Organic Standards in the Food Industry

Organic Food Standards

QAI Organic Quality Assurance International LogoWhat’s behind the exploding demand for organic food products? Consumers are more aware of what they’re putting into their body, but what is it about the organic food label that they find so appealing?

Essentially, they want food that is clean, free of excessive chemicals and certified as such by a respected authority. They know it’s not a label that can be casually placed on any food product. Of course, the high standards associated with organic certification mean only the most qualified food manufacturer can comply.

The demand for organic food is growing. Read on to learn more about organic food regulations, and if you are a food manufacturer, learn how PacMoore can partner with you to meet your certified organic food needs.

What Qualifies As Organic?

USDA Organic Food Certification Logo Organic isn’t just a buzzword that can be redefined from one group to another. The U.S. Department of Agriculture outlines specific requirements before a product earns the label.

Here are the key elements that dictate whether a food product can be certified by a USDA-accredited agent:

  • The production process itself must take measures to protect natural resources.
  • Biodiversity must be taken into consideration.
  • The food must be produced using only approved substances.

In essence, organic food must be produced without causing environmental harm via pesticides or other methods viewed as environmentally destructive.

Different Levels of Certification: Who Makes the Call?

The USDA has the authority to designate certifying agents, as outlined by the Organic Food Production Act, who can determine whether a type of food is 100 percent organic or something less. In other words, it’s not as simple as “you can take our word for it.” The guidelines are real, and they have to be met. As such, branded food companies must be sure they are working with qualified food manufacturers that do not cut corners.

There are four levels of organic certification: 100 percent organic, organic, made with organic ingredients, and specific organic ingredients. To be deemed 100 percent organic, all of the food’s ingredients and processing aids have to be certified as organic. A food just certified as organic but not 100 percent can contain up to 5 percent of nonorganic ingredients (although all of the agricultural ingredients still must be certified organic). The other designations have less stringent requirements as to the percentage of ingredients that are certified as organic.

PacMoore Has You Covered

PacMoore Blog Organic Food StandardsPacMoore has solid practices in place to ensure that your organic food product meets every criteria for certification. Our experienced team knows which ingredients can be used and how they should be handled in order to comply.

Understanding organic guidelines is not as simple as reading the rules and walking away. Not only are organic food standards very strict, but they also evolve as better information becomes available. PacMoore has its finger on the industry pulse, and takes every step to ensure that you stay in compliance as rules change. You want a food manufacturing partner that can adapt to meet higher standards so you can continue to distribute organic food products without missing a beat.

Not only has PacMoore been in the business of specialty food production for years, we have a solid understanding of evolving organic food standards. With expansive resources, team expertise and a reputation for meeting even the most specific client requests, PacMoore is your best bet when it comes to getting the certified organic label on your product.

To learn more about how PacMoore manufactures high-quality specialty food products that meet organic certification criteria, contact us today.