I sell Moringa products and what I have learned over the past three months should cause you to more closely investigate the current company you buy from. There is product being sold out there that is questionable containing fillers, dirt, and weeds. The methods to grow it and process it do not meet organic standards period. I did not realize how difficult it would be to get straight answers from these companies until I did my own investigation.
Difficulty in Finding Quality Product: Over three months ago I determined that I was not satisfied with the company I was buying from. Customers would call and ask me how I knew the product I was carrying was quality. I had investigated the company but had no actual proof. They pressed me how did I know for sure that the product was good. I couldn’t give them an honest verification that I had personally checked out. I decided because of that I would only carry organic certified in the future. I had no idea of how difficult that was going to be. I began investigating Moringa Oleifera powder wholesale dealers that stated they were organic. The problem is when I asked to see proof, none was given. Most of the companies could not back up their statements. A company should be willing to give you the organic certificate number so that you then can check it out yourself. Do not rely on their honesty. Check the certificate out yourself.
Organic Lies and Deception: Then finally one company sent me their organic certificate and a certificate of analysis. I was really impressed. I investigated the company in several ways and there were no complaints anywhere so I felt pretty safe in sending them nearly $600.00. I did not check the validity of their certificate. I assumed it was legal and valid. I never heard from the company again. I got really mad and decided to at least alert the authorities to the fraud.
Investigation Is Difficult When You Don’t Know the Ropes: It took a week to figure out who the agencies were in Europe that regulates organic and organic exports. When I wrote them, it was discovered the company was operating under a falsified organic certificate stolen from another company. His certificate of analysis was also stolen. I presented my evidence to LACON and APEDA and he is being prosecuted for various fraud charges. He had gotten away with this fraud for two years. How many dealers were selling his products as organic when they were not? He sold internationally and was a huge company getting away with fraud. This company was entered into many wholesale directories and organizations. It is not only small companies you need to watch out for. Any company should be able to back up their organic advertising. This includes brochures as well as labels.
What I Learned and What You Should Know:
What Organic means? It means that the Moringa is grown and processed without the use of toxic sludge, fertilizers and pesticides. It means the Moringa was processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation. It also means that is was inspected and certified to be organic. There is a organic certificate to go with that claim always.
What does “Certified Organic “mean? The Moringa was grown to strict standards. The growing fields, soil, water, processing facilities, and all steps in handling are inspected, tested, and certified by independent agents.
Can They Back Up the Talk: The term Organic does not mean anything unless it can be backed up. Organic is a buzz word that means the product should be more natural but also more expensive. You can advertise your product as organic in brochures but unless it is certified it is misleading and deceiving. To use organic in your label means that you have adhered to the regulations that are required under organic standards.
What does 100% natural mean?: 100% natural means basically that it has no added fillers or additives. It does not tell you anything about how it is grown or processed. It does not tell you if they used chemical fertilizer or chemicals in the growing of the trees. There is no real proof to back up that statement.
What Does Organically Grown Mean: Organically grown does not mean much unless it can be backed up with certification. It is a buzz word again that stimulates sales. Brochures may or may not tell the truth. Organically grown does not mean anything unless they have documentation to back up the use of that term.
Read the label carefully:
Label Rules: If the label does not state organic, it is not. If it is 100% organic they can state that on the label. To use the term organic it must contain 95% organic Moringa herb.
What is a Handler’s License?: If I buy the bulk powder from India and I touch it, I must have a handler’s license from the state. I must have a handler’s license to touch just the label. That involves inspections and money to the state and government. If I touch the bulk product I must have organic certification myself not only the company that grows and processes it.
Undetermined Quality Control: If you are buying from a small company who repackages the product, without a handler’s license, you have no idea of the cleanliness of where they keep the product, how they keep it, or the cleanliness used in repackaging the product. It could be exceptional or dirty. You have no idea. That is why I choose to buy my product pre-packaged and pre-labeled. That is why my products don’t have my name on them. It would involve much money and much hassle. I want to legally be able to sell my products as organic certified.
Difficulty in Obtaining Organic Certification: In the United States it can take thousands of dollars to adhere to the regulations. Most small companies do not have the financial backing. That is why most dealers are selling product with no documentation. Even if they have the money, they may not be able to adhere to organic regulations for many reasons. This is rough but it is still deceiving buyers who are given the perception that the product is organic and regulated. The buyer is paying for the product relying on the honesty of the company selling it.
Certificate of Analysis: This means the company submits a sample of their product to an independent lab to get the real breakdown of protein, calcium, and other nutrients. This can be easily falsified as I discovered. You need to write the company to verify the tests were actually done. It is surprising that most of this is not investigated just assumed that the certificate is real and legal.
Heavy Metal Contamination: If it is tested for lead and other toxic metals, they will be able to give you a copy of test results. If they won’t, it wasn’t done.
Transaction Certificate: When you buy each shipment of organic moringa product you will be sent a Transaction Certificate by your supplier. This is documentation of your individual shipment that it is organic. If you have problems later you can identify the batch that needs to be recalled.
Organic Agencies That certify Foreign Grown Organic Moringa Products:
LACON Quality Certification (India): This is a subsidiary of LACON GmbH in Germany. LACON is accredited in India by APEDA. LACON is also directly accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture.
APEDA is the Agricultural and Processed Products Export Development Authority. It was established by India in 1985 to regulate exported food products.
LACON inspects and certifies agriculture and food production to grant organic certificates. It inspects the growing, production, processing, and handling of food products. It makes sure organic export and import standards are adhered to.
Standards certified by LACON include:
National Organic Program (NOP) USDA: When a product lists a USDA stamped label coming from a foreign company it means that the food product was inspected and certified based on US-NOP standards. This is really important folks. It means it meets United States Department of Agriculture organic regulations.
The NOP regulations apply to all raw, fresh, and processed products that contain organic agricultural ingredients. If these products are sold, labeled or represented as organic must adhere to NOP standards. There is one exception for companies selling less than $5,000 dollars per year of a product. All others must be certified by USDA agents.
Label Rules: The label language depends on the inspected percentage of organic ingredients in a product. If the label states 100% organic or organic it must contain only organically produced ingredients and aids. The term organic means it must contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients. The remaining 5% ingredients must be a part of their approved list. This is how rigid the regulations are.
Important Label Information: The name of the certifying agent and address must be stated in the label. If not it is not legally organic.
National Program for Organic Production (NPOP), India: Read how they work in the certification process.
Global G.A.P. (EUREPGAP) Certification: Standard set for farm management regulation created in the 1990’s. It is considered the world’s most widely implemented certification program. It is considered a must in Europe to do business. Audits and inspections are performed by independent agents on the business to grant this certification.
LACON grants many other certifications not related to Moringa products.
If the quality of your Moringa powder does not matter, don’t investigate. If you looking for quality get educated and know the rules so you are not paying for an organic product that is not organic. It’s your money and your life. I have given you tools to check out the products you are buying. I might add this same article applies to any product labeled organic or organic certified.