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Natural & Organic
The Process of Going Organic
By: Darrin Duber-Smith
Posted: October 26, 2012, from the November 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.
page 2 of 4With the growing sales data for natural and organic beauty products, this kind of investment is still likely very smart, and it also can help strengthen and identifiably mark your brand to consumers.
Understand, the process of actually earning your beauty product, products or brand a certification is still a process though. There are numerous certifications around the world for natural and certified organic products, and seeking out the certification that best suits your brand’s needs still requires work.
For the U.S. market, it may be best to choose either the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic certification for products that contain 100% certified organic ingredients, or the new NSF/ANSI standard for products that contain at least 70% organic ingredients. The latter standard was created specifically for beauty and personal care products while the USDA certification was originally designed for food products. The USDA certification is intended for “organic” claims while the NSF standard is appropriate for “made with organic ingredients” claims. These two certifications have the most potential for recognition within the U.S. market and are viewed by some as having the most stringent requirements.
In order to develop a certified organic product—a strategic decision that can broaden your channels of distribution, as well as your target market—you must start with certified organic ingredients. The USDA oversees third-party certification for each specific ingredient, as well as for the certifying facilities that process such ingredients. Therefore, a finished goods manufacturer must ensure the ingredient is both organically grown and organically processed.
Historically, the demand for certified organic ingredients has outstripped the supply by as much as 25%. Obviously, this has made it difficult for suppliers to guarantee organic ingredients in large quantities, and it is therefore more difficult to maintain the USDA certification versus the NSF certification, which requires 70% organic ingredients in a product. This is an issue the certified organic supply chain is trying to address with limited success, as successfully encouraging growers to switch to organic has been a daunting task at best, despite the demand and double-digit industry growth rates.