Wellness Foods

Wixon receives organic certification

Source: FoodProcessing.com

Dec 14, 2006

Wixon, Inc., a food ingredients company, received organic certification as a processor from Quality Assurance International (QAI), the largest independent certifying organization of its kind in the U.S.

Organic certification from QAI will allow Wixon to manufacture, process and distribute certified organic products and ingredients to the food and beverage industries. The company already partners with other companies to develop a variety of food and beverage products, so it will now work with customers to create customized organic products from start to finish. It also positions Wixon to be able to originate products for the fast-growing organic meat industry, along with producing organic seasonings and blends.

Wixon President Peter Gottsacker said that this is a major milestone for the company that will enable it now to take care of the growing needs of its customers for organic products as consumers are looking for healthier, safer products for themselves and their families.

"The organic products industry is addressing these needs and as a result is growing by leaps and bounds" Gottsacker stated. "Wixon can now be turned to as a leading developer and manufacturer for organic product offerings. It is most important for us to stay in step with what our customers are asking us to provide."

To gain organic certification, Wixon had to pass a rigorous inspection and audit process by QAI. To meet compliance, Wixon was required to have a system to keep organic ingredients and products from mixing with those that are nonorganic following strict sanitation methods, organic-compliant pest management, keeping quality assurance records, production records, and various process flow systems.

The organic certification remains in effect as long as the terms and conditions of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) are met and the requirements set forth by the certifying agency, QAI, are maintained. QAI will perform audits of the facilities and records annually to assure continued compliance of the NOP standards.

Gottsacker indicated that sales in the health and wellness industries, including food and health products, were $79 billion last year and projected to grow even more, having grown annually over 20 percent each year in the past five years.

"Nearly two thirds of Americans bought organic foods and beverages last year, and organic is one of the fastest growing food categories," Gottsacker noted. "Organic products include dairy products, breads and grains, beverages, fruits and vegetables, snack foods, packaged foods, sauces/condiments and meat and poultry. We work with companies that produce all of those products, so all of our spices, seasonings, flavors, and packaged consumer products must conform to organic standards for our customers to maintain their own organic labeling and certifications."