We use two different organic symbols on our website.
Each symbol has a unique definition!
The "certified organic" labeling has been developed by the USDA and refers to organic claims and labeling on food and personal care products in the United States. The USDA has very strict guidelines for the percentage of organic ingredients necessary to receive organic certification. Other countries have their own certification procedures, requirements, and standards. Labeling criteria and allowable ingredients differ from those in the US.
The USDA Organic Logo Label can be used on products that meet the standards of the first two tiers of the organic labeling system in which 95 - 100% of the ingredients are certified organic.
Most of our non-soap products fall into this category and display the USDA logo!
The Certified Organic by OEFFA label is used in our company for two reasons . . .
Soaps and Shampoos: These products contain at least 8% of the sodium hydroxide due to the process of soapmaking. Our "organic" soap is about 87% to 92% organic, but the USDA standard states that a product must be made of 95-100% organic ingredients in order to bear the USDA Certified Organic seal shown above. We are also not allowed to use the words "organic soap" on the label.
Wildharvested Ingredients: When using any agricultural ingredient (any ingredient that has a biological origin) that is not certified organic the same labeling rules we use for soap apply.
The USDA rules for proper labeling state that the products may display the certifying agent's logo but not the USDA organic logo. Our USDA certifying agency is OEFFA (The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association). Their logo is displayed on our "organic" soaps and shampoos.
Why do some soap companies use the word "organic" on their labels--even though it is against the rules? Click Here to Read More about Rules for Organic Labeling of Soap!
We sometimes use an unofficial symbol for products made with "natural" ingredients that do not meet the criteria for either label above. You may see this type of symbol on products, like the Dead Sea Black Clay, Bamboo Charcoal, and Loofah Pumice Foot Soaps and our Mud & Clay and Rosemary Mint Charcoal Shampoo Bars.
Organic certification is based on organic farming and agriculture standards. As a result, the list of allowable non-agricultural ingredients (like clay, salt, mud etc) is based on raw materials used in agriculture or food production. Unfortunately, ingredients like some Clays, Pumice, Dead Sea Mud and Bamboo Charcoal are not used in farming or food production and thus do not appear on the list.
Although it may seem long, this is really a very brief description. For more detailed information please read, "What Do All Of The Organic Labels Mean?"