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JUST YOU KNOW
More than 72% of generation X and Y are likely to buy organic foods as well as 59% of baby boomers.
Organic food buyers tend to be better educated (61% have at least some college education, compared with 54% for non-organic shoppers).
Six in 10 U.S. foods shoppers (60%) believe that organic foods are better for their health.
Conventionally grown products generally cost less, but is organic food safer or more nutritious?
Fair trade certified products are not necessarily also certified organic.
Unlike fair trade certified cocoa, the premium for organic cocoa is not fixed.
Higher prices of organic food are due, in part, to more expensive farming practices.
Organic global sales are currently $63 billion compared with $6 billion for fair trade, in a $14 trillion global food and beverage market.
The organic community includes over 25,000 organic businesses in more than 120 different countries around the world.
Organic products are available in more than 20,000 natural stores nationwide and in 73% of all conventional grocery stores.
Organic certified cocoa beans represent less than 1% of the worldwide cocoa crop of 3.8 million metric tons. About 75% are produced in Latin America, with the Dominican Republic topping the list.
Starbucks imports of coffee beans was only 8.4% certified fair trade and 1.1% organic in 2013, but 95.3% ethically sourced.
The demand for organic cocoa products is growing at a very strong pace, as consumers are increasingly concerned about the safety of their food supply along with other environmental issues.
Co-ops are guaranteed a minimum price $1.31/lb for non-organic and $1.51/lb for certified organic coffee.
Fair trade farmers earn a $0.20 social premium and an additional $0.30 per pound for certified organic coffee beans.
Co-ops are guaranteed a minimum price of $0.10 above 'C' market price for conventional coffees with an addition $0.20 certified organic premium.
Can the premiums justify the fair trade and organic certifications? Ask the farmers themselves, the "real experts".
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. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.
Certification allows a farm or processing facility to sell, label, and represent their products as organic. Only producers who sell less than $5,000 a year in organic foods are exempt from this certification. However, they're still required to follow the USDA's standards for organic foods.
Accreditation authorizes private, foreign, or State entities to certify farms or processing facilities.
Certifying agents are accredited by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) in the United States and around the world. Certifying agents are responsible for ensuring that the USDA organic products meet or exceed all organic standards. The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) administers these regulations.
Click here for EU recognized control bodies.
Certified organic farms are prohibited from knowingly planting GMO (Genetically Modified Organism. Other names include Genetic Engineering - GE or Genetic Modification - GM) seed.
Allowing organic products to contact prohibited substances (residual synthetic fungicides, preservatives or fumigants) in packaging materials or storage, containers, will result in penalties.
- No Irradiation
- No Synthetic Food Additives
- No Industrial Solvents
- Fewer Pesticide Residues
- USDA Certified
- EU Certified
Products with less than 70% organic ingredients may not use the term organic other than to identify specific organic ingredients.
Products that contain between 70% and 95% organic ingredients may use the phrase "made with organic ingredients" on the label and list up to three of the organic ingredients on the principal display area.
Products labeled "organic" must contain at least 95% organic ingredients. These products may (but are not required to) display the USDA Organic seal.
Food retailers that sell or process organic foods are not required to undergo the certification process.
USDA signed three trade agreements on organic products with Canada, the European Union and Japan.
For retail products, labels or stickers must state the name of the U.S. or EU certifying agent and may use the USDA Organic seal or the EU organic logo.
The EU does not have a labeling category for “made with” organic products.
Organic products certified to the USDA organic or EU organic standards may be labeled and sold as organic in member countries.
You can import organic products from the EU member states into UK as long as your supplier is registered with an EU organic certification body.
Countries outside the EU that have organic equivalence agreements with the UK are : Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, India, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland
U.S. organic wine and wine “made with organic grapes” may be exported to the EU under the arrangement if it meets specific criteria.
U.S. organic products must be shipped with an EU import certificate (Certificate of Inspection) that has been completed by an NOP-accredited certifying agent.
Since July 1, 2014, processed organic products certified in Korea or in the U.S. may be sold as organic in either country, eliminating significant barriers and creating opportunities.
COSTS TO PRODUCERS
Countries with smaller volumes can fetch higher premiums for organic cocoa products to cover both the cost of fulfilling organic cocoa production requirements and certification fees.
The average organic certification fee in Africa is $5,500.
Organic farms typically yield 300-500 Kg of cocoa beans per hectare or three times less than conventional farms.
Beyond eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and good fats, there is the question of food safety, nutrition, and sustainability.
People with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives often find their symptoms lessen or go away when they eat only organic foods.
Organic food is usually fresher because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer.
Organic farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion.
Organic baked goods, desserts, and snacks are usually still very high in sugar, salt, fat, or calories. It pays to read food labels carefully.