Certified Organic Ingredients and Sustainability - What does this mean?

by Marianne Buck

A large percentage of AVNS products use ingredients labeled as "Organic" and "Sustainable", so what does this really means to us?  

Organic. This is a term thrown around a lot in today's world, so how do we really know that something labeled as organic is really free from pesticides, hormones, chemicals or anything artificial?

Organic in it's generic meaning is defined as something grown at a natural pace. The dictionary says organic is "relating to or derived from living matter". So based on these definitions, anything grown, could be defined as organic in it's generic term. But today, this is what we tend to view as "natural", not necessarily organic.

When you see the term "organic" on a label, check to see if either the product, or the ingredients used are "certified organic", then you know that the product, food or ingredient was produced with a set of farming and production practices defined and regulated, in great detail, by the USDA. Items grown from the earth must be certified by regulatory agencies that perform soil tests. Additionally, soil must have at least 3 years of no pesticide treatment before it can be certified to begin with. "Certified organic" guarantees no toxic synthetic pesticides, toxic synthetic herbicides, or chemical fertilizers are used in production, and no antibiotics or growth hormones are given to animals.

However, there are companies and farms that choose not to become certified, but still hold to, and many times exceed the regulations given by the USDA. I personally know some small local farms that do just this. I have gotten to know the farmers and am familiar with their practices, and know I'm getting fantastic products from them. Even though they are not certified.

At AVNS, even though we are not a certified organic company, we do use certified organic ingredients. Sometimes we choose to use a natural ingredient instead of one that is certified organic, but we try to weigh the cost/benefit ratio for our customers. We want to make the best possible products for a reasonable price.  On average, our products are made with about 80-90% certified organic ingredients. So you can rest assured that the products you receive are not only beneficial to your body, but are also competitively priced.

Sustainablility. Another word that can mean different things to different people. We use Certified Organic Sustainable Palm Oil in many of our soaps, and palm oil has come under a lot of scrutiny in the recent past. So how do we "vote" with our money? We purchase products and ingredients from companies that have verified their source of sustainable palm oil. AVNS supplier of organic palm oil is both certified by the Rainforest Alliance and the RSPO. This means for AVNS customers that they (and you from your purchase), are supporting the fight against deforestation and supporting the building of economic opportunities and better working conditions for rural people. Here's a couple of links which will explain more about what this means in detail:

https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/articles/rainf...

https://rspo.org/about

As AVNS continues to grow and serve, we have at the heart of our mission to honor God, and then serve our customers with the best possible products that will nourish, heal and restore. All natural goodness from the top of our heads to the tip of our toes.

Until next time,

Marianne :-)