Category Archives: Industry News

Organics Unlimited Responds to the FDA Comment Period on the Term ‘Natural’ in Food Labeling

Organics Unlimited Naturally Delicious

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opened a public comment period on November 12 for those seeking to share their thoughts on the regulation of the word “natural” on food labels. This action came as a result of a series of petitions to the FDA prompted more insight into the term. The Packer states that three petitions asked FDA to define the term “natural” and one asked that the term be prohibited on food labels.

The FDA provides a series of prompts for comments. The organization is interested in knowing public thoughts on items such as:

  • Should we define, through rulemaking, the term “natural?” Why or why not?
  • Should we prohibit the term “natural” in food labeling? Why or why not?
  • If we define the term “natural,” what types of food should be allowed to bear the term “natural?”
  • Should only raw agricultural commodities be able to bear the term? Why or why not? Section 201(r) of the FD&C Act defines the term “raw agricultural commodity” as “any food in its raw or natural state, including all fruits that are washed, colored, or otherwise treated in their unpeeled natural form prior to marketing.”

At Organics Unlimited, we feel this is a conversation growers, distributors, retailers and consumers should be a part of, particularly those connected with the organic food industry.

“It’s clear that consumers are concerned with the foods they choose and the conversations surrounding defining the term ‘natural’ will prove to be just as significant as the ones surrounding the definition of ‘organic’,” said Mayra Velazquez de Leon, CEO of Organics Unlimited, in a statement for The Packer.

“Organics Unlimited believes there should be parameters around how to use ‘natural’ on a label,” said Velazquez de Leon. “It should signify that no artificial additives are within the food itself, such as dyes, but also that food production and manufacturing processes are held to the same standards, meaning no synthetic pesticides, pasteurization or other artificial growing methods can be used in a ‘natural’ product.”

Organics Unlimited believes consumers should know exactly what they are purchasing and ingesting. Our organic products adhere to these standards and feel that, in order to keep consumers safe, terms such as “natural” are important to define on food labeling.

We encourage our retailers and distributors to share their comments with the FDA as well. The commenting period runs through February 10. Stakeholders, including consumers and growers, can submit their comments for FDA review during this time. You can also share your thoughts with Organics Unlimited directly by emailing

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Organic Conversations Grow at the PMA 2015 Fresh Summit

Organics Unlimited 2014 PMA Fresh Summit

Leading into the PMA 2015 Fresh Summit Convention & Expo in Atlanta on October 23-25, there’s a lot of buzz about what attendees can expect from exhibitors and speakers. More than 3,900 retail and foodservice buyers will be attending. They will browse the more than 1,000 exhibitor booths and displays, attend the 15 workshops and share ideas with other industry professionals on what’s trending in fresh produce for the 2016 year. Continue reading

Conventional vs Organic vs Genetically Modified

Pick your fruit right – Conventional vs Organic vs Genetically modified!

As you walk into the supermarket, you see a mind-boggling variety of fruits and vegetables. But have you ever wondered whether the attractive looking fruits which promise you that extra pulp and sweetness might not be your ideal health choice. Now there is a way to choose smartly and differentiate between conventionally grown, organically grown and genetically modified fruits by reading their labels carefully. Continue reading

Organic Produce Purchases Claim Record Numbers in 2014

0709 Bananas Specialty Produce
Photo courtesy of Specialty Produce

According to Grocery Headquarters and the Organic Trade Association (OTA), sales of organic food and non-food products set an all-time record in the U.S. in 2014. Sales jumped to $39.1 billion, which is 11.3% more than the previous year.

Organic food sales alone accounts for $35.9 billion of that market, which is an 11% rise from the previous year.

The majority of households purchase organic items on a regular basis; 80% of households polled in the South and 90% on the West Coast and New England buy organic items at supermarkets and retail stores, up from 68% in 2013. OTA research has found that there are no regional, demographic or partisan boundaries when it comes to purchasing organic foods. Continue reading

Haggen Rolls out More San Diego Stores


About two months since grocery chain Haggen entered the California market with a Carlsbad store opening, it’s been doing well, according to one measure by an analyst.

Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of the Strategic Resource Group in New York, said four key suppliers of a wide range of grocery items told him traffic and sales are up at Haggen stores in Southern California compared to the numbers for the stores that were previously Albertsons and Safeway (known locally as Vons.) Continue reading

Organic Category is Up 11 Percent as of 2014

OUUNITED STATES – The organic train continues across the continent, full steam ahead.

The organic industry reported that the category made an 11.3 percent leap, and the trend is not restricted to any particular region. Continue reading

Produce for Kids changes charities, starts Kids Club


ORLANDO, Fla. — Produce for Kids is changing its primary charitable partner to Feeding America and is starting a kids club to help parents shop for healthy food.

During a Feb. 27 reception at the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure conference and exposition, Produce for Kids officials announced the organization is ending its partnership with Children’s Miracle Network. Continue reading