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How to: Organic Certification

By: Jessica Walden and Ellen Holton, Quality Assurance International Inc.
Posted: May 23, 2005, from the June 2005 issue of P&F magazine.

The organic market has been growing at an annual rate of 20-25 percent for the last decade. Consequently, organic food processors are increasingly in search of certified organic minor ingredients (e.g. flavors, spices, thickeners, and colors). As seen by the growth of stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Wild Oats, and the opening of organic aisles in the mainstream grocery category, it is apparent that “organic” is here to stay.

Different from trends like the “carb craze,” with its spiked (up and then down) growth, organic has experienced a smooth and healthy increase in popularity over the years. This is in part due to the fact that a supplier must make a true commitment to meeting the federal requirements of being “certified organic.” Moreover, success and proliferation at the retail level is tangible evidence of the growth and sustainability of the organic market. This can only mean more opportunities and outlets for organic flavors and ingredients. If a company has ever considered jumping into the organic market, but is mystified at exactly how to begin, here are some pointers to getting started.

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