What does ‘ORGANIC’ mean?
Organic refers to plant and animal-based raw or derived products that are produced without contamination of inorganic fertilizers, pesticides, or any chemical growth hormone. Organic Agriculture is more sustainable as farmers deploy eco-friendly techniques and ingredients easily available in a farm ecosystem like compost manure, green manure, etc. Such methods help in conserving the environment without harming natural nutrients and beneficial organisms found in soil and water.
Various governments and non-profit agencies across the globe have defined standards and best practices to prevent misuse of the “Organic” term. The scope includes everything from soil, seed to processing technique, packaging, and storage. Many countries have regulated the usage of the ‘Organic’ term on products. Only organizations meeting the technical requirements are permitted to use the term. India currently does not have any such regulation.
What is the major issue?
Every day, the Indian market is flooded with new organic products, which appear to be healthy & different from normal products. The variety of choices and claims made by each of these products confuses customers about the authenticity of their claims and genuineness of these products.
As India currently doesn’t have any such regulation which regulates the usage of the term ‘Organic’ on products, People are wary to purchase organic food due to a lack of confidence about its genuineness. The problem of fraud and mislabelling occurs as Food Businesses mark a product as organic while it contains non-organic ingredients or where the organic production standards are not adhered to in the production process. Therefore, it becomes important to check if the food labelled as "organic" is genuinely organic.
How to solve this problem?
Buying only certified organic goods which go through stringent quality checks by third-party certification agencies.
Zhanes is INDIA’s first marketplace for only certified Organic goods and brands so that you buy only truly authentic organic products because ‘The Real You Deserves the Real Products’.
What does Organic Certification mean?
Organic certification is a certification process for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products. All the organic businesses that are certified need to follow a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging, and shipping that include:
· Avoidance of synthetic chemical inputs(e.g. fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, food additives), irradiation, and the use of sewage sludge;
· Avoidance of genetically modified seed;
· Use of farmland that has been free from prohibited chemical inputs for several years (often, three or more);
· In the case of multi-ingredient products at least 95% of ingredients have to be certified organic, only then a product can be labeled as ‘Certified Organic’;
· For livestock, adhering to specific requirements for feed, housing, and breeding;
· keeping detailed written production and sales records (audit trail);
· maintaining strict physical separation of organic products from non-certified products;
· undergoing periodic on-site inspections;
Only after fulfilling above mentioned requirements, they are granted certified organic status and can legally put a certified organic label on their products.
Organic Certification allows a farm or processing facility to sell, label, and represent their products as organic. Certification of Organic Products assures that they comply with the set standards laid out.
Organic products may be certified under NPOP, USDA ORGANIC, ECOCERT, COSMOS, NATRUE, GOTS, etc.
NPOP – ORGANIC FOOD
USDA ORGANIC – ORGANIC FOOD
ECOCERT – ORGANIC FOOD, ORGANIC COSMETICS, ORGANIC TEXTILES
COSMOS – ORGANIC COSMETICS
NATRUE – ORGANIC COSMETICS
GOTS – ORGANIC TEXTILES
How to Check Certified Organic Food Products in India
A. Look for Logos
Just like green & red dots on products to signify if they are vegetarian or non-vegetarian, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Other organizations working in the field have introduced different logos to help customers identify authentic organic products.
The consumer should look for the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India’s unified organic food product logo – Jaivik Bharat and FSSAI Logo License number.
India Organic Logo (NPOP certified)
In addition, the product may carry India Organic Logo (NPOP certified) along with FSSAI license number.
Under National Program for Organic Production (NPOP) System:
· In the case of a single ingredient product where all requirements have been met as per the specified standards can be labeled as ‘Organic’.
· In the case of multi-ingredient products where min. 95% of ingredients are of certified origin, can be labeled as ‘Certified Organic’.
Besides the logo, it would also have the name and logo of the Accredited Certification Body & Accreditation Number.
Organic products may also contain different certified organic labels such as USDA ORGANIC, ECOCERT, COSMOS, NATRUE, GOTS, etc.
B. Check with Online Database
The FSSAI in collaboration with APEDA and PGS-India has also built a web portal to consolidate all the information in form of an “Indian Organic Integrity Data Base”, to help consumers verify the authenticity of organic food.
Through this portal, consumers can access information about the producer, the certification system, and the availability of certified organic products.
Consumers can also verify the authenticity of USDA ORGANIC and ECOCERT certified products by checking their respective databases(links mentioned below):
USDA ORGANIC - https://organic.ams.usda.gov/integrity/
JAIVIK BHARAT - https://jaivikbharat.fssai.gov.in/
ECOCERT/COSMOS/GOTS - http://certificat.ecocert.com/index.php?e=2
India NPOP (National Program for Organic Production) is the certification program implemented by the Government of India. The program covers agriculture and animal products manufactured in India. The FSSAI’s Organic Logo is ‘Jaivik Bharat’ Logo. The consumer shall look for the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India’s organic logo (Jaivik Bharat) and FSSAI Logo License number.
In addition, the label may carry India Organic Logo (NPOP certified) or PGS-India Organic Logo (PGS-India certified) under whichever system it is certified. In December 2017, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), introduced the Jaivik Bharat logo to help customers identify authentic organic food.
The certification and assessment procedures of NPOP are recognized by USDA and European Commission.
USDA Organic is the official Organic program of the Government of the USA. It is the most well-recognized and stringent organic certification globally. The certification was launched to define standards for food and agricultural by-products. However, it has now been extended to skincare and textile products.
ECOCERT is an organic certification organization, founded in France in 1991. It is based in Europe but conducts inspections in over 80 countries, making it one of the largest operations of its kind in the world. ECOCERT primarily certifies food and food products but also certifies cosmetics, detergents, perfumes, and textiles. The company inspects about 70% of the organic food industry in France and about 30% worldwide. ECOCERT is also a leading certifier of fair trade food, cosmetics, and textiles as per ECOCERT Fair Trade standards.
COSMOS stands for "COSMetic Organic and Natural Standard", which sets certification requirements for organic and natural cosmetics products in Europe. The standard is recognized globally by the cosmetic industry.
The COSMOS-standard signature is a consumer guarantee for organic and natural cosmetics that you can trust. To date over 29,000 products in 71 countries carry our COSMOS ORGANIC or COSMOS NATURAL signature. Over 12,000 ingredients carry our COSMOS CERTIFIED signature. Over 7,000 raw materials carry our COSMOS APPROVED signature.
The COSMOS standard defines the criteria that companies must meet to ensure consumers that their products are genuine organic or natural cosmetics produced to the highest feasible sustainability practices.
NATRUE is a leading Europe-based Organic Certification program committed to promoting Natural and Organic Cosmetics worldwide. NATRUE analyzes both ingredients and processes used for products development. Apart from organic ingredients, NATRUE also ensures products are free from synthetic colors, silicone oils, genetically modified substances, etc
GOTS(Global Organic Textile Standard)
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) was developed by leading standard setters to define world-wide recognized requirements for organic textiles. The aim of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is to define requirements to ensure the organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labeling to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.