Ecological certificates in Poland
Bio, eco, organic, rustic, natural… Sound familiar? These are common inscriptions on the packaging of many products – food and cosmetics. Store shelves are teeming with products that say they are natural, chemical-free, organically grown, with bio composition. But is this always the case? When to trust such assurances of the manufacturer, and when to avoid such a product by a wide margin? An ecological certificate should ensure trust, testify to the high quality of the product, composition not tainted with bad chemicals or the overall safety of such a product. Unfortunately, this is not always the case!
Whether a product is truly organic is not indicated only by the name of the product. Many manufacturers use names with the prefix “bio” completely groundlessly and…illegally! Only a certificate issued by an appropriate body can confirm that a product is a bio or eco product. And only if the manufacturer has such a certificate can he use this term in the name of the product. Otherwise, he commits an offense and deceives his customers.
Unfortunately, the market is teeming with products that are not bio at all, although the name suggests it. Or they try to pretend to be, using phrases such as “from the country homestead,” “rustic,” “from the farmer,” etc. in the name. If you want to buy a truly organic product, you need to pay attention to the ecological certificate, which should be on the package.
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What are the ecological certificates?
What are the ecological certificates and how to recognize them? Ecological certificates  are primarily documents that certify that a product meets the standards and criteria that form the basis for the ecological symbol. What are these criteria? The main ones for cosmetic manufacturers are:
- ingredients that are approved for the production of organic cosmetics
- processes that can be used in the processing of raw materials
- minimum content [%] of natural ingredients
- acceptable level of synthetic ingredients (e.g. preservatives)
Ecological certificates are not obtained once and for all. The manufacturer must meet a set of standards all the time, not just at the time of certification. And this is guarded by regular audits of the institution granting the certificate. It is thanks to these audits that the manufacturer cannot freely maneuver the environmental performance of the product, once it has been certified. The certification body makes sure that the criteria and rules are met even after the certificate is granted.
Ecological certificates – types
Ecological certificates are different, awarded by different entities and to different products. Some confirm organic cultivation, others the finished product, and still others are given to different products. It is worth learning about the most important of these to be able to navigate smoothly in the world of organic products.
European Organic Certificate – how to get ecological certificates? 
This is the European organic food logo, which gives assurance of the origin and quality of food products. This organic certificate applies to both growing crops and keeping animals. I’m sure you are very familiar with this logo from our products. It can also be obtained by beekeeping sectors, seaweed products, or organic processing products.
In order to obtain such a certificate, it is necessary to participate in a special training course on how to prepare a farm or processing plant for organic production. After preparing for certification, an audit takes place and criteria are issued that must be met to receive the certificate.
BIO certification – how to get bio certification? 
This is another one of the certificates you can see on the packaging of our products! It confirms the compliance of products with the requirements of organic farming. It is used when the manufacturer is under the supervision of the Polish Research and Certification Center S.A. (PL-EKO-06). It applies to similar products and processing as the European Organic Certificate.
To be able to use such a certificate you also have to undergo appropriate training in preparing your processing plant or farm for organic production. What is unique about this organic certificate is the opportunities it provides. With such a certificate you can apply for subsidies in organic farming!
EKO Certificate 
This symbol confirms that a particular product meets very strict environmental requirements. If we care about supporting ecology with our product choices, it is worth paying attention to this very symbol on the packaging. The condition that certified products must necessarily meet is compliance with strict criteria for health protection, lack of negative impact on the environment and economic use of natural resources.
It can be obtained by: cosmetic products, animal care products, wooden toys.
A similar but slightly different ECO mark  is specifically designed for cosmetics. It provides a guarantee of the high environmental quality of a given cosmetic. Only natural cosmetics can receive it. Certified natural cosmetics can be substances or mixtures of substances from organic production. This ecological certificate gives us assurance that the cosmetic has natural ingredients and informs us that the company conducts activities with concern for the environment.
Vegan Society certification 
The Vegan Society is a charitable organization that has been in existence since 1944. The Vegan Society mark will give you assurance that the standards centered around the association’s idea have been met. And that idea is products free of animal-derived ingredients and not tested on animals. It is not enough for the finished product itself not to be tested on animals. In order to obtain this certification, it is necessary to confirm that each of the components used in the manufacture of the product, also was not tested on animals at any stage. This is certainly a well-known sign of organic certification to all those who pay attention to products not tested on animals.
