Tips to Expand Organic Knowledge

How can you tell if something is organic? Here are 5 tips for you and your customers:
1. The product has a “USDA Certified Organic” sticker on it
2. The company is listed on OTA’s directory
3. Read labels. Food that is made entirely from organic ingredients is labeled 100% organic, while food that is labeled simply “organic” is made from 95% organic ingredients, and “made with organic ingredients” means that you’re getting about 70% organic ingredients
4. Make sure the foods are made without added chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or synthetic ingredients
5. Aim for organic, not natural. The USDA defines natural as being minimally processed and free of synthetic ingredients, but it may not be 100% organic

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Organics Unlimited is an active member of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), a membership-based business association for the organic industry encompassing the entire organic supply chain. The OTA supports organic programs like Organics Unlimited and our GROW Fund and is a leader in developing and protecting organic standards so consumers can feel confident about certified organic production.
Recently, consumers have been questioning the validity of organic claims as some companies have been exposed to what could be considered some questionable practices. While organic demand has risen, there have been instances of quietly reducing the amount of organic ingredients they claimed they used in their products. Consumers generally pay more for organic products and while rare, some merchandisers can mistake conventional products for organic.
The OTA works hard to combat these situations and keep the integrity of the organic industry. Through public policy, press releases, directories and events, the OTA has resources available to assist you in ensuring your customers get what they’re expecting.

If produce is labeled USDA Organic, there is no need for concern on country of origin. All standards for produce imported into the US to be sold as organic are consistent regardless of where it is grown.

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