What's behind the label?

Finn Cottle - 13 January 2012

Organic juice labelI have been working with the Soil Association for almost 3 years now and it still amazes me just how much fantastic work goes on here, often work about which consumers are so unaware.

Organic shoppers have come to accept and expect the highest standards of quality and integrity for their purchases and as the UK’s most respected organic certification body, the team here takes this responsibility very seriously indeed. Often, I am asked by friends and family (who are organic dabblers) ‘what makes a product organic’ and ‘how do we always know that it is, what it says it is’. Fair questions when we may be expected to pay slightly more for a product. Once I start listing all the numerous real benefits, they listen carefully, but once I mention the rules and standards, they are less interested.

Therefore I am thrilled that we have just launched a really informative new organic labelling guide. This guide is to make sure that people are aware of some of the more detailed work which goes into assuring organic products to Soil Association standards. The small print is often overlooked yet provides you with real information and valuable confidence in the product.

The inspectors and the certification officers at Soil Association Certification rigorously check that when a product claims to be organic and is awarded the Soil Association symbol, it is exactly what the consumers expect and deserve. Our guide highlights some of the elements of these checking procedures and the work they carry out.

Do check it out. It simplifies things and for anyone who is involved in developing organic products, it gives an easy introduction to what you need to prepare. For consumers, it shows what to look out for on the label.

It’s great to see such a clear explanation – well done to the team for sharing this one with us.

Finn has spent more than 20 years within the trading departments of two of the major supermarket groups in the UK, running various buying departments across the fresh food sector. She took up the opportunity to work with the Soil Association as a Trade Consultant, using her knowledge and network to help build relationships with licensees and drive growth within the organic market.

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