Not tested on animals certification .
The hare on a product, which can often be seen on cosmetics, for example, means that the product was not tested on animals. Both its action and its various ingredients did not contribute to animal suffering. This mark is also a confirmation that the product does not contain components derived from dead animals, such as fat. However, it does not at all prove that the product is vegan! The hare mark can be awarded to products that contain ingredients derived from live animals: beeswax, honey, milk, lanolin. Cosmetics marked with the abbreviation BWC – Beauty Without Cruelty and with slogans on the packaging such as Cruelty Free, Animal Friendly, Not Tested On Animals must have this organic certification. Without it, they cannot use these phrases on their packaging.
Environmental certificates for companies. Why are they important?
Eco certifications are first and foremost a confirmation of a product’s biological purity, but not only that. In many cases, it’s also a brand’s awareness of and care for the environment, not putting a hand on animal suffering, and safety. But why is this important? Even if we ourselves do not care about using a natural product for our own purposes, such as health, it is nevertheless worth supporting companies that are certified.
When companies with organic certification are more often chosen than those without, perhaps the market for products will change for the better. There will be a greater choice of natural and organic products. At the same time, by buying such products, we contribute to environmental protection. After all, a producer or farmer with such a certificate, must take care of it in many ways, determined by strict criteria. Ecology should be close to us, caring for the planet and its resources is an important part of everyone’s life. None of us consciously wants to contribute to animal suffering either! Even when we choose organic-certified meat products, we support sustainable farms that take proper care of their animals, feed them properly and do not use artificial growth stimulants, for example. When we choose only those cosmetics that are not tested on animals, we make our contribution to stopping the mistreatment of animals and the sometimes truly bestial conditions in which they are kept.
Organic certification is actually more than just the pure composition of a product. Eggs in the store with the word “from a farmer” on the package are not the same as eggs with European organic certification. And while we are not at all saying that every product without an eco-certificate is bad compositionally and for the environment, only when we choose certified products do we have 100% assurance that the manufacturer is really honest. The certification bodies watch over this for us!
Not every BIO is so good
There are plenty of products on the market with certifications that only partially prove that the products are organic. They may be only about the ingredients or only about the fact that the whole product was not tested on animals, while its components were. These certifications we’ve outlined above are some of the most appreciated and well-known marks placed on products that are truly noteworthy. It is not enough just to write “natural cream” – in order to be able to use this name with full rights, it must be certified with the appropriate document.
Remember, you can always check any certification with the certification body. If you have any doubts about a particular product – do not buy it, and bet on one that does not raise any objections to you. It is also not enough just to have “organic” or “bio” in the name. Look for the appropriate markings on the product’s packaging to confirm that the product is organic. If there is no such symbol on the package, it is certainly not a label printing error. Any manufacturer that receives such a mark after certification will certainly want to boast about it. After all, getting an organic certification for one’s products is not all that easy and sometimes takes months!
Bet on products that are safe, clean in composition and do not contribute to animal suffering! For your health and your loved ones.
- Biosna https://biosna.pl/certyfikat-ekologiczny.html
- Polish Centre for Testing and Certification https://www.pcbc.gov.pl/pl/uslugi/certyfikacja-wyrobow/rolnictwo-ekologiczne/wspolnotowe-oznakowanie-rolnictwa-ekologicznego
- Polish Centre for Testing and Certification https://www.pcbc.gov.pl/pl/uslugi/certyfikacja-wyrobow/rolnictwo-ekologiczne/znak-certyfikowanego-rolnictwa-ekologicznego-bio
- Polish Centre for Testing and Certification https://www.pcbc.gov.pl/pl/uslugi/certyfikacja-wyrobow/kosmetyki/znak-ekologiczny-eko-2
- Polish Centre for Testing and Certification https://www.pcbc.gov.pl/pl/uslugi/certyfikacja-wyrobow/kosmetyki/certyfikowany-kosmetyk-naturalny-eko
- Vegan Society https://www.vegansociety.com/
- Organicall https://organicall.pl/jakosc-i-certyfikaty