Now on our fourth generation of packaging, we have a few changes we’d like to introduce! Product packaging is a jumble of labels, numbers, words and symbols, trying to provide consumers with as much information as possible in a small space without coming across as completely chaotic and overwhelming. Like that sentence!
Our new packaging includes some recent certifications we’ve obtained. These certifications take time, money, paperwork and patience. We have patience!
In 2016, we became certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and began a sponsorship with the Pollinator Partnership. All of this and more is on our product packaging. We want our customers to get a sense of what Ona is and the effort we put in to maintaining high quality standards of the product they’re holding.
After more than a year of inspections, investigation, communication (lots of emails), and waiting, Ona obtained the Non-GMO Project Verified status. In order to become Non-GMO Project Verified, we had to be completely transparent about our ingredients: where we get them, the non-GMO practices suppliers use to grow and process their products, how they keep that product separate from high GMO risk products, and how we do the same once they are in our facility. For our honey supply, we had to provide documentation that bees weren’t foraging on high risk crops. It’s a rigorous examination of every step in our supply chain!
Our Fair Trade Certified symbol means that we use fair and equitable trade practices at every level of our supply chain. Fair Trade USA made sure we buy from certified Fair Trade farms and that we’re buying at fair trade prices. We do this to support farmers in developing countries, their environment and communities, and to promote better working conditions for them.
Two more new additions to our wrappers are the USDA Organic symbol and The California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Organic means that the producers from whom we get our ingredients use natural practices to the grow their crop. This means maintaining soil and water quality, wildlife, avoiding synthetic fertilizers and genetic engineering, and using natural methods for pest and weed management. CCOF confirmed that our ingredients are organic by checking into the practices of our ingredient suppliers and that they are in compliance with the USDA Organic standards.
The circle with the P in it stands for our official Paleo certification by the Paleo Foundation. This means our products do NOT have: grains, dairy, soy, legumes, artificial coloring, preservatives, artificial sweeteners. That was an easy one as MOST of our recipes never contained any of those! We do have two peanut products that are not paleo and still delicious.
Next is the Certified Gluten Free logo from the Gluten Intolerance Group. They tested our products and individual ingredients to ensure we were below the FDA’s maximum gluten level of 20 parts per million to be considered gluten free. Gluten Intolerance Group holds even stricter standards. To pass their gluten free exam, our products and ingredients have to contain less than 10 ppm gluten. Again, that one was pretty easy as our ingredients are inherently gluten free and high quality!
Why become certified Kosher? We don’t use meat or dairy in our products or even in our facility. Kosher certification is another way we show that our products are high quality. To be kosher, products have to be grown and processed in compliance with a set of complex religious rules. We get our nuts, seeds and oils from Kosher sources and nothing that isn’t kosher touches anything in the kitchen where our products are made.
What is GAPS? It stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome and it’s a condition that establishes a connection between how our gut goings-on change our brain. This diet program is used to treat conditions like ADHD / ADD, schizophrenia, autistic spectrum disorders, as well as immune system and digestive problems. GAPS diet avoids processed foods, and prefers organic food, natural fats like coconut, unrefined sweeteners, no chemicals, artificial coloring or sweeteners. Nut flours allowed in moderation. Ona cookies and bars meet all the criteria so those on the GAPS diet can enjoy them!
What is SCD? It stands for Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It’s a way to treat digestive conditions that are a result of damaged gut lining, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and diverticulitis. This diet allows foods (carbohydrates) based on their chemical structure. Simple, easier to digest carbs like fructose, are allowed, while complex carbs like starch and lactose, are not. Honey is the only sweetener allowed on this diet!
Your purchase keeps bees happy! In May 2016, Ona began donating a portion of every product sold to the Bee Friendly Farmer program, which is a part of the Pollinator Partnership, the world’s largest non-profit 501(c)3 organization that is devoted solely to protecting pollinators and their natural habitat. The BFF program requires its farmers to provide exceptional habitat for their pollinators. For more details, see our June 1 blog or check out the Pollinator Partnership website!
We're Non-GMO Project Verified, Organic, Fair Trade, Gluten-Free, Paleo, and Kosher Certified, friendly for GAPS and SCD diets, AND we support sustainable bee friendly farming. Oh, and our products are delicious! Which makes it easy for you to help support all that we do for our community and environment!