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The USDA Organic certification is a label indicating that an agricultural product has been produced through methods approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It is relevant for a wide range of sectors, from food to textiles. The certification is not limited to U.S. farms; it can be applied to farms or handling facilities worldwide that meet USDA organic regulations. The certification also covers the entire supply chain, ensuring that strict standards for growing, processing, and handling are met.
Acquiring the certification involves an annual review and inspection process. Inspections are comprehensive, covering everything from on-farm practices to storage and potential hazards at processing facilities. However, the certification does not guarantee non-toxic dye usage in textiles or ensure fair wages and health care for workers.
While the specific duration is not mentioned, the certification requires an annual review, suggesting that renewal would involve a similar annual inspection process.
For organizations, the certification offers a competitive advantage by validating the organic nature of their products, which is particularly appealing to environmentally conscious consumers. However, it's worth noting that while the certification aims to maintain and enhance soil and water quality, it does not include standards for worker welfare, such as fair wages or health care.