Saturday, February 26, 2011

Quiz time! Can You Name Any of the 4 Main Requirements for Certified Organic Wool?

Our Organic Wool Adult Comforters, Organic Wool Mattress Pads, Organic Wool Pillows, and Organic Wool Crib Comforters are amazing! We receive fantastic feedback on them for super comfortable sleeping, warmth, and obviously how healthy they are for your whole family. By the way, anytime we use the word "Organic" on our web site, it always means "Certified Organic." That's morally ethical as well as the law, and we follow it for your confidence and trust.

Now to the quiz. In order for wool to be certified as "Organic," it must be produced in accordance with federal standards for organic livestock production. Can you name any of the 4 main requirements necessary for wool to be considered Organic?

Federal requirements for organic livestock production include:
1) Livestock feed and forage must be certified Organic,
2) Use of synthetic hormones and genetic engineering is prohibited,
3) Use of synthetic pesticides (internal, external, and on pastures) is prohibited and
4) Producers must encourage livestock health through good cultural and management practices.

Organic livestock management is different from non-organic management in at least two major ways:
1) Sheep cannot be dipped in parasiticides (insecticides) to control external parasites such as ticks and lice. This means that the wool isn't loaded with toxic chemicals as may be the situation with non-organic wool. Natural means, including a healthy resistance by the sheep, are used for control measures.

2) Organic livestock producers are required to ensure that they do not exceed the natural carrying capacity of the land on which their animals graze.

Third-party certification organizations verify that organic producers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production.

Why does organic wool cost more than conventional wool?
The cost of organic wool is more than that of conventional for several reasons:

1) Organic wool producers receive a higher price at the farm gate as their costs of production are higher, primarily associated with higher labor, management, and certification costs;

2) The organic wool industry is very small relative to the overall wool industry and does not have the economies of scale and resulting efficiencies of its conventional counterpart, and

3) Federal organic standards for livestock production prohibit overgrazing.  If the price of wool is low, the difference cannot be made up by simply increasing production per unit of land, as is commonly practiced by many non-organic livestock producers.

Source: Organic Trade Association


Katie M said...

I knew most of these things about certified organic livestock, but I did not know that non-organic sheep are dipped in pesticides to avoid ticks. That is very interesting, and kind of creepy to me. I wonder if that affects the texture of the wool.
What got you started in the organic wool industry in the first place?
Also, I really like the look of your blankets.

Jamie said...

Informative and important article on what constitutes true organic products. Awareness and knowledge is key.

Yes It's Organic said...

I've been an environmental activist for over 50 years, since my early teens.

I've been eating organic food since my 20s (in the 1970s). I was also designing super-insulated housing and solar energy systems at that time.

With the awareness in organic food reaching the mainstream public, I thought the next step in awareness should focus on the individual benefits of continuing a healthy life style as well as the environmental benefits of using organic and eco friendly textiles in bedding and clothing.

It's still in the very early stages of awareness so we can use all the help we can get in spreading the word about it.

Ed Mass, Founder and President of Yes It's Organic