Jungle of Labels – ORGANIC

I am starting the “Buy Better” section here and I will introduce you to the world of product certification. Today we go bio.

The world of organic labelling is probably one of the most complicated ones. What does it actually mean? Biological or organic farmed products (fruit, vegetable, cereal or animal products, etc) are made without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or genetically modified organisms, and probably some other unnatural practices. The animals producing meat, eggs or milk are not given any antibiotics or growth hormones. All of which is – according to my view – not only better for your health, but also for the environment.

Certification is usually made by official (state) entities like the USDA in the States. The European Union has unified the label (the leave with the stars) but there is still a multitude of other logos out there and most countries have their own.

Organic is not always equally sustainable. It is hard to know which organic label is better than another one. A collaboration of the consumers association (consumer protection) and the WWF in Switzerland has done a fabulous work last year to analyze the different logos available on the Swiss market. They tested the following points:

  • Environment (water, soil, biodiversity, climate, etc).
  • Animal welfare.
  • Social aspects.
  • Risks for consumers and third parties.
  • Credibility (independency, control, area of application, transparency and possibilities for development).

Of the over 30 labels which have been tested, 10 result to be highly recommendable, of which: Demeter Schweiz, KAG Freiland and Gebana. Interestingly, both big sumpermarkets Migros and Coop also offer a very good quality of biological products. You can find the full report here (in German).

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5 thoughts on “Jungle of Labels – ORGANIC

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