Truth in Labeling

By Mark Wuttke / July 29, 2014
What does it mean for a product to be certified? Here is a rundown of the major certification organizations and their truth in labeling standards.

skincare14_truth in labeling_feature

How do you know that the products you’re buying are natural and/or organic? If you look beyond the package label, you will see that there are depths and degrees of these definitions. Looking for third-party certifications and understanding each of their standards provides an education to the discerning consumer. A growing number of organizations worldwide are providing certification standards. Here is a brief overview of those currently providing certifications.

DEMETER USA

skincare14_truth in labeling_01demeter-usa.org

Certification Type: Biodynamic

Demeter Association, Inc. is the United States’ representative of Demeter International, incorporated in 1985 with the mission to enable people to farm successfully in accordance with Biodynamic® practices and principles.

In order for a farm to refer to itself as Biodynamic, it must have achieved certification through Demeter by adhering to the Demeter Farm Standard for a minimum of three years if conventionally farmed, or a minimum of one year if organically farmed. The entire farm must be certified, not just a portion of land within the farm. The Demeter Biodynamic® Farm Standard reflects the Biodynamic principle of the farm as a living organism: self-contained, self-sustaining, following the cycles of nature. It provides the legal definition of Biodynamic in the U.S. marketplace.

Demeter is the owner of the trademark terms “Biodynamic®” and “Demeter®”.  In order for a commercial farm or agricultural-based product to legally use the term in reference to its farm or products, it must have obtained certification through Demeter, and be re-certified every year.

Country of Origin: Germany

Business Type: Non-Profit


USDA NOP

skincare14_truth in labeling_02ams.usda.gov

Certification Type: 100 percent Organic, Organic, and Made with Organic

USDA NOP is a food standard for organic and made-with-organic ingredients. “100 percent organic” must contain only organically produced ingredients. “Organic” must contain at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients. “Made with Organic Ingredients” must contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients. Limited amounts of synthetics are allowed in the “Organic” and “Made with Organic” standards. It excludes water and salt in calculation of organic content.

Country of Origin: USA

Business Type: Government


SOIL ASSOCIATION

skincare14_truth in labeling_03soilassociation.org

Certification Type: Organic, and Made with Organic ingredients

Soil Association is a standard for organic and made-with-organic ingredients. “Organic” must contain at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients. “Made with Organic Ingredients” must contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients. Limited amounts of synthetic preservatives and ingredients are allowed. It excludes water in calculation of organic content.

Country of Origin: UK

Business Type: Non-Profit


NATRUE

skincare14_truth in labeling_04natrue.org

Certification Type: Natural, Organic and Natural with Organic Portion

NATRUE is a cosmetic standard that requires 100 percent certified pure-natural and derived- natural (natural-origin) ingredients. “Organic Cosmetics” guarantees at least 95 percent of the natural ingredients stem from controlled organic cultivation and/or controlled wild collection. “Natural Cosmetics with Organic Portion” guarantees at least 70 percent of the natural ingredients stem from controlled organic cultivation and/or controlled wild collection. It excludes water and salt in calculation of natural and organic content. NATRUE has an equivalency agreement/recognition with NSF/ANSI 305.

Country of Origin: Belgium

Business Type: Non-Profit


ECOCERT

skincare14_truth in labeling_05ecocert.com

Certification Type: Natural and Natural/ Organic

EcoCert requires a minimum of 95 percent natural origin as a baseline entry and a minimum of 5 percent organic content for the “Natural” standard, and a minimum of 10 percent organic content for the “Natural /Organic” standard. Up to 5 percent of ingredients can be synthetic. Limited synthetic preservatives are allowed. Water can be included in its calculation of organic content.

Country of Origin: France

Business Type: For-Profit


OREGON TILTH

skincare14_truth in labeling_06tilth.org

Certification Type: Organic

Oregon Tilth exists to support and promote biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture through education, research, advocacy and certification. It advocates sustainable approaches to agricultural production systems and processing, handling and marketing. Oregon Tilth’s purpose is to educate gardeners, farmers, legislators and the general public about the need to develop and use sustainable growing practices that promote soil health, conserve natural resources and prevent environmental degradation while producing a clean and healthful food supply for humanity.

Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO) is an internationally recognized symbol of organic integrity. OTCO provides a system that combines strict production standards, on-site inspections, and legally binding contracts to protect the producers and buyers of organic products.

Country of Origin: USA

Business Type: Non-profit


NSF/ANSI 305

skincare14_truth in labeling_07nsf.org, ansi.org, qai-inc.com

Certification Type: Contains Organic

NSF ANSI 305 standard requires 70 percent organic ingredients to comply with the “Contains Organic” standard. Limited amounts of synthetics are allowed. It excludes water and salt in calculation of organic content.

Country of Origin: USA

Business Type: Non-Profit


BDIH

skincare14_truth in labeling_08bdih.org

Certification Type: Natural

BDIH requires 100 percent natural origin/nature-identical* to gain the “natural” standard. It does not have a standard for organic certification.

Country of Origin: Germany

Business Type: For-Profit. Membership required.

*Nature-identical ingredients are those that are 100 percent identical in composition to their counterparts in nature, but are created in the laboratory to ensure stability, safety and sustainability. Nature-identical substances may only be used when natural substances cannot be recovered from nature using reasonable technical effort.


NPA

skincare14_truth in labeling_09npainfo.org

Certification Type: Natural

NPA requires a minimum of 95 percent natural origin for the “Natural” standard. Limited amounts of synthetics are allowed. It does not have a standard for organic certification.

Country of Origin: USA

Business Type: Non-Profit. Membership required.


skincare14_truth in labeling_10ACO & OFC

aco.net.au, organicfoodchain.com.au

Certification type: Certified Organic (min 95%), 100% Organic, Certified Organic Ingredients (min 70%)

There are eight entities that certify to the Australian Organic & Biodynamic Standard. This is a food and cosmetic standard which is controlled/governed by the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Fishing & Forestry.

skincare14_truth in labeling_11The standard was originally developed by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) government department to protect the word “Organic” in the export market. No product can leave Australia, if manufactured there, with the word “Organic” unless certified by one of the approved Australian bodies.

The eight certifying bodies in Australia audit, accredit and register farms, processors, agriculture and products. Standard exclude water and salt in the calculation of formulas. Requirement is that all ingredients are 100 percent naturally derived.

Country of Origin: Australia

Business Type: Government, Non-Profit

 

Mark Wuttke heads the Wuttke Group, LLC, a business development team with a focus on sustainable, organic beauty products in luxury spa and boutique retail. He is a globally recognized authority in environmentally and socially responsible business practices and he oversees brand development and distribution strategy for several results-oriented, plant-powered skin-care collections including Amala.

Mark Wuttke

Mark Wuttke

Principle at Wuttke Group, LLC
Mark Wuttke heads the Wuttke Group, LLC, a globally recognized business development solutions company specializing in authentic green, healthy wellness, regenerative sustainability, and conscience leadership. The Wuttke Group has partnered with many of the leading natural and organic personal care houses, overseeing brand development and global distribution strategy. Mark’s experience includes over 20 years as President/CEO in the USA and Australia within the wellness sector and over 15 years on numerous boards in green industries.
Mark Wuttke

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