Over the past 10 years, so-called organic products have gained huge popularity. If before, finding such products was quite a difficult task, located only in narrowly directed specialized stores, then today the situation has changed dramatically. In the vast majority of supermarkets, you can find products labeled “eco” or “bio”.
Are all products in this category really ecologically clean or is it just a deceptive marketing trick to raise prices for goods? This is what this article will talk about.
Eco products – what are they?
First of all, it’s necessary to understand what organic products, in general, are. In fact – these are products that are obtained through cultivation in environmentally friendly and favorable areas. That is, away from big cities, big plants, and factories. It is important to clarify that all organic products are produced without the use of synthetic or chemical agents, and in turn cannot be genetically modified organisms (GMO).
All manufacturers who label their products as organic must undergo a mandatory certification process. Both the manufacturer and the product itself are subject to certification.
One of the peculiarities of certification is the fact that if land was previously used in traditional crop rotation, the whole certification procedure will take more than 3 years. And during this time, the manufacturer must comply with all requirements presented by the certification authority.
Even if the production in advance fits all the criteria of the organic manufacturer, it is still very difficult to obtain a certificate. This is why young producers are often unable to certify their products. And this is where the main problem of this entire market begins.
On one hand, honest manufacturers are simply unable to sell their products right here and now under a certified label. That is why they do not use official logos, so-called quality marks, and the like. And often, they resort to a simple indication on the packaging, or emphasize that their products are environmentally friendly.
“Greenwashing” – how marketers deceive
In their turn, marketers, like no other, know this segment of the market and understand that by branding products as organic, you can make money. With the growing trend of healthy eating, there has been a global increase in the discovery of new brands that position themselves as producers of exclusively organic products, when in reality they are not.
Behind the prefixes: “bio”, “organic”, “eco”, “100% natural” and other “green” slogans hide simple advertising speculation. Such tricks are called “Greenwashing” – positioning the product as natural when it is not.
So how do you determine when you are being cheated and when you are not?
Here are some tricks from marketers:
The product highlights the advantages without mentioning the disadvantages. Some beverage manufacturers, with non-natural ingredients, may point to more environmentally friendly packaging. For example, it is said that their bottle contains 30% less plastic. However, it is clear that using a refillable bottle will be much more environmentally friendly
They do not provide evidence. Such companies may say that their product is entirely ecological simply because it is made of wood, for example, because wood is an environmentally friendly material. But in fact, they do not provide any evidence that this material has been certified and that the wood has been grown in a sustainable way
Vague concepts. Some manufacturers may use environmentally friendly stamps and inscriptions on their packaging, but do not have official logos and certificates
Lesser evil. Manufacturers of harmful products such as cigarettes or alcohol can use a trick like “eco-friendly” production. Forexample, the use of ecological packaging
Blatant lying. On some products, you can see non-existent markings that resemble the official ones
“Green” brand activity. Brands can position themselves as “ecological” and take an active part in various natural conservation actions. Against this background, the customer forms a perception of the brand’s eco-friendliness, but the company itself may not correspond to this perception
Not only does “Greenwashing” deceive customers, it also harms the environment and undermines the reputation of truly environmentally friendly brands and products.
Based on all these facts, it is safe to say that if you want to buy an environmentally friendly product, you should pay attention to the official logos that guarantee the organic origin of the product.
More often than not, truly organic products are certified by all authorities. But if the product has only one official mark, and you have good reason to believe that the activities of this particular certification center is questionable, it is better to refrain from buying. Since, apparently, apart from getting a non-organic product, you’ll also overpay for it.