QUALITY & CERTIFICATIONS
The quality of our products and processes are overlooked by four procedures:
• Quality Control
• Quality Assurance
• Internal Control Systems
• Research & Development
An experienced team of qualified professionals are in place at each of these four steps, to ensure that each level operates efficiently. This allows us to maintain the highest possible quality standards of our products and processes by following prevention, detection & rejection procedures.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE CERTIFICATIONS?
In order to call a product “Certified Organic”, all stages of preparing that product, from production, processing, packing and distribution, needs to comply with the rules and regulations that accompany the certification displayed.
To maintain and display these logos, each year, companies have to invest a large amount of money as certification costs, inspection costs, internal control costs, and for some logos, a licensing fee (e.g., the Demeter logo carries a 2% licensing fee from each product sold). This is why organic products ends up costing more than conventional products, most of the time.
Ultimately however, these logos provides a visual identity to the organic farming sector, contributing to ensure overall coherence and a proper functioning of this field, and consequently establish trust and knowledge in the consumer of what they are purchasing. Someday, all food should be all organic for all people, but until then, we will use our certification to illuminate the way forward.
This logo is used to identify products made using biodynamic agricultural methods. The International Certification Office (ICO) of Demeter International works together with approved inspection bodies to carry out Demeter inspections around the world. In order to obtain and maintain this certification, one also has to maintain the organic regulations of the country, and maintain them rigorously from soil preparation to final packaging.
They strictly exclude the use of synthetic fertilizers, chemical plant protection agents in agricultural crop production, and artificial additives during processing of the crop. It also tightly regulates the presence of farm animals and how they are treated. For example (among other regulations), under this certification:
•Biodiversity reserve must be 10% of the total farm area.
•Dairy cattle and suckling calves must have access to pasture in the summer or access to the open air all year round.
•To tie up the young and fattening stock throughout the year is not allowed.
•Dehorning of stock and dehorned animals are not permitted on the farm.
In addition, there are very specific steps, as recommended by Dr. Rudolf Steiner (the founder of the Demeter biodynamic movement), that are meant to heighten the harnessing of energy from nature (e.g., working with moon cycles and planetary movements- for if they can affect the ocean tides, they can also be harnessed to affect plants). These pracices have been found to increase both the quantity and quality of the product. Currently, this logo is most revered in Germany, but is fast gaining popularity for its quality and ethical practices. Currently, it is quite possibly the most elusive logo to find on a product when combined with an organic certification.
This logo ensures that the product meets the quality and production methods provided for organic food in European Union (EU). Once a year, the governing body of EU organic ensures that a control authority inspects the production body to ensure that all their standards are met. As such, this certificate on a product means that it was produced sustainably, chemical pesticides, fertilizers and antibiotic use is strictly restricted, food additives and preservatives are strictly limited, no genetically modified organisms (plants or otherwise) are allowed, and any farm animals are allowed to graze freely (among other rules). Ultimately, this ensures that the production respects nature, and makes organic products easier to be identified by the consumers.
This is the certification that allows to the export of organic food items to USA. This certificate regulates the standards for any farm, wild crop harvesting, handling production & processing operations, and exports or imports of organically produced agricultural products. Similar the other logos, there are controlling bodies that carry inspections regularly to ensure that the regulations of the certificate are met
Under this certification: If 100% of the product ingredients are certified organic, the packaging can include the words “100% organic” If over 95% of the ingredients used are certified organic, the packaging can display the word “organic”
If the certified organic content is between 70%-94%, the packaging should read “made with organic ingredients” As such, it allows the customer to know exactly what is in the product that they are purchasing.
This represents the standard for the quality and production methods established for foods, beverages and forestry products in the Japanese market, as determined through the Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS). ‘General JAS’ covers quality (composition, grading, performance) and ‘Speciﬁc JAS’ covers production methods (organic foods and naturally grown chicken) Product packaging can carry the JAS logo if they are graded by producers, manufacturers, distributors, or importers who are all certiﬁed by a third party, registered certifying body for the JAS organization. This ensures that he logo reﬂects a highly regulated, reliable product, allowing the consumer to make better choices.
The Control Union Certiﬁcation is awarded by the Control Union, an independent, internationally operating inspection & certiﬁcation body accredited by the Dutch Accreditation Council. They commit themselves to conduct its activities impartially and professionally, and their reports on behalf of other certifying bodies are accepted by authorities in nearly every country.
Biologique Canada is the organic certiﬁcation required for exporting products to Canada as certiﬁed organic, and the inspection and certiﬁcation is done by Control Union Organization. Their is an equivalency agreement between this and the USDA logo, because their standards are extremely similar, so that the display of one logo means that the standards of the other are met.
This organization is a recognized non-profit-making entity and is one of the world’s foremost farmers' association run on the principle of grassroots democracy, with the interests of organic agriculture at heart. Naturland is the organic certification required for exporting products to Germany as certified organic, and is issued by the Naturland Organization. The standards set by this certification were in existence long before the EU regulations came into place. These oversee everything from production, to processing, to the sale of the final goods in the shop. Their very detailed standards vary from industry to industry (e.g., plant production to livestock farming), and can be accessed below.
BRC stands for the British Retail Consortium for Global Standards and covers food safety, quality and operational criteria required to be in place within a food manufacturing organization. This serves to fulfill obligations with regard to legal compliance and protection of the consumer, and is not a certification that attests to the organic or fair trade status of the food product. However, it does monitor senior management commitment to food safety and continual improvement, staff training and personal hygiene, the development of an effective hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) program, product specifications, supplier approval, traceability, site standards, as well as product and process control etc.
ISO 22000:2005 This certificate stands for the Food Safety Management System and the quality of the food and it is obtained through RoyalCert - Germany, ISO 22000:2005 certifies the quality and the safety of the food which is delivered to our valuable customers all through the globe.
This is an certification of ethical standards, perhaps the most internationally recognizable one. It is awarded by the Fairtrade Labelling Organization (FLO-CERT), which is a leading international social certification body. This is a product certification system that was designed to allow people to identify products that meet agreed environmental, labour and developmental standards.
The concept of fair trade aims to help producers in the developing countries to make better trading conditions for their farmers and promote sustainability in farming practices. This logo ensures that the cost of production for the product is covered, along with a premium (that goes directly to the farmers) that they can use to enhance their wage and cover shelter, food, medical care , clothing and education. In developing countries, not all food processors treat their farmer this way. As such, this certification is an important tool in empowering small-scale farmers, creating safe working environments and even fighting the use of unlawful child labour.
To display this logo, FLO-CERT does charge a licensing fee that changes every three months, so unless particular large-scale buyers want to display this logo, we sometimes choose to not display this logo and divert the cost of that licensing fee to our farmers.
This is another certification of ethical standards (annually audited), that is only applicable to tea, coffee, cacao, and hazelnut products. This certification guarantees that the products were sourced sustainably by farmers trained in better agricultural practices, and that those farmers are treated ethically, in a similar fashion to the fair trade.
The laws of "Kosher" include a comprehensive legislation concerning what is permitted and what is forbidden in terms of consumable food according to Jewish law.
(Equitable, Solidaire, Responsible) is yet another ethical standard certification that applies to organic & fair trade products. The process overlooks the the long-term business commitments of buyers to the producers with an annual audit of the key operators in the supply chain.
The Business Social Compliance Initiative is a leading supply chain management system that supports companies to maintain social compliance and improvements within the factories and farms in their global supply chains.