On May 3, 2010 Critter Connection Inc, the manufacturer of the Best Bird Food Ever!™ became a USDA Certified Organic handling and packaging facility. This certification transformed our bird food sprouting blends from a product ‘made with organic ingredients’, to a USDA Certified Organic product.
But What Does This Really Mean
In order for our bird food, the Best Bird Food Ever!™, to be designated as a USDA Certified Organic product our parent company, Critter Connection Inc, had to meet stringent criteria established by the USDA – the US Department of Agriculture.
These governmental organic standards, span 89 printed pages (written in legalese – the special language of the legal profession), and are bound in the Federal Code of Regulations, Title 7: Agriculture, Part 205 – National Organic Program (NOP). The NOP dictates how we must handle our bird food in order maintain its organic integrity.
Organic Processing Procedures
In order for our bird food to become a USDA Certified Organic product specific protocols, processes and procedures had to first be established and now must be adhered to regarding every aspect of our bird food sprouting blend.
In order to maintain the organic integrity of our bird food there are hundreds of substances that must strictly be avoided during transport. These same substances must be completely excluded from our USDA Certified Organic handling and packaging facility. And, in addition, we must use approved methods for managing any insect or pest problems that may arise. If a situation develops where approved insect or pest control measures are needed each instance must be fully documented. These documents become permanent record and are keep on file for review during our annual compliance inspection.
Organic Integrity Plan
Other documents that we have integrated into our Organic Standards: Processes and Procedures Manual include – an Organic Integrity Plan and a Quality Assurance Program and Action Plan. To begin the chain of establishing our product’s organic integrity we obtained documentation from our ingredient suppliers that we are indeed purchasing and receiving USDA Certified Organic Ingredients. We obtained assurance documentation from their freight carriers that the organic integrity of our ingredients will be maintained during transport. Now that we are a USDA Certified Organic handling and packaging facility nothing is assumed or can be taken for granted.
Following the National Organic Program’s standards we’ve established a tracking system for ingredients and our final product. This system allows us to track the ingredients from our supplier to your home. And in the event of a problem with the organic integrity of an ingredient becoming compromised – contaminated with any one of the hundreds of substances that must be avoided – we have a product recall system already in place.
Organic Protects You
Each year our USDA Certified Organic packaging and handling facility, where all the Best Bird Food Ever! sprouting blends and ingredients are stored, mixed and packaged must be inspected by our Organic Certifying Agency. This inspection verifies that our established protocols, procedures and practices remain in compliance with the National Organic Program. During this inspection all of our operating practices and records are reviewed to ensure that all our documentation shows that we are living by the NOP standards.
And you probably thought that having our products USDA Certified Organic only meant that we used USDA Certified Organic ingredients in making our bird food. Well, using the highest quality 100% organic ingredients in our bird food sprout blends is only a small segment of producing a USDA Certified Organic product. The whole picture involves maintaining the organic product integrity from start to finish. From the farmer who grew it, though transport, storage, and travel to our USDA Certified Organic packing and handling facility the NOP’s standards are followed. Then from our facility we track transport to our distributors, our wholesale and retail clients. This process guarantees the organic integrity of our bird food up to the moment you purchase it and bring it home. This process ensures that you are getting the highest quality product for your money.
Our Commitment to You
This may sound like a lot to go through. And frankly, it is. But then we take our responsibility for ensuring the organic integrity of our bird food very seriously. We’re proud to have Critter Connection Inc be a USDA Certified Organic handling facility. We’ve earned the right to have our bird food display USDA Certified Organic seal. And we’re excited about making our USDA Certified 100% Organic – Complete Protein – Sprouting Blends available to you.
Here at Critter Connection we believe that having our bird food become a USDA Certified Organic product is significant. We want you to know that it is important to us that you receive the highest quality bird food sprouting blends available when you buy our products. Quality that is unsurpassed.
USDA Certification = non-GMO (genetically modified organisms)
One feature of a USDA Certified Organic product is that only non-GMO foods can be designated organic by the USDA.
Ingredients: Human-Grade Organic verses USDA Certified Organic
Why is a USDA Certified Organic product superior to those made with human-grade organic ingredients?
When a company advertises that their products are made with human-grade organic ingredients the chain of ensuring the organic integrity of the ingredient ends when they purchased their ingredients. Even if the foods they purchased were USDA Certified Organic products this organic authenticity stops at their supplier. A company that is not a USDA Certified Organic handling and packing facility has not developed practices and procedures following the National Organic Program’s guidelines. They do not have guidelines in place to ensure the organic integrity of the ingredients after they purchase them. They have not requested the proper documentation validating the organic integrity of the ingredients. They have no assurances that their ingredients are free of GMOs. They have not taken the steps to ensure that the organic integrity of the ingredients are not some how tainted, ruined or exposed to harmful substances during transport. If a problem with an ingredient is identified, this company has no way of tracking this food from farm to your home.
Whereas, our company, because we are a USDA Certified Organic handling and packaging facility have every one of these safeguards and assurances already in place. We do this to maintain the organic integrity of our bird food sprouting blends. And by maintaining our product’s organic integrity, this guarantees that you receive the highest quality product possible for the health and welfare of the birds under your care.
More Benefits – USDA Certified Organic
There are also additional advantages of purchasing products from a company that produces USDA Certified Organic products.
1. We Support Sustainable Agriculture.
When you purchase a USDA Certified product you too are supporting sustainable farming practices. We do this not because the NOP requires us to, but because we believe that this is the best course of action to take for the highest good of everyone – locally, nationally and globally.
2. Safe Working Conditions.
When you support organic agriculture, you are supporting a network of farms and related businesses that provide safe working conditions. Whether in the US or in a foreign country the chain of organic integrity must be followed. This ensures that everyone working to bring organic products to you will never be exposed to toxic pesticides and other harmful substances prohibited by the NOP. When you buy a USDA Certified Organic product you are actively supporting international efforts to end the circle of poison.
3. Eliminate the Use of Toxic and Hazardous Materials.
USDA Certified Organic companies eliminate the use of toxic and hazardous materials. USDA Certified Organic companies seek out creative non-toxic methods for handling familiar problems. They don’t resort to using toxic chemicals and pesticides when a environmentally safer – but unconventional method – is available.
4. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Many USDA Certified Organic companies also have practices and procedures in place to reduce, reuse and recycle waste materials. This actions has benefits that favorably impact local communities and global economies.
5. Continually Improving Our Practices.
USDA Certified Organic companies maintain high standards in their daily operations and are continually improving their practices. This ensures a high level of quality control, which assures you a product backed by integrity. An exceptional product meeting or exceeding expectations when compared to non-organic products of the same type.
When you purchase a bag of our USDA Certified Organic sprouting blends, you’re getting much more than a bag of bird food. You’re buying a product deicated to the health and well being of your birds, your family and the Earth.