Understanding eco-logos

From fish to forests to fair trade, use this guide to improve your label literacy

Certified OrganicCertified Organic

Who’s behind them? The “USDA Organic” symbol represents the U.S. government’s nationwide organic standard, which is often used in Canada since we’ve been without our own national regulations for so long. The others belong to regional or international certifying bodies—a.k.a. the private companies who certify farms and processing facilities as “organic.” Until now, each certifying body has been able to establish its own organic definition and standards. But since Canada’s Organic Products Regulations came into effect in June 2009, the certifying bodies have to be accredited by the Canadian government’s Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and then certify farms according to Canada’s new national standard.

Found on: all types of organic food (from agricultural products to processed food), beverages, hair-care products, makeup, pet food and clothing.

Ensures that: products are organic. As of June 2009, this means “organic” according to the Canadian government’s definition.