Important information on Organic products in India

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Sikkim is the first truly Organic state of India in January 2016, as declared by PM Narendra Modi. Click to know more.

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Consumption of Organic Food and Beauty products is increasing in India. People are getting aware regarding harmful effects of pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers used in farming. Organic products range from  pulses, rice, milk, spices, flour, tea, cosmetics, supplements like neem, amla, saffron, to dry fruits and edible oils and ghee.

But a question arises, among the ocean of organic brands available, which brand is authentic?  There are many brands available which offer organic products, but all are not strictly compliant to government guidelines.

Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, did a laboratory analysis between January 2012 and October 2014, where organic vegetable samples were collected from some popular organic retail sores in Delhi. According to their findings, 33% of organic products sold, which were covered in analysis, contained pesticides residues. This raises lot of questions in consumers mind, how can I trust a brand, if despite label of organic product, it still contain harmful chemicals.

Certifications to be checked on label:

There are various certifications available, which help in establishing products authenticity.

India Organic issues certification, which is in turn issued by testing centres accredited by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the National Program for Organic Production of the Government of India. This certification has some standards which all organic companies need to follow in their vegetables, grains and fruits produce, process and packaging.

USDA Organic: This certification verifies that all United  States Department of Agriculture regulations, requirement  and specifications are adhered to by the organization. It ensures absolute commitment to Organic Certification qualifications, wide range of detailed monitoring as well as control measures, as established by the United States Department of Agriculture.

EU Organic Certification: This certification guarantees that the product in question complies with the common European organic food standards. Consumers buying products bearing this logo can be confident that at least 95% of the product’s ingredients have been organically produced, the product complies with the rules of the official inspection scheme, the product has come directly from the producer in a sealed package and that the product bears the name of the producer, the vendor and the name or code of the inspection body.

FSSAI: Food Safety and Standards Association of India: FSSAI logo certified food item means that certain standards have been met to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

Benefits of Organic Farming and Products:

Organic farming is inherent farming technique in India. Since ancient times, best practices of farming include methods such as crop rotation and natural compost which boosts crop health and increases soil fertility. With rise in use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides, crop quality as well as soil fertility has reduced a great deal.

A study published by The Organic Center reveals that organic food is higher in certain nutrition content such as total antioxidant capacity, total polyphenols, and two key flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol (read entire study or a summary in the Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog).

Besides above points, lets see how organic farming is more beneficial from consumption point of view.

  1. Increased Nutrition content in food: Organic farming practice ensures that nutrition and fertility of soil is maintained. This results in better nutrition retention, in the form of minerals and vitamins in the food grown as well.
  2. Free from Poisonous content: Since organic farming discourages use of chemical products such as pesticides and fertilizers, toxic content absorbed by crop is also very less. his results in toxin free food and reduces health issues caused due to these toxins.
  3. Better and Original taste: Organic food have better nutrition quotient and thus they even taste better.If processed food has been prepared organically, then they are also free of preservatives and thus taste is more similar to that of freshly prepared food. One such example is:
  4. Longer storage life(shell life):  Organic plants have greater metabolic and structural integrity in their cellular structure than non-organic grown crops. This enables storage of organic food for a longer time.

Some Major Brands in India:

  1. 24 Mantra: Country of Operation: India, USA, Canada, UAE, UK, Mauritius. It is working as retailer, has its own stores Pan India as well as supplies its products through e-commerce giants.
  2. Big Basket: Big basket offers organic products of various brands as well as its own in-house brand: Royal Organic. Browse various organic products available on bigbasket here.
  3. Just Organik: Area of operation: Whole India and USA. Operational since 2013.  Products can be purchased through retails stores like WHSmith, Nature’s basket, Spencers, Taj Hotels, company’s website, Mobile app, and major websites like Amazon and bigbasket.
  4. Organic Tattva: Currently operational in Delhi NCR. Products can be purchased on Bigbasket and other e-commerce websites.
  5. Organic India: Operational in USA, India, UK, Australia and New zealand. Mostly famous for Organic Tulsi Teas, it is well known brand in India. It also supplies Organic Holi colors.
  6. Naturally Yours: Operational since 2010. Area of delivery: 250+ Indian cities. Available on major e-commerce and health websites.

You may also be interested in: Story of WeddingPitara.com, a wedding trousseau accessories e-commerce portal

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