Why Buy Organic Products?
"When you buy Organic Foods, you help keep the Earth's air and water free from pesticides and chemical fertilizers. You help preserve a piece of the Earth's past for future generations. You help support small entrepreneurial farmers who are committed to building the living soils of their farmland and the living souls of their employees. You help lay the groundwork for agricultural diversity that has always been the backbone of cultural individuality. You help make the commitment to renewal that sustains the Earth's ability to nurture life. And you help others embrace the gratifying taste that can come not only from eating good foods, but also from doing good things. When you buy Organic Foods, you make a conscious choice to eat well and to treat the Earth well. Thank you for making that choice."
- Kendall Cook, Proprietor, Napa Valley Naturals
What Does "Certified Organic" Mean?
"Certified Organic" labels tell you the foods you purchase have been verified as organically grown by an independent third party. To be certified, growers undergo farm inspections, including soil nutrient analysis. They must document all crop and soil inputs and develop soil fertility and pest control plans to deal with unexpected problems without resorting to prohibited materials. Growers must keep complete yield, harvest, and sales records, undergo at least two inspections prior to certification, and pass annual inspections to verify that they meet Certified Organic requirements.
What is the difference between "organic" and "certified organic"?
Produce sold as organic should carry labeling indicating that it was grown in accordance with the local State Food Act. This labeling simply means that the grower is registered with the state as an organic producer. Registered producers are not necessarily certified, and may not ever have been inspected to verify their organic claims.
Why is certification important?
When you buy produce with the seal of a recognized organic certification organization, you know its growers meet stringent standards of production and record keeping. Although growers may claim their produce is organic without certification, the extra step offers you assurance that the grower has been required to document and demonstrate the organic claim. Governing organizations can also provide back-up documentation on their members' growing practices.
Consumers are seeking Certified Organic foods as an alternative food choice. Why?
What is Organic Agriculture?
Organic agriculture is about more than growing food and fiber without synthetic fertilizers and chemical biocides. Organic farmers use growing practices that include:
These practices benefit the planet by increasing the soil and ecosystem health and biodiversity.