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Levels of Organic Food Labeling – Requirements & Regulations

Posted On: September 10, 2019

What’s the deal with organic food labeling regulations? Are there different levels of organic labeling? Today, you will get to know the specifics behind organic labeling guidelines, where to find them, and what it all means for you.

Requirements to Be Labeled Organic

When you see the official “organic” label on packages, you can trust that the product is strictly monitored and controlled. The word “organic” cannot appear without certification. This is awarded by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). To boot, the NOP (National Organic Program) oversees parts of production.

That circular seal you see? That comes at a price. The certification involves an extensive process. USDA agents investigate every single step of production. (It can be super expensive, especially for smaller startup companies or farmers.) These agents examine growing, processing, packaging, and labeling. It further involves excellent recordkeeping and routine audits. All of this ensures that organic labeling standards are upheld.

Where Are Organic Food Labels Located?

So, what labels appear on organic food? First, an organic food label is in two different places. Let’s learn about where to find this information.

Principal Display Panel

This is likely where you’ll see the organic food label initially. It’s at the front of any package. It faces you, the consumer, as you scan grocery store shelves. 

Information Panel

This is the ingredients statement. The FDA has a say in this list, and the USDA has rules for organic labeling. You’ll read the contents, from the highest to the lowest percentage in the final product. 

When you try Beetnik’s grass-fed beef meatballs, you’ll see these details! And you’ll certainly taste the organic difference.

organic labeling standards and rules

4 Levels of Organic Labeling

It’s important for you to be “in the know” when you head out into the wilds of grocery shopping. Become educated before you buy. Here are the 4 levels of organic food.

The first two levels can be identified by the front principal display panel USDA seal.

1. 100% Organic

Let’s start with the 100 percent organic label. Every single ingredient and processing aid must be certified 100% organic.

The 100% organic ingredients requirement is heavily controlled by companies and the USDA. You’ll see the trusty seal and the claim that the product is “100% Organic.” This doesn’t allow for a chance of cross-contamination with non-organic ingredients in the making of these items. 

2. Certified Organic

Every single agricultural ingredient must be certified organic. But 5 percent of the product can contain non-organic content. Again, you’ll see the USDA seal. It’s important to note that some minor ingredients may not have an organic option. Plus, an “organic only” production facility may be impossible for a company.

3. Made with Organic

What does “made with organic materials” mean? There isn’t an official made with certified organic ingredients seal.

To make the “made with organic ingredients” claim, products must contain 70 percent certified organic ingredients. This means the other 30 percent does not have to be made with organic materials. But they still must be “up to code.” You can always see which ingredients are organic on the information panel. 

4. Specify Organic Ingredients

These products may be made with organic ingredients. You won’t find the seal here, though. The items include less than 70 percent certified organic ingredients. And once again, you can check the information panel to see which of the contents are, indeed, organic.

Labeling Food “Organic” without Being Certified

Organic food label requirements are strict. Labeling mistakes are costly on many levels. Customer loyalty can take a severe dive in the face of dishonesty. Your product’s and company’s reputation can suffer if you’re falsely advertising. Not to mention the financial (up to $17,952 for each violation) and mass recall risks. Read about USDA noncompliance notices or actions for more information.

You can certainly trust Beetnik. For an organic recipe you and your family will love, try Beetnik’s organic chicken meatballs. Though the certified organic USDA seal on our packaging doesn’t mention it, these chicken meatballs are perfect for holiday gatherings and gameday parties.

Try Beetnik Certified Organic Meals Today

Try Beetnik’s organic frozen meals soon! We have a variety to choose from. We promote a healthy lifestyle as well as convenience. We know all about levels and the entire organic process because we adhere to the regulations. And it’s a pleasure for us. Truly. We want you to know without a doubt you’re getting the absolute best!

We’re not just made with organic. We are certified. We bear the USDA seal of approval. We hope to earn your seal of approval, too! Shop our online certified organic selection, or search for us in a store near you today!

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