Using the word 'organic'

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by greenguy08, May 1, 2008.

  1. greenguy08

    greenguy08 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 99

    What do you guys do to let people know that you offer an organic service without stepping on the USDA's toes with using the "o" word in your business name and/or advertising? To me, "natural" is something you could see on a box of miracle-gro, but apparently the USDA now "owns" the word organic as far as its use in business and advertising.
     
  2. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    where does it say that??a trade mark or copyright is usually a branded thing, i want to own the words Santa clause
     
  3. dtally

    dtally LawnSite Member
    Male, from Rock Hill, SC
    Posts: 82

    The name says it all. We were even able to trademark it.
     
  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    The USDA NOP desination only pertains to organic crop production, there are no standards by any federal agency that control lawn and landscape period

    I just went round and round with South Carolina on this and finally had to change our label and add a line "not for organic crop production" even though it clearly states for lawn and landscape on the label. 4 months of back and forth.
     
  5. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    wow, Bill that had to cost 100$ per letter? or at least your sanity:dizzy:
     
  6. greenguy08

    greenguy08 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 99

    Thanks for the input, everyone. I spoke to my local organic certification agency and they said it's a real grey area to use the term organic and that if the USDA gets a complaint (say from a competitor ) that you are using that word without being USDA certified, you are subject to a $100,000 fine. And yes, organic certification can apply to non- food items, like Christmas trees. I actually have a friend who also uses the word organic prominently in his business name, by the way. But everyone I spoke to at the USDA and the NOP said that I'm fully open to a lawsuit to even mention 'organic' in my advertising.
     
  7. greenguy08

    greenguy08 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 99

    Bill, are you talking about a product that you produce or your service?
     
  8. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    All of my stuff is "organic-based" that then leaves a door open for traditional chems if needed at some point in time down the road. I do have a program that is "organic only" which a customer can go with but I let them know that they can deviate from the organics for a traditional use by their request for whatever reason. I, however, will not use any traditional chems without request or approval.
     
  9. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    Green guy, The only service we provide is customer service. We make an inoculum for turf grass called instant compost tea, since compost teas are being used in Ag more and more they wanted a specific statement on the carton it comes in so that no one would use our product on organic crop production.

    I have been in the middle of this for some time. the difference is organic CROP production, turf and landscape are not considered crops and are NOT regulated by any federal agency to be certified organic.

    If you choose to spray an orchard or Xmas tree farm with your product and it is not USDA NOP approved, the farm must be taken out of production and cannot claim the organic" status. They must wait 36 months to reapply for organic status

    TG, We are now registered in 34 states, 14 to go (not going into HI or AK), we have been working on this since last August. It is very expensive in time and money. I question my sanity all of the time :dizzy:
     
  10. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    Johny walker or Jim beam sanity. we once were thinking on bagging some stuff and the label police came, that was the end of that, 100000 beans for a label.... that killed that real fast. some day sanity will meet government. not in my time though:nono:

    and just let the UassDA get to websters first then they can find me. ORGANIK?

    how about organic styled lawn care, find a good lawyer and let em beat each other with words till they all bleed to death!!!!!
     

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