An Excerpt from Do One Green Thing / Organic remains the fastest-growing sector of the food industry. Here are some of the labels you might find on fresh produce and a key to what they mean.
Certified Organic: Crops that are grown without any synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, using cover crops and other methods to protect soil fertility.
Fair Trade Certified: Applies the strictest standards, ensuring that farmers receive fair prices and that workers receive fair wages and health protections during the cultivation of coffee, tea, chocolate, tropical fruit, rice, sugar and honey ([transfairusa.org]).
Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Synthetic pesticides are used only as a last resort, and then sparingly, relying on nontoxic methods and beneficial insects that eat pests ([greenerchoices.org]).
Food Alliance Certified: Uses IPM and also protects worker and animal welfare ([foodalliance.org]).
Rainforest Alliance Certified: Guarantees that tropical produce, coffee, tea and chocolate are grown with IPM in ways that conserve rainforests and protect workers’ health ([ra.org]).