Organic & Fair Trade Certified 1/2

Most organic products are not Fair Trade Certified, and many Fair Trade Certified products are not organic. The two terms are mutually exclusive, and are overseen by different certifying authorities.
Certified Organic
People seek organic products for two reasons: freedom from pesticides, herbicides and preservatives in their own diets, and because the agricultural practices that produce organic products do not harm the environment. Organic production fosters cycling of resources, promotes ecological balance and conserves biodiversity. There are three levels of organic certification:
To include the term organic on packaging, a manufacturer must create its product in accordance with USDA rules. The USDA’s National Organic Program certifies products as organic based on farming, handling, manufacturing, distribution and labeling practices. Requirements include: no antibiotics or growth hormones, no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, no sewage-sludge fertilizer, no bio-engineered foods or irradiation, and no GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
  • 100% Organic: All ingredients, not counting water and salt, are organic. Products with this rating can use the green and white “USDA Organic” seal (image at right).
  • Organic: At least 95% of the ingredients, measured by weight (excluding water and salt), must be organic. The remaining 5% can only be natural or synthetic ingredients that are not available organically, drawn from a preapproved USDA list. Products manufactured to this standard may use the “USDA Organic” seal on the label.
  • Made With Organic Ingredients: Products with at least 70% organic ingredients may say “Made With Organic Ingredients” and list up to three ingredients. This category may not use the “USDA Organic” seal on the label.
In the U.S., “certified organic” means that an independent organization accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has verified that a manufacturer’s products meet strictly defined organic standards as specified by the National Organic Program. This certification protects consumers and ensures the product’s value.


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