Crystal Springs Consulting can help you develop the sources, procedures and message to fully capitalize upon the growing demand for authenticity and honesty.


Organic Certification
Assistance in developing production and handling plans

USDA Organic Standards

The USDA organic standards regulate all aspects of production and handling for commercial food products labeled as “100% Organic,” “Organic,” or “Made with Organic.” The legal ability to use these terms requires that companies be approved by one of the USDA accredited certification agencies.

Those agencies, however, are legally prohibited from assisting producers or companies from preparing their organic production or handling plan.

Dave Carter, Principal of Crystal Springs, has extensive experience in this arena, having served on the USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) from 2001-2006. We work with companies to develop organic production and handling plans that will qualify for certification from an accredited organization.

To learn more about the requirements for USDA organic certification, visit these websites on organic production and handling, then contact Crystal Springs Consulting to get started toward certification.

Organic Certification Basics

There are three levels of organic labeling:

  • 100% Organic – Just what it says; the products, is comprised of 100% certified organic ingredients.
  • Organic – At least 95% of the ingredients by weight or fluid volume—excluding water and salt—are certified organic. The remaining ingredients must be organic if commercially available, or must be included on the National List of Approved ingredients.
  • "Made With" Organic – At least 70% of the ingredients by weight or fluid volume—excluding water and salt—must be certified organic, and no ingredients in the products can be produced with irradiation, sewage sludge or genetic modification.

Products labeled as 100% Organic or Organic are eligible to utilize the USDA organic seal. Products listed as "Made with Organic," cannot use the USDA Organic Seal.

Any product marketed as 100% Organic, Organic or Made with Organic, must include the name of the applicable certification agency.

Any producer or processor with sales of organic products of more than $5,000/year is required to be certified by an accredited agency.