Everybody seems to want to understand all the distinctions and myriads of differences in all the different kinds of USDA organic certifications. Let me see if I can spread some light.
It occurs to me, since we are the only skin care company on Planet Earth that is a USDA certified organic grower, and that we have a USDA certified organic laboratory, and 6 USDA certified organic skin care products approved by the USDA, I may be a real authority on this fun filled topic! Not as fun as being a tequila or taco taster, but I do spend thousands of hours a year pursing , maintaining, and complying with these regulations and certifications!
You may ask the question, “why do you do all this?” The short answer is I want beautiful skin and I want you to have it, too, organically! All these certifications, are just a way for you to verify that I am doing all I say I am doing and we are doing it right.
Our first USDA certificate is for our farm. This is a stand alone USDA certificate. This is the one that makes us so special. To actually grow your own ingredients for your skin care line is a magical experience. You plant the seeds or seedlings, with your own two hands you lovingly place the plant in Mother Earth, and 90 days later she gives you the essence of the universe, a plant bearing fruit or vegetables. I never stop being awed by this wondrous experience.
The second USDA certification for our organic skin care is for our USDA certified organic laboratory. This USDA organic certification, actually is in tandem with our USDA certification for our products, more on that in a minute. Maybe because I am a farmer, and I am a farmer’s daughter, the USDA farm organic certifications are not nearly as hard for me is this one for the laboratory. We have to be able to supply documentation to the inspector for any point in time he chooses, to show where an organic ingredient was grown or purchase order was generated, when it was received, when it was entered into inventory, where is was parked into inventory physically, documentation proving we paid for it, documentation in the manufacturing logs of when, how much and on what product we used it. Provide documentation of production manuals, purchase orders from Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage where they ordered it, invoices documenting when and who we sold it to and then all needs to match up both the quantities still available in bulk and the individual product inventory on hand. Believe me, this is not nearly as fun as I am making it sound!
Our third organic certification is for our products, it is technically 6 more USDA certifications, all stand alone, but I batch them together and call them the USDA certifications for the products. However, to manufacture a USDA certified organic product, it must be made in a USDA certified organic laboratory. This again, is an entirely additional set of USDA regulations and procedures for each individual products. We have a total of 6 products approved by the USDA but we only have one on the market at this time. If you want more information on USDA certifications let me know.