The Importance of Organic Certification
The health and wellness industry continues to flourish, and people are faced with the decision to purchase conventional or organic products(food, medicine, beauty supplies, or any other product). Is organic really worth all the hype? At Fender’s Blue Hemp, we say emphatically, “yes!”
Demand for organic products is growing rapidly. The Organic Trade Association completed a study this year that reported more than $55.1 billion in organic sales in food and non-food markets were made this year, which is an increase of 5% from the prior year. The non-food department specifically saw a 9.2% increase in organic sales, which is particularly impressive and important for Fender’s Blue Hemp as suppliers of a non-food organic wellness product. It is evident that each day more people care to know what they are putting in and on their bodies, something our team has prioritized from the day we founded our company.
One reason we find it important to farm organically is for the positive impact it leaves on the environment. Organic farming creates higher biodiversity compared to conventional farming, which means these farms are hosts to more bees, birds and butterflies, according to Verena Seufert and Navin Ramankutty in their article, “Organic farming matters - not just in the way you think” written for the journal, The Conversation. The Organic Farming Research Foundation reports that USDA Organic farms follow different procedures such as water management practices, minimal or no tiling, biological pest control, crop rotations, and maintenance of the habitats for insects and vertebrates that are beneficial to biodiversity. Our Director of Cultivation at Fender’s Blue Hemp, Dai Crisp, has always prioritized organic farming because he believes that it is one of the most effective ways to be a good steward of the land. He began organically growing grapes for wine in the 1990s and never looked back because he saw the vast differences and felt organic farming took care of the land better than conventional processes.
Mother Earth is not the only one who benefits from farming organically: consumers enjoy many benefits of organically farmed products as well. According to the Organic Farming Research Foundation, organic farming guidelines forbid the use of genetically modified seed, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Additionally, organic growers are required to participate in detailed record-keeping that tracks their products from the field to the point of sale, as well as preventing contamination from synthetic farm chemicals from nearby conventional fields through routine maintenance of buffer zones. The reduction of chemical use in agriculture is also extremely beneficial for the producers themselves, who no longer have to be exposed to harmful toxins. Organic farming is safer for the producer and the consumer, which is a win-win scenario that our family business will always stand behind.
It has also been reported that organic ingredients may have a slightly higher content of certain vitamins or secondary metabolites than conventionally grown products lack. Because at our company we care deeply about transparency, it’s important to note here that scientists have not yet confirmed that these low levels of additional micronutrients found in organic products are essential for our long-term health, according to professors and authors Seufert and Ramankutty. However, our team believes that the extra steps organic growers take to ensure additional safety measures in our food and other products we consume is always worth contemplating and shopping around for. We promote shopping organic not only because it nourishes our bodies, but also to support the community of farmers and crew members who tend to the organic foods and plants that ultimately allow us to thrive.
Now that we’ve covered why organic matters, it’s important to note that many foods or products may say they are organic, but they lack the official and approved USDA Organic seal on their products. The National Organic Program (NOP) is the governing body which regulates all USDA Organic products, including the management of the rules for production, labeling, handling and enforcement of the required processes. To gain the official USDA Organic certification and seal, the Organic Farming Research Foundation states that farmers must annually submit an organic system plan to an accredited state or private agency that details the farmer’s plan to adhere to NOP standards.
It is a rigorous process for farmers to grow crops organically, and it is also a lengthy process to have a single product certified organic. It would be much simpler for farmers to grow products conventionally, and for a food or wellness brand to skip the official certification process and simply write the word, “organic” somewhere on their product label, without the product being certified organic. Unfortunately, we live in a world where labels are misleading, especially in the hemp industry. We didn’t want to take the easy route when it came to creating a product that our loved ones will put in their bodies, which is why we proudly stamp the USDA Organic seal on each of our products, and encourage you to seek out that stamp anytime you shop. At Fender’s Blue Hemp, we believe that organic matters a great deal: for the environment, for workers, and for you.