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When searching for organic and other quality food products we always find out about the products certificates. For us, this is like asking about exam certificate at a job interview. Claims are easily made but official certified credentials are not so easily obtained. We trust this system to ensure we are bringing quality food to our customers.

There are many certification authorities that look at a variety of different things. Mostly we are looking for certificates of organic status although there are also a number of non-organic credentials that can be a valuable guide to quality.

Some certification authorities are government run or national organizations while others have international operations. Many countries have a government department that wil authorise an organization(s) to handle certification. The food we import carries a wide variety of different certificates depending on the country of origin. To make things even more confusing some manufacturers obtain certificates of other countries eg an Australian company may apply for US certification for marketing or trade purposes. This is important as most countries restrict the use of the term ‘organic’ and similar terms. Not any product can be labeled as organic!

Organic Certificates
In general, organic certification authorities have similar standards. However there are some differences. While these differences are sometimes minor, the overall result is some certificates are considered to be stronger and more focused on consumer and environmental benefit rather than the sometimes conflicting views of manufacturers. It is an unfortunate fact of life that at times the concerns of the producer are not the same as the concerns of the consumer. This is why a strong certification authority is so important.

What does it take to be organic?
As we know there are many different certifiers. And of course they differ in their requirements. In general terms they require:

  • Avoiding the use of synthetic chemical inputs. These include chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones and others.
  • Natural treatments and procedures are encouraged. When these are not sufficient a limited use of approved substances may be used to treat a specific problem.
  • Sewage sludge (biosolids) is not permitted
  • Irradiation treatment is not permitted.
  • Genetically modified organisms are not permitted.
  • Non-organic sources of compost or manure are not permitted.
  • Crop/animal rotation and diversity are encouraged.
  • Land must be ‘chemical-free’ for a number of years before certification.
  • Animal feed should be natural or organic.
  • Organic and non-organic products must be produced, stored and sold separately.

The Organic Certifiers This site has links to many of the certifying organizations around the world. has links to the standards required to achieve certification.

Here are some links to a few of the certifying organizations that our products are certified by. More detailed information can be found on their websites.

BCS, is a European based certifier with it’s head office in Germany. They are edited around the world and perform certification services in many countries
Click here for more information


CCPB is one of a number of Italian certifiers. They provide certification services for a number of countries.
Click here for more information

Ecocert is one of several large international certification bodies. They provide organic food certification as well as others such as Fair Trade, ISO standard, and other food quality and safety standards. They perform organic certification for many countries globally.
Click here for more information

International Certification Services Inc is a US based organisation. They provide the Farm Verified Organic (FVO) certificate as well as others. They also provide certification for a number of countries around the world.
Click here for more information

International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) is a large umbrella organization that unites a large number of organizations across many countries. They offer certification in many countries as well accreditation services to certifying bodies.
Click here for more information

A Japanese organic certifier under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF)
Click here for more information

The Mokichi Okada Association (MOA) is a Japanese based organization that provides certification in Taiwan. They have a holistic view and their services are broad to include a wide-range of health and well-being issues.
Click here for more information

Click here for more information (Japanese only site)

Organic Crop Improvement Association is based in the US and provides certification services to over 20 countries around the globe. They are accredited in US, Japan, Canada, with IFOAM and others.
Click here for more information

Pro-Cert Canada is Canada’s foremost certifier. They are accredited with the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) as well as the USDA
Click here for more information

The Organic Materials Review Institute based in the US and opertating under the USDA National Organic Program (NOP)
Click here for more information

Quality Assurance International is based in the US but serves clients worldwide and are accredited certifiers for a number of countries including US, EU, Japan, Canada and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)
Click here for more information

The Soil Association
One of major certifiers in the UK, they offer a range of services such a technical advice and education for both consumers and business.
Click here for more information

The US Department of Agriculture runs the National Organic Program (NOP) which oversees all the US certifiers
Click here for more information

Other Quality Certificates
Other than strong organic certification, there are some other food quality certificates which we like to see. These are not so common but nevertheless they are valuable guide of quality.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a risk management system that controls hazards related to food safety.
Click here for more information

QMI offer a wide range of standards and procedural systems. The ISO is one of their standards. ISO 22000 is a food safety management system. ISO9001 is a general standard for managing quality. QMI also offer organic certification and is accredited with the USDA.
Click here for more information



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