APR 2016

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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24 DAYSPA | APRIL 2016 FARM FOR THOUGHT "The concept of organic farming is simple: it's exactly how farming has been practiced for nearly our entire history as humans," says Vida Karamooz, CEO of Blue Beautifl y, an organic skincare company based in Oak- land, California. "At some point, people transitioned from living off of the wilderness to domestic farming, but it's the farming practices of the last 30 or 40 years that are the exception." The exception to which Karamooz refers is today's conventional or commercial farming methods— the introduction of modern, industrialized farming practices that include the heavy use of chemical fer- tilizers, pesticides, growth stimulants, hormones or antibiotics, as well as the development of genetically modifi ed (GMO) crops. As for more natural farming methods, there are several types: • Wildcrafted Plants, fruits and vegetables that are wildcrafted are found growing in nature, as op- posed to being planted for harvest. A company can only offi cially harvest wildcrafted plants if it has been granted a license, which has to be re- newed yearly. The plants must come from natural habitats that have been deemed chemical-free. To ensure proper picking methods and guarantee no over-harvesting, authority supervision is required. • Organic farming The results of organic farming are what one might see at a local farmers market— produce comes directly from the grower, who can vouch for his farming and harvesting methods, although no certifi cation is presented. In general, organic farming relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, composting and biological pest control. • Biodynamic farming Similar to organic farming, biodynamic farming is based on the lunar calendar. It involves farmers creating a diversifi ed, balanced farm ecosystem that supplies plants with the maximum amount of natural nutrients available. This method must be certifi ed by Europe-based Demeter Interna- tional and requires a constant human presence (in many cases, someone living on the land); an integra- tion of livestock on the farm; reliance on hydro, wind or geothermal power; and a determined plot of wild, uncultivated land incorporated within the property. • Certifi ed Organic farming requires that an ac- credited certifying agent follows a specifi c list of standards to inspect and certify a farm. Whether the standards checklist is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), EcoCert, Germany's BDIH, Demeter International or another offi cial organiza- tion, these large entities and their contracted inspec- tors provide seals of approval based on the way in which a farm operates, plants and harvests. It's important to recognize the difference between organic farming and Certifi ed Organic farming. When a skincare company declares that an ingredient is "Certifi ed Organic," the implication is that it was sourced from a Certifi ed Organic farm. "Sometimes, small man ufacturers can make truly organic products using clean, organic ingredients but they cannot afford the actual process of certifi cation because it's so costly," explains Elina Fedotova, formulator and CEO of Elina Organics. "It's a hugely expensive process," confi rms Karamooz. "Paying the USDA (in our case) is just one part of the puzzle; we also have to pay for the third-party approved inspector—their travel, time and report. Not to mention the constant record keeping and other procedures put in place to ensure compliance." In other words, organic skincare products do exist with and without certifi cation. But to truly under- stand the type of organic ingredients you're working with, you'll probably have to contact the manufac- turer in order to learn more about their suppliers and manufactur ing processes.

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