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Why We Use the USDA Organic Certification

Understanding all of the different organic certifications that exist is a daunting task.  Knowing if the product you want has the correct certifications adds another level of complexity.  Below we break it down for you so that you can return to this page over and over again to check and see if what you’re buying is certified to the level of care and commitment that we know you take with your choices. 

You’ll also understand why we chose the USDA Organic Certification for our products, why we believe in it, and why it is the most fitting choice for our products.

It’s a jungle out there…but don’t worry, here’s what you need to know

Organic Certifications and Standards

Expand the tabs below to explore the Philosophies and Certification Standards of the various Organic Certification Standards commonly used Worldwide.  We’ve ommited certifications that simply promise natural ingredients without strict definitions and clear guidelines.

BDIH

BACKGROUND

Created in 1951, BDIH was a forerunner by creating the world’s first organic body care certification.

BDIH is the Federal Association for medicines, dietary products, nutritional supplements and personal care German companies. It includes a working group on natural cosmetics that has set specifications for the manufacturing of natural beauty products.

In 2002 it joined four other Organic Certifying Organizations across Europe to form the COSMOS STANDARD, which was implemented in January of 2017, as a way of simplifying the consumer experience and ensuring compliance across the EU.

STANDARD

  • 100% of ingredients belong to the authorized ingredients BDIH list.
  • BDIH organic certification requires manufacturers to use organic content wherever possible.
  • No GMO, synthetic fragrances, colors, petroleum derivatives, polymers, parabens or other potentially harmful substances.
  • All non natural ingredients must belong to the harmless synthetic authorized ingredients BDIH list and be explicitely mentionned on product packaging.
  • Eco-friendly packaging
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ECOCERT

BACKGROUND

Ecocert is a French organic certification body approved by the Department of Industry. Ecocertified manufacturers have their ingredients and processes audited twice in a year by Ecocert to ensure it is complying with all the rules of the organic certification standard.

STANDARDS

  • 95% minimum of all ingredients are from natural origin.
  • 10% minimum of total product by weight (including water) must be organic.
  • 5% maximum of synthetic content is allowed. All non natural ingredients must belong to the harmless synthetic ingredients positive list created by Ecocert.
  • All processes (including harvest, extraction methods, etc.) are audited and Ecocertified.
  • No synthetic fragrances, colors, petroleum derivatives, polymers, parabens or other potentially harmful substances.
  • No animal testing at all.
  • Only animal by-products that do not directly question animals’ lives and whose use do not adversely affect the ecological balance can still be used (bee wax, honey, milk, etc.).
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SOIL ASSOCIATION - COSMOS ORGANIC

BACKGROUND

The Soil Association is the main organic certification body in the UK. It was created in 1946 by a group of farmers, nutritionists and scientists.

The Soil Association charter requires that organic products contain a maximum of organic ingredients that have undergone a minimum of processing.

In 2002 it joined four other Organic Certifying Organizations across Europe to form the COSMOS STANDARD, which was implemented in January of 2017, as a way of simplifying the consumer experience and ensuring compliance across the EU.

STANDARDS

  • 95% minimum of all ingredients are from organic farming (with a 70% minimum)
    Soil Association requires all of its certified products to show the organic percentage on the packaging
  • No GMO, synthetic fragrances, colors, petroleum derivatives, polymers, parabens or other potentially harmful substances.
  • Ingredients must be obtained through simple physical or chemical processes with no use of synthetic molecule.
  • No animal testing at all.
  • No synthetic fragrances, colors, petroleum derivatives, polymers, parabens or other potentially harmful substances.
  • No animal testing at all.
  • Wild-harvested ingredients are authorized with biodiversity respect limits, in particular regarding endangered species.
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COSMEBIO - COSMOS ORGANIC

BACKGROUND

Cosmebio is a French organic certification label and is certified by Ecocert.

There are two levels of Cosmebio certification: the ORGANIC label (BIO) for organic cosmetics and the NATURAL label (NAT) for eco-friendly and natural beauty products.

In 2002 it joined four other Organic Certifying Organizations across Europe to form the COSMOS STANDARD, which was implemented in January of 2017, as a way of simplifying the consumer experience and ensuring compliance across the EU.

STANDARDS

  • 95% minimum of all ingredients are natural or from natural origin.
  • 95% minimum of all agricultural ingredients are from organic farming.
  • 10% minimum of total product by weight (including water) must be organic.
  • No GMO, synthetic fragrances, colors, petroleum derivatives, polymers, parabens or other potentially harmful substances.
  • All non natural ingredients must belong to a harmless synthetic ingredients positive list and be explicitly mentioned on product packaging.
  • No animal testing at all.
  • Only animal by-products that do not directly question animals’ lives and whose use do not adversely affect the ecological balance can still be used (bee wax, honey, milk, etc.).
  • Raw material sourcing, transformation processes, packaging design and manufacturing,… must follow strict environmental standards regarding biodiversity, biodegradability, recycling and waste management issues.
  • No genetic engineering or radiation in the production and processing of agricultural products.
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AUSTRIA BIO GARANTIE

BACKGROUND

Austria Bio Garantie (ABG) was founded in 1993 and is the first certification body for organic products in Austria. Their activities cover inspection and certification of organic products throughout the whole chain – ABG is operating on behalf of the food and cosmetics safety authorities.

ABG is a non-profit organization attaching great value to best quality and best services achieved by highly-qualified staff and experienced inspectors.

