Third party sustainable food certifications identify products that have been grown or harvested according to uniform standards. These certified food products have been produced in an effort to enhance economic, environmental and social aspects of our communities. The following certifications contribute to earning MRc5: Sustainable Purchasing—Food.
USDA Organic produce was farmed or processed with following regulations:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved four categories of organic labels, based on the percentage of organic content. The organic labels began to appear on store shelves on October 21, 2002:
All USDA Certified Organic produce is noted with the logo noted above.
More information can be found on the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service website.
Food Alliance offers certification for farm and ranch operations, and for food packers, processors, and distributors.
Farm and Ranch Standards include:
Food Handler Standards include:
By choosing Food Alliance Certified products, consumers and commercial food buyers can be assured they are supporting safe and fair working conditions, humane treatment of animals, and good environmental stewardship.
More information can be found about the Food Alliance organization and certification at the Food Alliance website.
In 2001, Protected Harvest was established as an independent certification organization, with the principal mission of advancing and certifying the use of sustainable agriculture practices through the development of stringent, transparent, and quantifiable standards. With strict Integrated Pest ManagementIntegrated pest management (IPM) is the coordinated use of knowledge about pests, the environment, and pest prevention and control methods to minimize pest infestation and damage by the most economical means while minimizing hazards to people, property, and the environment. (IPM) requirements, products bearing the Protected Harvest certification label have met reduced-risk pesticide standards.
More information about Protected Harvest certification can be found on the Protected Harvest website.
Rainforest Alliance certificationRainforest Alliance certification is awarded to farms that protect wildlife by planting trees, control erosion, limit agrochemicals, protect native vegetation, hire local workers, and pay fair wages. is a comprehensive process that promotes and guarantees improvements in agriculture and forestry. Presence of the Rainforest Alliance seal on products identifies goods and services that were produced in compliance with strict guidelines protecting the environment, wildlife, workers and local communities.
In addition to its certification program, the Rainforest Alliance prepares tourism businesses to meet the standards of various global tourism certification programs through training and technical assistance, and work with companies on procurement of sustainable goods.
More information about the Rainforest Alliance programs can be found online.
The Marine Stewardship Council's fishery certification program and seafood eco-label recognize and reward sustainable fishing. A global organization working with fisheries, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public, MSC promotes the best environmental choice in seafood.
Fisheries are assessed on:
Supply chains are required to:
More information about the Marine Stewardship Council programs can be found at the MSC website.
Fair Trade certified products have met the Fairtade Certification standards which are designed to tackle poverty and empower producers in the poorest countries in the world through the following goals:
The standards are set by an independent international certification company, FLO-CERT GMbH. Presence of the Fair Trade logo on a product indicates that its purchase contributes to the social-economic development of individuals and communities.
More information about Fairtrade and Fair Trade can be found at the Fairtrade website.
The National Organic Program (NOP) develops, implements, and administers national production, handling, and labeling standards for organic agricultural products. The NOP also accredits the certifying agents (foreign and domestic) who inspect organic production and handling operations to certify that they meet USDA standards.
Food Alliance is a nonprofit organization that certifies farms, ranches and food handlers for sustainable agricultural and facility management practices.
Protected Harvest is a standards setting and third-party certifier of sustainably-grown food products.
Rainforest Alliance certification is a comprehensive process that promotes and guarantees improvements in agriculture and forestry.
The MSC's fishery certification program and seafood ecolabel recognise and reward sustainable fishing. We are a global organisation working with fisheries, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to promote the best environmental choice in seafood.
Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade and is based on a partnership between producers and consumers. Fairtrade offers producers a better deal and improved terms of trade.
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