our soil, plants, animals, food crops, environment, and people, it’s our promise to you that organic integrity has been maintained. And that paying that extra dollar or two for Certified Organic is totally worth it!

    References:

    Better Health  

    Farm2Market

    Morlife

    BBC Good Food 

    The Organic Place 

    ACO Certification Limited 

    Images sources: First three images - Unsplashed.com

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