What are Some Requirements for USDA Organic Labeling?

The USDA Organic labeling program has specific requirements that must be met by farms and processing facilities to use the USDA Organic label. These requirements are designed to ensure the integrity of organic products and to provide consumers with confidence in the organic claims. Some of the key requirements for USDA Organic labeling include:

  • Organic Farming Practices: Farms must adhere to organic farming practices, which include the use of natural methods for pest and disease management, soil health improvement, and weed control. Synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are prohibited.
  • Record Keeping: Detailed records of all agricultural and handling activities, including planting, harvesting, and processing, must be maintained. These records are subject to inspection and verification.
  • Livestock Standards: Organic livestock must be raised under specific conditions that emphasize access to the outdoors, humane treatment, and organic feed. Antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones are prohibited.
  • Certification: Farms and processing facilities must obtain certification from USDA-accredited certifying agents. Certification involves regular inspections to ensure compliance with organic standards.
  • Labeling Requirements: Products labeled as USDA Organic must meet specific labeling requirements, including displaying the USDA Organic seal and indicating the certifying agent's name. The label often includes information about the percentage of organic ingredients (e.g., "100% Organic," "Organic," or "Made with Organic Ingredients").

These requirements are in place to maintain the integrity of organic products and to ensure that consumers can trust the USDA Organic label when making choices about the foods they purchase. As technology advances and the USDA continues to develop new standards for farming practices, many point to future tends in the agricultural labeling world such as Digital or Smart Labels as the new standard for Organic products.


View all Agricultural Labeling Q&A


Free Samples

Get samples of our most popular products so you can see the quality before you buy.

Other FREE Resources:

Helpful Resources