Thursday, 30 July 2009

Logo Lingo

Logo fatigue is a phenomenon where consumers get so overwhelmed by the countless number of logos they are exposed to each day, that the true meaning of these logos become lost. With the recent addition of the new Canada Organic logo, I thought I should do a post on the most prevalent eco logos in order to clear things up.

As of June 30, 2009 new regulations regarding organic labelling came into effect in Canada. This regulation ensures that products using the term "organic" are certified according to Canadian organic standards. Remember my previous post on Nature's Baby Organics products - most of which are not actually organic? Well this new logo will help you avoid these types of companies. When you see this logo, you can rest assured that the product is genuinely organic. Seen On: I have yet to see this logo on any products, but I'm sure it's being printed into new product packaging as we speak.

This third party, non profit organization works all over the globe to ensure sustainable farming and forestry practises. Rainforest Alliance standards increase efficiency, reduce waste, minimize pesticide use and provide health care and education to workers and their families. This logo does not mean the product is organic or fairly traded. Seen On: bananas, coffee, chocolate, organ juice, maple syrup, paper, and flooring.

Founded in 1988 by the Government of Canada, the ecologo is now North America's most respected environmental logo (YAY Canada)! Products bearing this logo have met stringent environmental standards verified by a third party auditor. EcoLogo has certified thousands of products in a large variety of categories. Seen on: coffee, napkins, toilet paper, cosmetics, cleaning products, rechargeable batteries and paint.

The FSC is an international, non-profit organization that supports environmental forestry management. Founded in 1993 in Toronto, FSC certified products come from responsibly manged forests and/or recycled sources. Products with this logo help prevent deforestation, reduce CO2 gases, protect endangered species and prevent the planting of genetically modified (GM) trees. Seen On: lumber, flooring, panelling, doors, furniture and paper products.

Initially a US based program, the energy star logo is used throughout Canada, Europe, Japan, Taiwan Australia and New Zealand. Since 1992, products with the energy star logo are the most energy efficient appliances on the market. In order to display this logo products must use 10-50% less energy than their eco-unfriendly counterparts. Seen On: stoves, fridges, washer, dryers, household electronics, furnaces and air conditioners.

With lots of trading between Canada and the US, Canadians often see this USDA organic logo on products sold here - the true north strong and free. Products featuring this designation are certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture. This means that similarly to our newly released organic label, these products were grown without the use of artificial or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers were used. Genetic modification is also prohibited, so eat up! Seen On: fruit, vegetables, beverages, skin care products and clothing.

Still waiting for the new Canada Organic logo to start appearing on your favourite products? Well it might take some time for companies to print up their new packaging. In the meantime look for these logos of Canadian organic certifiers - when you see these logos you'll know it's 100% organic (food) or at least 95% organic (non-food, such as shampoo, moisturizers, etc ...).

(formerly OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada Inc.)

A non-profit, member owned certification agent.



 Administers certification for biodynamic farming.

What is biodynamic farming, you might ask after reading about this last certifier? Well stay tuned for next week's post when I visit my local biodynamic farm ...
For more information, click on the title of the logo or certifier.

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