Tag Archives: Organic Produce Industry

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 organics@osterads.com.

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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

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

17 Fun Alternative Uses of Bananas for Kids

17 Fun Alternative Uses for Bananas for Kids

Did you know there are many alternative uses bananas other than eating them? That’s because bananas are a super fruit with so many interesting qualities and characteristics that cannot be contained; it’s ripe with opportunity to be used for more than just sustenance. Although eating nutritious and delicious bananas the biggest selling point in stores, try these 17 fun alternatives for bananas that kids will be interested in. Continue reading

GROWing Outside of the Classroom with Project Amigo

GROWing Outside of the Classroom with Project Amigo

This past January, volunteers from the Project Amigo English as a Second Language Work Week assisted nearly 30 Project Amigo staff members and scholarship students on a day trip with 111 kids at La Boquita in Manzanillo. They plan to make this trip again this February. Continue reading

Early Childhood Education Program is GROWing in Ecuador

Early Childhood Education is GROWing in Ecuador

Last week we talked about the Safe Water Project that continues to thrive thanks to your wonderful support of the GROW program. We’d like to share with you that the Early Childhood Education Program in Ecuador has developed and expanded to six sponsorship areas. They are now working with 388 children, ages 3-5. Participants include sponsored children, siblings and relatives of sponsored children, and children from the communities in which Community Centers are located. Continue reading

Strong Growth in Organics in 2012

Organic Produce Industry 2012

Official organic sales figures from 2012 won’t be finalized until around the end of March, but the industry anticipates strong year-on-year improvement.

“Indications are that organic food sales continued to have strong growth during 2012 and are likely to have met the projected 9% increase over 2011 sales predicted in the Organic Trade Association’s 2012 Organic Industry Survey,” said Christine Bushway, executive director of the Brattleboro, Vt.-based OTA. Continue reading