Interview on the HiPP Organic Seal
The trend towards organic produce is booming. But is organic food really a guarantee for healthy nutrition? From chocolate to crisps – nowadays everything is allowed to be called an organic product if it complies with the legal requirements.
Prof. Dr. Claus Hipp has influenced organic farming in Germany like noone else. He would like to explain to you the difference between standard organic products and the HiPP Organic Quality in greater detail.
Dr. Hipp, you hold your own Organic Seal. Why?
C. Hipp: First of all, it comes from a long-standing tradition. We already started practising organic farming over 50 years ago. At that time, organic farming wasn’t a major issue. We went against the flow and promoted organic farming with total conviction. We thus set new standards in the quality of baby food. These quality policies are taken into account in the choice of soil, planting and processing and are present in every HiPP organic jar.
But the EU organic product logo also represents quality, does it not?
C. HiPP: Of course. The EU Organic Farming Regulation is a good thing. It bans the use of chemical and synthetic sprays and fertilisers, genetic engineering in plants, artificial colours and preservatives, and flavouring and flavour enhancers.
But is it then still necessary to use a separate organic product seal?
C. HiPP: Absolutely. The standard organic logo is good and important. However, it doesn’t cover the testing of the quality of the organic products after they have grown. Pollutants in the air, in the soil or from neighbouring fields can still contaminate the fruit, vegetable or grain that has been planted. Accordingly, the provisions allow a very low quantity of pesticides in baby food. Not so with HiPP. We strive for much lower values than the law requires: that means we do not allow these residues and therefore carry out complete quality tests at the highest technological level. Only perfect organic goods are bottled in jars and receive the Organic Seal.
The HiPP Organic Seal represents the highest standard of purity. How is it still possible to achieve this today?
C. HiPP: First we take soil samples to establish whether a certain field is eligible in the first place. We already exclusively contracted the most suitable cultivation areas for our different types of vegetables many years ago. Over many decades we have acquired special knowledge on how to rotate crops. We also support the organic farmers during cultivation and work closely with them. Later, on delivery, we only accept the products when they have fulfilled the strict HiPP purity requirements in our lab tests.
How far does your control of harmful substances go?
C. HiPP: We test for over 1,000 harmful substances, which is significantly more than required by law. What you buy in one of our jars has gone through up to 260 tests. We are definitely stricter than the law requires. With our sensitive measuring technology we could detect a single grain of salt in a 25 m swimming pool. HiPP has voluntarily imposed extremely strict limits with regard to all currently known harmful substances and impurities. However, a valuable contribution towards purity comes, of course, from the organic farmers themselves: they have known our uncompromising position for many decades. We are jointly committed to providing the highest quality. And that right from the start.