Organic refers to the way agricultural products, including foods and fibres such as cotton, are grown and processed. The word “organic” on the label stands for a commitment to an agriculture which strives for a balance with nature, using methods and materials which are of low impact to the environment. Organic production systems:
- Replenish and maintain soil fertility.
- Eliminate the use of toxic and persistent chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
- Build a biologically diverse agriculture.
Organic foods are minimally processed to maintain the integrity of the foods without artificial ingredients, preservatives or irradiation.
The following definition of “organic” was passed by the National Organic Standards Board in April, 1995:
“Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.”
When a grower or processor is certified organic, a public or private organisation verifies that it meets or exceeds defined standards. These standards include:
- Land on which organic food or fibres are grown must be free of prohibited substances for three years prior to certification.
- Farmers and processors must keep detailed records of methods and materials used in growing or producing organic products.
- All methods and materials are annually inspected by a third-party certifier.
- All farmers and handlers are required to maintain written organic plans detailing their management practices.
(Sourced from http://countrychoicenaturals.com)