New Fact Sheet Clarifies Organics & Certification Process


To help consumers better understand organic products, Quality Assurance International (QAI) is offering a new organic fact sheet online.

The fact sheet clarifies the definition of organic as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) and what the organic certification process entails. It also helps consumers understand what it means for a food product to be organic.

The fact sheet is based on information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Organic Program (NOP) and the Organic Trade Association (OTA). The fact sheet also includes answers to several frequently asked questions.

Organic certification is rigorous; certified clients that grow and process organic products are first required to have an organic system plan for production and to maintain documentation on how they grow and process organic products. A certifier conducts a technical review, which includes examination of documentation on product protection, water use, cleaning, sanitation, facility pest management and record keeping. On-site audits confirm that the organic practices explained in the client’s documentation are actually occurring at the site.

Similarly, USDA-accredited certifiers, such as QAI, are also held to very stringent requirements. The USDA NOP conducts annual audits on the certifiers, to ensure continued compliance with the NOP.

In order for a product to be grown in or imported into the U.S. and carry the USDA organic seal, a food product must be certified by a USDA-accredited certifier to ensure it meets the NOP requirements.

For additional information on organic products or the organic certificationprocess, visit QAI’s website at