Zuellig certified organic

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Organic food, National organic program

Zuellig Botanicals, part of BI Nutraceuticals, announced on Friday
that its manufacturing facility in California has received organic
certification.

The factory in Long Beach has been designated as organic by Quality Assurance International​ (QAI) meaning that BI will henceforth be able to manufacture and distribute certified organic products to the dietary supplement, food and pharmaceutical industries.

BI's​ steam sanitization process - which according to the company reduces microbiological load with results equal to that of ethylene oxide and irradiation without the regulatory issues associated with those alternatives - was also certified.

The organic certification verification process documents the authenticity of organic farming and various subsequent levels of handling, and is mandatory under the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and full implementation of the National Organic Program (NOP) Final Rule. This rule requires certification of all products labeled as organic in the US.

The organic food and beverage industry is rapidly taking shape in North America with a high volume of new product introductions (1,700-plus SKUs in the past year), growing market penetration and emerging categories and channels, according to a survey published last month by Packaged Facts, a publishing division of MarketResearch.com.

The industry has enjoyed consistently high growth for several years, at about 17 percent to 22 percent, compared to conventional food industry growth of 2 percent to 3 percent, said the study.

"Greater consumer demand for organic food has stemmed from a variety of factors, though at core the prevalent issues remain healthier eating, food safety and the ongoing genetically modified organism (GMO) debate,"​ states a report by Euromonitor due to be published soon.

The report says that the organic food market in the US is estimated to be worth $10.4 billion and it shows no signs of tiring - it grew by 20.4 percent in 2003 - and sales are expected to reach $16.1 million in 2008.

"Sales of organic food have outpaced those of traditional grocery products due to consumer perceptions that organic food is better for them,"​ said the report.

According to a 2002 study by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), 61 percent of consumers felt that organic foods were more beneficial for their health, 57 percent of them said that they had purchased organic foods in the past six months or had used them to help maintain their health. This figure was up from 50 percent in 2001.

2003 was the first calendar year in which USDA national organic standards were fully implemented.

National standards for certifying organic foods became effective in the US on 21 October 2002, establishing a national definition for the term "organic". Items that meet the new requirements are able to bear a green and brown "USDA organic" seal that certifies that the food was organically grown.

Related topics: Regulation

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