May 5, 2011
LABELS. they are everywhere, yet there still needs to be more. they can be overwhelming, confusing and even misleading! today i’m going to introduce several labels that you should keep an eye out for and support. next week we’ll discuss some that can be a little misleading, or confusing. are you ready?
organic. certified by the us department of agriculture to meet standards that don’t allow the use of most conventional pesticides, genetic engineering, and routine use of antibiotics and growth hormones in livestock. visit the usda website to learn more.
fair trade. fair trade partnerships seek to offer better trading conditions to, and secure the rights of, marginalized producers and workers, especially in developing counties. certification by the fair trade labeling organization international guarantees that a product’s fair trade claims have been independently audited and verified.
local. there are no consistent standards for use of the term, which may refer to a region, a state or the immediate ridgeline or watershed. it may also be applied to product that are made locally but of imported ingredients.
clean. foods certified by organizations like scientific certification systems to have met voluntary standards in one or more areas of potential concern, including pesticide residues, food pathogens, industrial contaminants and heavy metals, and food safety procedures and practices throughout the food supply chain.
fair labor. currently two organizations certify safe and fair ag labor practices in the u.s.: scs certified and safe ag employer. criteria include equitable hiring, and employment practices, safe workplace conditions, workers right to organize, worker housing, child labor, and access to health, education and transportation services.
sustainable. sustainable food certification programs address an array of social and environmental issues that go beyond ‘organic’, including safe and fair working conditions, healthy and humane care for livestock, reduced pesticide use, reduced water and non-renewable energy use, and enhanced soil health. visit the food alliance to learn more.