Labeling farm products

#Labeling farm products for retail

In general, you can use — following all guidelines — the USDA organic seal and the seal of the certifying agent on your certified organic product’s label.

However, the certifier seal may not be larger than the USDA organic seal. The label may include verifiable organic claims (e.g., the percentage of organic content).

What do I need to do for packaged, labeled organic products for retail sale?

The label must identify the organic certifier in the information panel, right below the information identifying the farm, manufacturer or distributor. Phrasing should be, “Certified organic by Oregon Tilth” or something similar.

If the packaged product has more than one ingredient, an ingredient statement is required with each organic ingredient identified as organic for the consumer.

What do I need to do for unpackaged organic products for retail sale?

Unpackaged organic products on display — such as produce at a farmers’ market — are not required to display any information. You can display organic claims and use the USDA organic seal and/or the certifier seal by obtaining our approval.

Does Oregon Tilth have a labeling guide?

Yes. Check out our Organic Labeling and Composition Guide for a breakdown of different organic claims and label design requirements.

Does Oregon Tilth review other labels with federal requirements?

No. We do not review labels for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or other agencies with labeling requirements.

#Labeling farm products for wholesale

Do non-retail containers (like a container of wholesale packaged products) need to be labeled?

Yes. All non-retail containers (aka, “master cases”) that ship or store any raw or processed agricultural products that are represented as “100 percent organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic (ingredients or food groups)” must be labeled.

What is needed on container labels?

Labels only need to include the production lot number (if applicable). However, you may choose to display organic labeling information on the outside of a non-retail container. Information can include: the USDA organic seal, certifier seal or name, and any special handling instructions for following organic requirements.

How do containers (labels) get recorded for tracebacks?

All harvest bins, storage containers and non-retail container information must match up with your own records for inspections and traceback audits.

Do you have a labeling guide or examples?

Check out the USDA’s Retail and Wholesale Labeling for Farms for Farms for examples of wholesale, non-retail labels and more explanations.

#Labeling transitional farm products

During the transition process to organic, all agricultural products must not be labeled, sold or represented using the word “organic” in any form.

What if I participate in Oregon Tilth’s transitional certification program?

Participants are able to use an OTCO Certified Transitional logo, following our guidelines. Products must be identified as transitional on product labels and may not use the word “organic” to modify the front label, signage, or all other marketing. The product must not imply that the product is organic in any way. Certification is not required to label a product as “transitional.”

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