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Good Organic Retail Practices 2022 Guide

Best Organic Retailing Practices

The fundamentals of handling organic products are essential knowledge for management and staff responsible for developing in-store organic handling plans and practices. All employees should develop critical thinking skills necessary to ensure that the integrity of organic product is maintained. It is the retailer’s responsibility to ensure that the organic integrity of products in your operations are not jeopardized.  Preventing contamination and commingling and ensuring accurate labeling are the key actions that assure organic integrity. 

What is Commingling? Commingling refers to a situation where visually indistinguishable organic and non-organic foods or products could be mixed up resulting in the possibility of a non-organic item being sold as an organic item. Commingling can also occur inadvertently by customers or employees when organic and non-organic produce are displayed together. Sometimes product testing is the only way commingling can be traced.

What is Contamination? Contamination occurs when an organic product is exposed to prohibited substances, often a sanitation material, cleanser or pesticide. 

Retail establishments must avoid commingling to ensure organic integrity by being aware of Organic Control Points (OCPs). OCPs are points where effort needs to be made to ensure that contamination or commingling with organic and non-organic products does not occur. 

Retail establishments avoid commingling by avoiding storing non-organic and organic products without labels, using the same equipment to process non-organic and organic products without proper cleaning procedures, and by avoiding the display of organic and non-organic products together.

Retail establishments avoid contamination by preventing organic products from being exposed to prohibited substances like cleaners, sanitizers, or pest control products that are prohibited in organic regulations. 

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