We all know how important the right packaging is when it comes to food products, home items, cleaning supplies, clothing, and so much more. But certain items require more deliberate and carefully-thought-out packaging than most. Organic food, for instance, needs to be labelled and packaged according to various regulations and stipulations, and if this isn’t done in the correct manner, all your efforts at actually growing and developing the product may come to naught. Here, then, is what you really need to know about labelling and packaging organic food.
As a retailer, you can’t just label something ‘organic’ to attract consumers to purchase your product. Certain regulations have to be met, and the government is quite clear on this as well.
Labelling organic products
A product can only be labelled ‘organic’ if 95 percent of its ingredients are organic – in other words, farm-bred and grown and all-natural. You can also label a product ‘organic’ if you sell your products directly to the customers in your own shop. According to EU regulations, your product should not contain any genetically-modified organisms or derived products.
But these are just the tip of the iceberg. You need to have certified organic products first, and this can only happen with an assessment from one of the several organic certification bodies in the UK. These organisations include the following:
- Organic Famers & Growers Association
- Organic Food Federation
- Biodynamic Agricultural Association
- Soil Association Certification Ltd
- Organic Trust Limited
- Quality Welsh Food Certification Ltd
- Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association
- Global Trust Certification Ltd
- OF & G (Scotland) Ltd
You must approach any one of these bodies and have your product(s) certified by them first before you can label your products ‘organic’. The process can be made easier if you approach the organisation which is nearest to you. For instance, if you are located in Scotland, you can have your products certified by OF & G (Scotland) Ltd, and if you are in Ireland, you can ask for certification from the Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association, and so on.
Once you have been certified
Once you have received your certification and have been able to label your products as organic, you will have to follow some strict and stringent guidelines as well in order to maintain your label and packaging. You will also have to keep accurate, methodical, and highly-detailed records of your process of production. Aside from this, you will have to be ready to undergo annual as well as random checks and inspections.
Since July of 2010, businesses that produce organic food which is packaged have had to use a specially-designed organic logo for the EU. This, however, is not required for companies producing organic food which are not part of the EU. As of now, with the exit of Britain from the EU, the regulations have still not been updated, although there are some indications that the regulations and legislations for labelling and packaging organic food may be affected as well. But at the moment, producers will still have to use the EU logo for organic food.