Is there really more to it than simply lining the pockets of yet another bureaucratic organisation?
At Absolute Essential we have always been very clear about the superior medicinal quality of an extract that is 100% pure
- No health threatening toxic residues
- No artificial molecules from color or fragrance (etc.) that interfere with natural process
- No quality reducing mass-production or transportation processes
- The pure extract of a fully alive plant packed with health supporting nutrients and vitality
To achieve that with medicinal plant extracts, the first major step is to ensure that the growth process is as healthy and natural as possible, which essentially means the same as organic, though it is of course possible to accomplish without the lengthy paperwork.
When we started out back in the eighties, organic certification was still in its infancy and we quickly learned that we would have to trace an oil right back to source - to see the plants in the ground and talk to the growers and distillers in person - to have any real confidence in the quality of our product history.
In truth, back then we were not so impressed with certification, our direct involvement was to us absolutely more important than jumping through hoops to get an extra sticker on our bottles.
For a good few years, we were the enforcers of our own standards and we worked extremely hard to build a reputation of purity and organic integrity with a company guarantee that could be trusted.
In the transition, the AE product without organic certification might easily be the same extract that suddenly gained an organic label to its name
What happened was that we began to connect with like-minded suppliers who were willing to work with us to ensure high organic standards, and many such producers then evolved into official organic farms and co-operatives with international certification.
Since then, as certification has become more established, we have been able to further expand our ranges in keeping with the original Absolute Essential promise of 100% purity. But we still maintain direct relationships wherever possible and we still investigate the entire story of an oil, including extraction processes, packaging and transportation.
However, all the while that Absolute Essential was developing a strict purity ethic, we were seeing many other companies cash in on the lack of legislation and trending green with a wash of buzz words and eco-styled packaging... and no real claim to organic purity.
And suddenly the word organic was everywhere.
And then there was a massive difference between one so called organic product and what we had diligently been working to achieve, with no clear sign posts to steer the average consumer right.
At this point it became important to prove authentic organic production. And we decided it was entirely worth the hoop-jumping to expose our entire operation to outside inspection and show the world what we knew they would find.
In field discussions, France 2006:
How does organic certification work?
Back in 2008, with many of our ingredients then organically certified at source, we were able to take the next step and have the corresponding Absolute Essential products organically certified also. Though the process is involved and demands a high level of accountability and organisation, we knew that being approved was within our reach - because our goal was always to be as organic as possible.
BioGrow: 4 Steps to Organic Certification
The way it works is that the auditing company - in our case currently AsureQuality and BioGro (to satisfy different market requirements) - comes in and checks all our stock against all our invoices for certified ingredients.
The authenticity of the certification is verified and the stock-take is examined and confirmed down to the smallest of discrepancies (to allow for spillage and testing only). It means that absolutely every detail has to be recorded and accounted for. And unlike many much bigger companies that deal with external manufacturers, we also went through a very thorough process to have our factory practices and premises reviewed and certified organic.
In essence, organic certification changes us very little and it certainly does not tell the whole story behind our commitment to medicinal purity. But it does tell you the consumer which products are not even close by comparison, and we are very proud of ourselves when we look at where we began and how we can now say that we are only 5% away from having 100% certified organic / wild (sustainable) products.
This alone speaks volumes about what we as a small family business have been up to all these years.
The most important difference that you make when you buy certified organic products
The other difference that it definitely makes to buy certified organic products of course is to support a global economic commitment to ecologically sound practices... because in truth, very little else matters for our long-term healthy future.
Medicinal-grade essential oils must be 100% pure. At Absolute Essential we use certified organic or wild grown (sustainable) plants to produce our oils and all extraction processes are strictly controlled to produce the best quality oil with a maximum purity and therapeutic value. See more at Absolute Essential