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“Organic” has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent years. Consumers believe natural food and skincare products are better than their non-organic counterparts, and they spend billions of dollars on them every year. But do consumers really understand what organic means?
The organic sales in the United States grew massively in 2018. Organic sales rose by 9% from the previous year, surpassing $21 billion.
This increase is unsurprising as consumers are bombarded daily with messaging about the superiority of organic products. But many people who buy organic foods don’t really understand what the term entails.
Organic brands use products and a process in the growth and preparation of goods that will not harm the earth or living beings. That’s a simple definition of the term.
However, the word organic also encompasses how something is grown as well as a certification. A company or farm doesn’t have to be certified organic to grow organically. But with a certification, a brand will receive a US Certified Organic stamp, which carries a lot of weight with consumers.
Companies in the hemp industry, however, are not allowed to get a certification. Our company, Kat’s Naturals, is an example. Our farm is certified organic because of its growing practices. But once our hemp turns into CBD products, our remedies are no longer certified even though we make them with 100% organic ingredients.
Cannabidiol is still considered a gray area to most U.S. organizations—and because of the ambiguity that surrounds CBD, certifying agencies refuse to give our remedies the organic stamp it deserves.
How can a CBD brand claim to offer organic goods?
Luckily, in the United States, CBD brands can put “made with organic ingredients” on their product labels as long as 70% or more of the good’s ingredients are organic. The remaining 30% of ingredients do not need to be organic, but still, brands cannot use excluded methods like genetic engineering to formulate their remedies.
Even with this workaround, however, brands still have to prove that 70% or more of their product’s ingredients are organic. If CBD companies want to claim that their product ingredients are natural, they have to request certifications from the brands and farms that help them formulate their products.
Here at Kat’s Naturals, for example, we require our farmers and essential oil vendors to show us proof that their products are indeed organic. Vendor and farmers work very hard to obtain this proof. For a company to become certified organic, the process is rigorous and expensive.
How do companies become certified organic?
The National Organic Program (NOP—a program of the USDA) has specific standards that brands and farmers must adhere to for their products to be labeled organic.
One rule requires products to be grown, produced, and inspected before a farmer or brand receives a certification. Other essential standards are:
- Farmers and brands cannot use conventional pesticides in the growing process
- Farmers and brands cannot use fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge
- Farmers and brands cannot use bioengineering or ionizing radiation
- Meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products cannot come from animals that have been given antibiotics or growth hormones
- Farmers and brands must use renewable resources
- Farmers and brands must conserve soil and water to keep the environment safe for future generations
Another major rule centers around the farm the ingredients are grown on. To get a piece of land certified, the property has to be pesticide and herbicide-free for three years.
Additionally, if a farmer has an organic field five or ten acres away from their inorganic goods, then that organic field cannot have any over-spray. Planting trees between fields has proven to be a good solution for this issue because trees help with cross-contamination, but contamination to water supply or run-off may still be present so testing the soil prior to getting certified insures it is contaminate free. But if any over-spray is detected in the organic field, the NOP will not consider the products organic.
Claiming organic is worth the effort
Becoming certified organic is no easy feat. There are a lot of hoops that farmers and companies have to jump through. But if a CBD brand wants to claim that their products are made with organic ingredients, then the effort has to be put in.
Today’s consumers want organic goods. And as more people start to understand what organic truly means, they’re going to look for evidence that proves a CBD product is what it claims to be.
Know someone else who wants organic CBD products? Share this article with them so they know what to look for in a natural, CBD remedy!