Certified Organic - what does that mean?

Certified Organic - what does that mean?

At Lechia, we know when we source organic ingredients, it confirms safe and natural agricultural production practices that achieve a high level of quality both for ourselves and our planet. This means you can trust that what you’re consuming doesn’t have harmful synthetic materials in it that would end up in your body, and also means you’re supporting purposeful farming and cultivation practices.

Still not quite sure what exactly that “Certified Organic” sticker means, or what it means for the farms and farmers? If so, read on.


What’s in a label?

With the increasing number of labels, diets, and certifications, it’s hard to keep track of what it all means, or even if it’s credible. So, before we dive into the nitty gritty of organic farming practices, let’s start with the basics. 

In 1990, Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), which required the USDA to develop national standards for agricultural products grown without the use of pesticides. This was set to assure consumers that agricultural products marketed as “organic” met consistent, uniform standards. Whether you’re picking up steak, milk or a cotton shirt, any U.S.-raised product marketed as Certified Organic goes through the National Organic Program. 

And unlike some food labels, which can be approved with far less oversight, “Certified Organic” is backed by serious regulatory muscle: Farmers that are Certified Organic receive at least one announced visit from USDA inspectors each year, as well as unannounced visits, who test for prohibited substances and humane animal practices.  


This all sounds great for us but what about farmers? 

Not only does the Certified Organic certification promote consumer trust but it is also known to have a positive impact on farmers’ livelihood. 

Organic farming is a rising topic in many developing countries and given its success in the US, the USDA has even certified auditors in other countries who can then inspect and audit farmers around the world. According to extensive research, organic agriculture can increase agricultural productivity and raise incomes with low-cost. In addition to that, evidence shows that organic agriculture can build up natural resources, strengthen communities AND improve human capacities, thus improving food security by addressing many different factors simultaneously. 

Take Kenya, for example (which is where we source our organic macadamia nuts from!) — smallholder farms are a pillar of economic development and have had a huge impact on living conditions for their farmers. 


Your Impact

So, the next time you purchase a Certified Organic product, know that you are buying an item that: 
  1. Increases biodiversity: Biodiversity was on average 35% higher in organic farms than in conventional fields. In addition, species density was 200% higher.

  2. Increases yields: Sustainable agriculture can increase productivity and crop yield up to 64% on average under certain circumstances. Especially in drought conditions and climates such as Kenya, an organically managed field results in higher yields.

  3. Improves soil health: Wind and water erosion increasingly degrade conventional farm soil, while the soil on organic farms steadily improve in organic matter, moisture, microbial activity and other soil quality indicators. That preserves and restores the soil for future generations.

That’s pretty cool!
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