6/1/2015 Looking for Organic? Look for the Label

June 1, 2015
Contact:    Christi Lightcap, (303) 869-9005, Christi.Lightcap@state.co.us
Looking for Organic? Look for the Label.
Organic Labeling Requires USDA Certification
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Spring time is planting season for Colorado’s agricultural producers and shoppers will soon head to farmers’ markets and grocery stores looking for fresh fruits and vegetables. The Colorado Department of Agriculture reminds producers and shoppers that products must be certified through the US Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) to ensure that it is truly organic.
“The agricultural community is tremendous in that it offers consumers the ability to choose what type of food they want on their plate and we are seeing a trend towards items labeled organic. The USDA National Organic Program ensures the integrity of organic products through a strict set of standards,” said Amy Stafford, CDA’s Organic Program Manager. “I encourage shoppers to look for the USDA Organic label when shopping for organic products.”
The NOP certifies crops and livestock as organic along with process handlers of those products under the national organic standards. Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.
The NOP also clarifies the requirements regarding the use of brand or company names that contain the word “organic” and reviews them on a case-by-case basis. A set of principles has been developed by the NOP for agricultural products. Additional information can be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5108680.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture is one of a number of accredited organic certifiers operating in the state on behalf of the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP). CDA certifies approximately 230 operations. Due to overwhelming interest in the organic certification program, CDA is no longer accepting applications from new operations but private organic certification companies are available. A list can be found on the USDA National Organic Program website.
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