What Is ‘Organic’?

You hear the word tossed around so much that it could sound like its own food group. But what does it really mean for a food product to have the “organic” label? The truth is, “organic” carries a lot of weight — in part because it’s in such high demand, and because of the rigorous work that goes into creating, certifying and labeling it.

A basic understanding of the organic food certification process will help you make the best choice for you.

Organic Food Regulations
what is organic pacmoore food industryIn the food industry, the organic label is nothing to shrug off. The approval process behind organic certification is intentionally detailed. It’s a matter of consumer trust.

Who makes the determination as to whether a food product can be labeled organic? It’s actually governed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which first established strict organic standards in 1990. As such, federal law outlines specific substances that are allowed in organic food production, as well as others that are strictly prohibited.

In other words, by the time you see the organic seal, it’s legit. Organic food has the backing of the United States government.

The Steps to Organic Certification

What are regulators looking for when approving or rejecting the organic claim? The guidelines are extensive, but here’s a short breakdown of criteria:

  • Production itself, including growing or raising, must take care to conserve biodiversity. It must also protect natural resources.
  • The product must only contain ingredients approved for organic food production.
  • Every step of production must be free of chemicals such as pesticides.

pacmoore organic food processing standardsOk, so a food manufacturer has checked all the boxes. Now what?

  • The manufacturer must submit a formal application to carry the seal.
  • An agent approved by the USDA reviews the application, and an inspector will conduct an on-site inspection.
  • An official certifying agent will look at all of that information to ensure full compliance.
  • If the process and product meet every requirement, an organic certificate can be issued.
Is It Safe?

Yes. Organic food safety is constantly being debated, and that’s a good thing. Regulators take into consideration the tradeoffs between using pesticides and the risk of natural contamination. To stay in compliance and meet stringent safety standards, growers take extreme care. For example, they’ll rotate crops, use green manure and natural compost, and implement biological pest control that does not harm the food or the environment.

Further, production must meet the same strict safety guidelines as any other food product. By the time you see the organic label on the shelf, you can rest easy knowing that the product is safe.

What Organic Labeling Services Does PacMoore Offer?

pacmoore organic food quality assurance international certificationWhat exactly makes us experts on organic food production? It’s because we’ve been in this business for a long time, and we’ve watched it evolve from the start. Our processes align perfectly with federal guidelines. This is assured by Quality Assurance International (QAI), the auditing body that regularly visits our plants and endorses our practices.

To learn more about PacMoore’s organic food production offerings, or to learn about any of our other specialty foods, contact us today.

Share this on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, or email to a friend.

Click below to share:

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Google Plus Email to a Friend