Product Definitions


The popularity of IFC products is, in part, due to the fact that many of our producers practice non-traditional methods of production.  To promote consistency and clarity of meaning, the IFC has adopted a list of acceptable terminology to be used by our producers for the purpose of describing these practices.  Consumers can shop the IFC with confidence knowing that the terms used by our producers to describe their practices are consistent with the definitions listed below.


Cage Free

Flock was able to freely roam a building, room, or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during their production cycle.



Produce raised without the use of sprays or purchased chemical fertilizer.


Free Range or Free Roaming

Flock was provided shelter in a building, room, or area with unlimited access to food, fresh water, and continuous access to the outdoors during their production cycle.



Genetically Modified Food

Foods produced from genetically modified organisms. These species have undergone directed modification of their genes using such techniques as altering DNA, substituting genetic material by means of a virus, transplanting whole nuclei, transplanting cell hybrids, etc.



An organism that has been genetically altered through the transfer of DNA from another organism, resulting in expressions of new characteristics in the recipient.

[UC Davis Extension]


Grass Fed Livestock

“Grass and forage shall be the feed source consumed for the lifetime of the ruminant animal, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning. The diet shall be derived solely from forage consisting of grass (annual and perennial), forbs (e.g. Legumes, Brassica), browse, or cereal grain crops in the vegetative (pre-grain) state. Animals cannot be fed grain or grain byproducts (starch and protein sources) and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.”



For grassfed non-ruminants, including pigs and poultry, grass is a significant part of their diets but not the entirety of their diets, since these animals need to consume grain.




Integrated Pest Management

Keeps pest population at an acceptable level with minimal use of pesticides. This practice combines information on the life cycle of pests with available pest control methods to manage pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment.




Meat, poultry, and egg products labeled as “natural” must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients.



No Hormones (pork and poultry)

Hormones are not allowed in raising hogs or poultry. Therefore the claim “no hormones added” cannot be used on the labels of pork or poultry unless it is followed by the statement: “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones”



No Hormones (beef)

The term “no hormones administered” can be used  by the producer showing no hormones have been used in raising the animals.



No Antibiotics (red meat and poultry)

The terms “no antibiotics added” can be used  for meat and poultry products if  animals have been raised without antibiotics.



Organic Food

For crops: organic seal verifies that irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, and genetically modified organisms were not used.

For livestock: organic seal verifies that producers met animal health and welfare standards, did not use antibiotics or growth hormones, used 100% organic feed, and provided animals with access to the outdoors.

For multip-ingredient foods: organic seal verifies that the product has 95% or more certified organic content.



Certified Naturally Grown (CNG)

Refers to a farm assurance program certifying produce, livestock and apiaries for organic producers who sell locally and directly to their customers. Founded in 2002 this certification requires the same standards set forth by the USDA for organic production, however certification is carried out through peer inspections thereby reducing cost and paperwork.

To be granted the CNG certification, farmers don’t use any synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones, or genetically modified organisms. CNG livestock are raised mostly on pasture and with space for freedom of movement. Feed must be grown without synthetic inputs or genetically modified seeds