Organic Growth Demands Strong Organic Programs

By 2008, nearly half of all organic foods were purchased in supermarkets, club stores, and big-box stores.*Source: USDA ERS Report Summary September 2009 

In 2009, organic food and beverage sales at retail continued to grow despite the economy. While sales may be hot, maintaining organic integrity at retail requires cool calculations. For example, sanitizing produce displays with quaternary ammonium is an accepted practice. But using quat on the organic produce display is a violation of federal law.

So retailers selling organic foods need to make sure their products stay organic – from receiving to checkout. You are required to comply with regulations such as preventing commingling and contamination with prohibited substances – even those used in standard sanitation and pest control programs. And retailers are required to maintain records proving that the organic products have been handled correctly.

Retailers that chose to be certified have a higher bar to jump. You must develop and implement an Organic System Plan, have their headquarters audited, and undergo an annual inspection at each facility.

Our consultants have worked with leading supermarkets, co-ops and natural food stores – from developing comprehensive system plans to assessing private label suppliers and vendors to developing training programs.  Our consultants have conducted 1,000s of audits and inspections for leading certification agencies.

Whether your company is selling certified organic bulk products and produce, or planning to create a certified organic version of your private label, Organic Concepts experienced consultants can save you time, money and hassle. When was the last time you evaluated all of your pest control vendors to verify their compliance with USDA National Organic Program regulations and practices?  We do it regularly. 

Organic Concepts can help you:

Rick Martinez
Founder and Senior Partner

“Retailers need to be vigilant about maintaining the integrity of certified organic products.  Organic shoppers look for the USDA seal and rely on their local retailer to keep products organic. More retailers are strengthening their organic programs to keep these high-value products secure and maintain their good reputation.”