How is Organic Argan Oil Certified?
The first thing you need to know is that ALL Moroccan argan oil is grown organically! The argan forests are closely monitored by the Moroccan Government to ensure the trees are grown without the use of pesticides and fertilisers. Indeed the Berber foresters who tend to these trees have little if any knowledge of non-organic farming.
In recent years foreign NGO’s (non-profit organisations) have been working closely with the Moroccan Government to provide enough funds to the many regions in Morocco with the argan forests to certify the oil with an Ecocert certification. This certification, however, is non-transferable to the actual company retailing the end product.
But what does organic mean?
Basically, organic means that the environment in which produce is grown is free of pesticides, fertilisers and most synthetic materials such as antibiotics. International standards need to be followed covering soil & water quality, pest control etc.
Should Argan Oil be Certified as Organic?
When it comes to argan oil there really is no need for a product to be certified organic by a body such as Ecocert or the USDA. Certification is a very expensive process meaning these costs will need to be added to the retail price. All Moroccan argan oil is organic.
Ecocert is a French organisation at the heart of organic agriculture and recognised worldwide. (http://www.ecocert.com/en)
USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) is an USA certification which verifies that a farm or handing facility anywhere in the world complies with USDA organic regulations. (https://www.usda.gov/)
The Soil Association is the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use. (https://www.soilassociation.org/)