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November 08, 2010

What is the definition of 'Organic'?

It seems that there is a lot of confusion out there about what 'organic' means. And with good reason - with so many claims of  natural and organic skin care products, along with 'certified organic' symbols on labels, how can you differentiate between the good and the bad - the natural and the not-so-natural?
If you're asking any of these questions, then you're in the right place. We thought we'd clear up some of the confusion so that you can purchase products with confidence. Read on!

Firstly, it's important that we give you this tip: Always, always read your labels. The best way to determine exactly what's in a product is to read the full ingredients list and see for yourself.
Unfortunately, a great deal of cosmetics companies still use the terms 'natural' and 'organic' indiscriminately, and there is no regulation on the use of these terms - so a product can call itself 'organic delights', and yet only contain 10% organic ingredients - or, it can state on its label 'made with natural ingredients', and yet contain a long list of synthetic fragrances and preservatives as well.

Don't believe what you see on the front of a product label. Read the ingredients list, every time - it's the only way to determine what is and isn't in a product.

Another good idea is to look for a 'certified organic' symbol on the product - this generally means that the product contains at least 95% certified organic ingredients. Of course, it's still important to read the label to ensure that the other 5% of ingredients are natural also. (Many ingredients are natural, but not organic - sometimes this is simply because they aren't yet available in organic form. Read on for more information on this.) 'Certified Organic' labels can vary in appearance depending on where the product was manufactured and what organisation it achieved organic certification with - but they all say 'certified organic', so look out for this text.

So - what exactly is 'organic'?
Simply, organic produce is produce that is grown, cultivated and processed without the use of synthetic chemicals. This means no synthetic fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides and no GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Most countries have an organisation through which manufacturers can apply for ‘organic certification’ – to certify to consumers that their produce (in the case of raw ingredient manufacturers) or their product ingredients (in the case of skin care companies) are organic. In Australia, certification can be obtained via NASAA (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia) ACO (Australian Certified Organic), and OFC (Organic Food Chain), to name a few. In America, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) is the most widely recognised organic certification body.

The proportion of organic ingredients required in order to certify a skin care product as ‘organic’ varies from country to country. In Australia, as well as in the US, a product needs to contain 95% certified organic ingredients in order to qualify for organic certification.
However, achieving organic certification is not an easy process – there is a huge amount involved, and certification of raw ingredients can often take years, particularly for new businesses and companies using new organic farming premises or who are just beginning the certification process. Because of this, there are some ingredients that just aren’t available as certified organic yet, even though they are 100% natural and might be produced using organic methods.

As more and more organic farming facilities are established and more ingredients are produced according to organic certification, it will become easier for manufacturers of skin care to produce not only 100% natural, but 100% organic products.

Many of the products stocked at Eve Organics are 100% organic. Those that aren’t, are 100% natural. In other words, you’ll find a great deal of all-organic skin care here, and what isn’t all-organic is completely natural. You can rest assured that we don’t stock anything with synthetic ingredients of any kind, and we choose organic products wherever we can.

We believe that the products we stock are the crème de la crème – the very best and purest of what’s currently on the market. We guarantee that you won’t find a more authentic and natural range of skin care products anywhere else.

We hope this has cleared up some queries about what organic is, and the meaning of organic certification. If you have any questions, please feel free to send us an email at info@eveorganics.com.au, or leave a comment below. We're always happy to help.

   Until next time! x


Eve :)

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