Steps to offer organic juices in my business
One of the most common concerns when setting up a bar selling cold squeezed juice is the new bio trend. Some of the most frequently asked questions are: Does it make sense for my business to offer organic juices and eco-friendly products? How do I get an organic label? How much extra effort does this involve? In this article, I will give you some basic guidelines and advice on including organic juices in your business.
The origin of the raw material
First of all, we need to explain what producing organic juice and food means. Conventional agriculture uses pesticides and insecticides to produce fruit, vegetables and grains; as well as irrigation water, which is good for preventing pests or combatting them when they appear. Furthermore, the farmland is used in an intensive way, without the necessary recovery time, which usually results in potential problems for the crops themselves.
Organic agriculture defends growing crops without the use of pesticides and insecticides, or with a very limited use of some products which have been previously approved by the entities in charge of granting certifications. But, how is it possible to farm without using pesticides or insecticides and ensure that the crops don’t become insect food?
In organic farming it is common practice to create ecosystems for each crop, which act as a protective shield. For example, having an orchard with a high population of ladybirds guarantees that it will be free of most pests. Ladybirds are the key predator of aphids, mites, lice, etc. By creating a balanced ecosystem, it is possible to farm without needing to constantly fumigate.
Characteristics of offering organic foods and juice
- Products that are healthier, due to the absence of pesticides and insecticides in the raw material.
- Preservation of all the nutrients and benefits of the raw material.
- Greater respect for the environment, which can become a distinguishing feature of your business.
- Higher production costs. You must take into account that, currently, the costs of organic raw materials are higher, consequently, the prices of your final product will be too. If you are inclined towards this option for your juice bar, you need to know that you are giving it a Premium positioning and analyse if, in your area, there are customers willing to pay a higher price for a higher-quality product.
Additionally, it is important to highlight that the sales of organic foods are growing at a faster pace than the sales of traditional foods, both in the United States, and in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Keep learning: How to successfully open a juice bar in 8 steps
How to obtain organic certification
If the idea of creating an organic juice bar is something that appeals to you, this is the organic certification process you must follow:
1. Find out which authority is in charge of certifying that your business fulfils the requirements for becoming a certified operator. For example, in the United States, the authority is the USDA Organic and in Europe each country has its own regulatory committee, although all of them are accountable to the European Directive(European Organic Certification). Other examples are the Sagarpa Organic Seal (Mexico); Indocert (India) or AROS (Asian Regional Organic Standard).
2. In cases such as the United States, you will need to send your request to an authorised registered agent. Meanwhile, in Europe, requests are generally made directly to the regulatory committee.
See how the USDA classifies organic labels
3. You must guarantee that all your fruit and vegetable suppliers each have their own organic guarantee seal, which you can check by requesting the official accreditation documents.
4. Furthermore, you will have to ensure that the rest of your business practices fulfil the standards or requisites of the norm. Usually, if you are compliant with heath legislation, you are also compliant with the food quality standard for organic certification.
You may also be interested in: What is NSF Certification and why is it important for my juicing equipment?
5. Once your request has been made, an inspector will visit your premises and check that everything you have mentioned in your request is true.
6. In the United States, the registered agent will assess your request together with the inspector’s report. In Europe, the official inspector alone is responsible for checking that everything is correct.
7. The corresponding organic certificate will be issued if all requirements are met.
As of this moment, you will be able to label all the products you produce with the corresponding organic label, guaranteeing their quality. In addition, I recommend that you use this asset as marketing material, highlighting the benefits of organic farming to health and the environment.
About the Author
I oversee the business development of Zumex Food Engineering, our industrial division.
By leading the design of the Mastery project and as the manager for the business development of the JuiceTech line, and particularly of Mastery, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Cold Press in depth, and to share the doubts and enquiries from our customers to lead them through the development and growth of their juice manufacturing business. Our objective is to remain close to our customers, to care for them daily and to accompany them over their business growth.
As a qualified agriculture and industrial engineer with 20 years of experience, I am prepared to solve any of your doubts on juice production processes.