The FDA’s guide to labeling requirements can be found online. When we review your label we will make sure they are compliant with these standards, but if you are designing the label yourself or working with an unexperienced designer you may have to explain these up front.
Bar codes are not legally required, but are required by many stores. Two options are:
GS-1 : this is the global standard for bar codes which means that you get a company prefix, a consistent string of numbers assigned only to you. Many bigger stores require GS-1 barcodes. Of course, this assurance comes with a higher price point.
A barcode reseller: They purchase barcodes from GS-1 and resell them to you. The price point is much much lower, but you do not get your own company prefix and this can cause problems with some stores. If you are going this route, check out Nationwide Barcode .
Shelf-Life testing is another thing that isn’t required legally, but is required by some stores and may be a something you want to know before you go to market. Shelf-life testing happens at a food science lab. We like Aemtek .
The thing with label printing is that the fewer you print the higher the cost, by a lot, which will have a big impact on your unit product cost. We recommend quoting 2-3 printers and quoting across 3 quantities (the number of labels you think you’d want to print, twice that, and a number in the middle). Get in touch with printers early because some have stock sizing (meaning no extra die charge) and they can explain how at your quantities the number of colors affect pricing. We like Collotype.
Need help with your share of the tasks? Ellen Roggemann at theradicalradish.com is an expert on organic certification, label compliance, product launches, local packaging vendors, and creating internal tracking systems. Alison Ball at alliball.com is our go-to for understanding what is needed to approach store buyers.
Want to learn more about the different tiers of organic resources? Resources from our certifier CCOF can be found online. Including this helpful labeling guide .
We recommend sourcing jars, bottles, and lids through: All American Containers, Berlin Packaging, General Bottle Supply, or Richards Packaging . They sell by the case instead of having high minimums meaning they work for both span and large runs. If you go with another vendor, make sure to ask about minimums since we can’t store jars for you. Also, make sure the lid you source matches the jar not only in size but whether it is lug or continuous thread (your vendor will know what we’re talking about).