Organic Defined

Our cooperative defines organic as a philosophy and system of production that mirrors the natural laws of living organisms with emphasis on the interdependence of all life.

This definition reflects our deep convictions in our role as stewards of the earth. With the wisdom of generations, Organic Valley farmers care for the health of the land, the animals, and people who eat their food. We recognize the interdependency of all life and the value of sustainability, which results in the highest quality and purest foods possible.

Although Organic Valley's production standards go above and beyond government regulations, we uphold the USDA rules as the foundation of the organic industry. Our CEO, George Siemon, was instrumental in creating the USDA rules, and is working to see that they remain intact.

Organic Standards and the USDA Organic Seal

On October 21, 2002, new USDA regulations went into effect governing the labeling of foods produced using organic agriculture. Food products that contain 95-100% certified organic ingredients may use the USDA Organic seal.

As promised by the USDA, the regulations:

  • Reflect National Organic Standards Board recommendations regarding which substances used in production and processing are allowed or prohibited
  • Prohibit the use of irradiation, sewage sludge, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in organic production
  • Prohibit antibiotic and synthetic hormone use in organic meat and poultry
  • Require 100% organic feed for organic livestock

What do national standards mean for consumers?

For consumers who want to minimize personal exposure to toxins and support humane and sustainable agricultural practices, the organic labeling laws are extremely important. Today, all agricultural products labeled "organic" have been verified by an accredited certification agency as meeting or exceeding USDA standards for organic production. All of Organic Valley's dairy, juice, eggs, meat, soy and produce meet the requirements to carry the new USDA Organic seal.

"Soil is a living organism that is intimately connected to all life, including the human species."

~ Evan Eisenberg

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