Consumers who choose organic products want to know that they have been produced without artificial pesticides, genetic modifications, or petroleum-based fertilizers, and that they have not been cross-contaminated with non-organic inputs during production. USDA Organic Certification tells customers that your organic products are of the highest quality and ensures transparency on all aspects of organic production.
QIMA/WQS offers organic certification inspection services through QIMA/IBD, who is accredited by the USDA to approve organic certifications under the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP). The NOP develops the standards, rules, and regulations for the production, handling, labeling, and enforcement for organic products.
The global market for organic products has grown steadily for over 20 years now. By 2000, annual global sales of organic foods and beverages had reached 18 billion USD. Now global sales are well over 100 billion USD, and the global market for organic foods is projected to continue grow by 10% annually.
Access to the growing organic market offers increased earning potential for farms, food manufacturers, and producers of other organic goods. Not only do organic products sell for premium prices, but funding and technical assistance are also available for many organic operations. USDA organic certification can apply to a variety of agriculturally sourced products:
Several countries also have equivalence agreements that recognize USDA organic certification. The USDA Organic label is accepted in the United States (US), Canada, European Union (EU) Switzerland, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
The USDA NOP standards set requirements for crops, livestock/poultry, and handling that must be met to use the USDA Organic label or market a product as “organic.” Requirements include:
Products must have at least 95% certified organic content to be labeled as organic and use the USDA Organic seal. Products with at least 70% certified organic content can be labeled “made with” organic ingredients, but they cannot use the USDA Organic seal.
The first step to certification is adopting organic production methods. As a USDA-accredited certifying agent, QIMA/IBD can help you through the rest of the certification process. Certification requires:
Once certified, annual reviews and inspections are required for an operation to continue to label its products as organic or use the USDA Organic seal.
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