The Top Natural Product Certification Providers
A natural product certification provides you with a way to differentiate your product from others while highlighting your company’s values. Certified products jump out to customers on the shelves; some shoppers strictly buy accredited products due to dietary restrictions. Utilizing a certification allows you to remain competitive with similar products while playing up your product’s unique advantages.
With plenty of certifications available, it’s critical to choose those that align best with your mission. Natural product certifications are essential to building your brand, whether you want to cast a wide net or focus on a select few credentials to appeal to a niche customer base.
Overall, people respect and trust natural product certifications. The sooner you get certified, the sooner you can expect to see an increased profit. To help you get more familiar with natural product certifications, we’ve created a list of the top 10 certification providers.
1. National Products Association (NPA)
The NPA created the Natural Standard and the Certification for Personal Care Products, a list of parameters that determine whether a product is “natural.” The NPA deals with all personal care and cosmetic items rather than food products.
Four main elements comprise the Natural Standard:
- Natural ingredients: The product should be made entirely (or almost entirely) of natural ingredients and have been manufactured to promote ingredient integrity.
- Safety: The product does not contain ingredients that pose a severe health risk.
- Sustainability: The product should be within environmentally safe packaging and should use biodegradable ingredients.
- Responsibility: The product should not use animal testing in research.
Likewise, products within the Natural Standard for Personal Care Products contain renewable ingredients derived from nature and are free of petroleum compounds. Products within these guidelines are safe and do not contain metals or other substances beyond the threshold allowed by the EPA or FDA.
2. Certified Gluten-Free
Perhaps one of the most recognizable labels due to its recent increased demand, this certification is presented by Quality Assurance International (QAI) in conjunction with the former National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (now Beyond Celiac) and NSF international.
This certification confirms that a product has undergone an intensive testing process through which it must be proven to have less than 10 parts per million of gluten. Intensive work is done to verify that a gluten-free product is safe from cross-contamination, including annual inspections done at gluten-free facilities.
3. Certified Vegan
The Vegan Awareness Foundation, otherwise known as Vegan Action, bestows this certification on foods that do not contain animal products or byproducts or use animal testing for research purposes. The screening process involves your company providing supplier verification, so it is without question that no animal products were used in the production or ingredient-making process. After the documentation is processed, your product will obtain the Certified Vegan label for one year, after which you can renew your application so long as you continue to omit animal products from your product.
4. USDA Organic
Organic certified foods and products are ubiquitous and one of the primary ways consumers engage with natural products. Organic products do not contain the use of sludge, chemicals, synthetic fertilizers, GMOs, or other bioengineering techniques. If the product contains meat or dairy, the animals must have been on an organic feed diet; animals must not contain added antibiotics or hormones.
Third-party sources audit the USDA regularly to ensure the viability of its certification process.
5. Fair Trade Certified
Fair Trade is concerned with the working conditions and sustainability factors involving products manufactured or produced in developing countries. This certification is awarded by Fair Trade USA, which ensures that farmers and workers are compensated fairly for their work. This further requires farms to offer non-hazardous working conditions, promote children’s rights, and use sustainable methods.
This certification also includes a third-party verification system, which includes random visits to farms.
Another certification on the rise in the USA, Halal refers to foods created in accordance with Islamic dietary law. Halal foods do not contain pork, alcohol, predatory animals, or blood. Likewise, the killing method must be specific, abiding by Muslim law.
Third-party companies provide these certifications, so you have a few options when it comes time to get your product verified. The most well-known of these companies is the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA).
If you develop a kosher product, you could be reaping the benefits of the kosher label. Kosher foods are simply foods that adhere to Jewish dietary laws and practices. Kosher foods cannot contain pigs, rabbits, specific parts of animals, or blood. Additionally, meat and dairy must be consumed separately, which includes the use of utensils that have touched both meat and dairy.
Kosher products will often contain other signifiers, such as “D” if the product contains dairy, “M” if the product contains meat, and “P” if the product is kosher for Passover. The Kosher Certification Agency gives the most certifications. The most well-known and trusted label is the “U,” though other third-party signifiers exist, such as Star-K, Triangle-K, and Kof-K.
8. Certified Humane Raised & Handled
A product labeled Certified Humane Raised & Handled means your product adheres to Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) regulations. This includes not feeding animals meat, hormones, or antibiotics. Likewise, the animals in your food products are equipped with shelter, resting areas, and plenty of space.
Animals humanely raised and handled are not kept in cages, tie stalls, or crates and are allowed to roam and exhibit natural behaviors freely. Products with this certification engage in proper methods of slaughter as well.
This logo indicates a company’s dedication to producing products in environmentally sound ways. More specifically, it denotes that the company generates at least 50 percent of its power from renewable resources.
This new but rapidly growing certification will put your product ahead of the pack. People are quickly becoming more environmentally conscious, and a product with this label will present itself as one of the most ecologically aware on the market.
This label is used when a product adheres to environmentally safe and natural products that promote the homes of native birds. Some of the requirements of companies include keeping a tree canopy, keeping diverse tree species around the business site, and maintaining tree borders around water sources.
This label draws from many coffee labeling practices. Therefore, it is mainly used for coffee products, like organic and shade-grown. The process is overseen by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, verified by third parties.
Get Certified and Reap the Benefits of Your Natural Product
Suppose you use organic ingredients, halal meats, or other products that fall under a natural food certification. In that case, you could be taking advantage of consumer trends and lifestyles that your product plays to directly. Picking up a natural product certification is a great way to help your product stand above the rest.
Join Natural Product Guide today to stay updated on all the latest natural food trends and topics. Read our blog to learn more about natural foods and why you should get certified immediately. Certifying your products is the first step toward tapping a new market of environmentally conscious consumers.