STANDARDS

  • 100% of ingredients belong to the authorized ingredients ABG list.
  • 95% minimum of the botanical ingredients are from certified organic cultivation.
  • No GMO, synthetic fragrances, colors, petroleum derivatives, polymers, parabens or other potentially harmful substances.
  • Proven Manufacturing & Control of Processing: sustainable and environmentally friendly.
  • No animal testing with the finished product or ingredients.
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NATURE ET PROGRES

BACKGROUND

Nature et Progrès is a French association gathering together consumers, farmers and organic cosmetics manufacturer that aims at promoting organic farming, biodiversity respect and agricultural tradition/know-how without rejecting progress.

The goal is to develop products that respect people, animals, plants and the planet. Nature et Progrès is the most demanding organic certification body. The products must meet all certification standards and the manufacturer must sign the Nature et Progrès environmental, social, economic and human Charter.

STANDARDS

  • 100% minimum of all agricultural ingredients are from organic farming or sustainably wild-harvested.
  • No GMO, synthetic fragrances, colors, petroleum derivatives, polymers, parabens or other potentially harmful substances.
  • All processes (including harvest, extraction methods, etc.) are eco-friendly.
  • No animal testing at all.
  • Only animal by-products that do not directly question animals’ lives and whose use do not adversely affect the ecological balance can still be used (bee wax, honey, milk, etc.).
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DEMETER BIODYNAMIC

BACKGROUND

Demeter USA is the only certifier for Biodynamic farms and products in America. While all of the organic requirements for certification under the National Organic Program are required for Biodynamic certification, the Demeter standard is much more extensive, with stricter requirements around imported fertility, greater emphasis on on-farm solutions for disease, pest, and weed control, and in depth specifications around water conservation and biodiversity.

The aim is to produce cosmetics that consist of natural products, which are beneficial for the human skin and body, and have as few negative environmental consequences as possible. The raw materials of plant or animal origin are to be DEMETER CERTIFIED BIODYNAMIC when available. The task in the production of cosmetics is to maintain, or, wherever possible to enhance through the use of appropriate measures, the special qualities of the raw materials which have arisen through their having been grown using the Biodynamic method.

STANDARDS

  • Heal the soil.
  • Renew, shape and maintain landscapes.
  • Provide people with a healthy diet.
  • Promote a specific approach of life and understand the role of humans.
  • Improve and shorten the links between producers and consumers.
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NATRUE

BACKGROUND

NaTrue is a new non-profit standard from Europe started by German organic beauty manufacturers. They originally created a 3 star system to segregate “natural cosmetics” from “natural cosmetics with organic content” from “organic cosmetics” but gathered them all in a single seal for more simplicity.

STANDARDS

  • 95% the minimum content for raw natural ingredients and the maximum content for ingredients of natural origin are set for each category of cosmetics.
  • 95% minimum of all ingredients are from organic farming or wild-harvested. It also requires a higher content for raw natural ingredients than 1 star Natrue seal.
  • 95% minimum of all ingredients are from organic farming or wild-harvested. It also requires a higher content for raw natural ingredients than 2 stars Natrue seal.
  • Only water, natural ingredients, ingredients of natural origin or nature-like ingredients (with strict limits) are authorized.
  • Nature-like ingredients are allowed for conservation purpose or when natural ingredients are not available in sufficient quantity and/or quality.
Learn More

Why USDA Organic?

While the certifications above have their own merits, and provide assurances through their clear standards, guidelines and enforcement.  There are several key reasons that we chose the USDA Organic Certification and Label for our Products. 

The USDA Organic Certification Sets a High Standard

The critical factor in our choice was the quality of the standards that form the backbone of the USDA Organic Certification. Our values require that we hold ourselves and our suppliers to the level of commitment that we know you expect from any product labelled “Organic”. The USDA sets a very high standard in what it includes and, just as important, excludes from any products seeking to define themselves as organic.

USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.

The USDA Organic Certification is Well-Defined and Clear

The USDA Organic Certification is made up of clear, well-defined guidelines and standards that culminate in four categories of labeling, that are easy to understand.

The four categories of labeling based on product composition & the labeling specifications for each are summarized below:

100% Organic

“100% Organic” can be used to label any product that contains 100 percent organic ingredients (excluding salt and water, which are considered natural). Most raw, unprocessed farm products can be designated “100 percent organic.” Likewise, many value-added farm products that have no added ingredients—such as grain flours, rolled oats, etc.—can also be labeled “100 percent organic.”

Organic

“Organic” can be used to label any product that contains a minimum of 95% organic ingredients (excluding salt and water). Up to 5 percent of the ingredients may be nonorganic agricultural products that are not commercially available as organic and/or nonagricultural products that are on the National List.1

Made With Organic

“Made with Organic” can be used to label a product that contains at least 70 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding salt and water). There are a number of detailed constraints regarding the ingredients that comprise the non-organic portion.

The USDA Organic Certification Directly Benefits You!

Our commitment to the highest quality products, that are environmentally sustainable means that we source our ingredients from the environments in which they naturally thrive.  We find the highest quality ingredients AT THEIR SOURCE. This reduces the need to alter the local environments to suit the needs of our ingredients, in turn minimizing the effects on the bio-diversity of those local ecologies.

In order to use the USDA Organic Label, any ingredients grown or processed in other parts of the world, under other organic standards and certifications, must conform to the USDA Organic Standards as defined.  This ensures that you are receiving the benefits of the USDA Organic Standards while at the same time getting the highest quality ingredients straight from their natural source.

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