The world of consumer labeling is far from perfect. Just look at the mess created by allowing companies to slap a “natural,” “all-natural,” or “100% Natural” on products containing everything from GMOs, to additives to toxic chemicals like glyphosate.
That said, there are a few labels you can count on. A certified organic product must contain ingredients that are at least 95-percent organic. A product labeled “vegan” is reliably 100-percent—not partially, plant-based. The same goes for a certified Kosher product—there are no ingredients in that product that are only “partially” Kosher.
Unfortunately, in the world of fair trade certifications, standards are much lower. A product can be certified and labeled “Fair Trade” even if only a mere 20 percent of its ingredients are actually fair trade. Many manufacturers take advantage of that low standard. The one exception is the Fair for Life certification, which has consistently adhered to a higher standard. Unfortunately, the folks running Fair for Life may soon trade in their high standards for the 20-percent rule—unless consumers can convince them otherwise.