A newly available Web domain is beginning to be adopted by organic groups and companies. Global registry services provider Afilias made .organic available as an alternative to common domains like .com or .org back in August of 2014. It is only available to companies that sell at least some certified organic products, or are legitimate players in the organic industry. A survey commissioned by Afilias shows the public may actually value this distinction being made when visiting Web sites.

The survey found one in four consumers believe that “true” organic companies should have a .organic web address, under the notion that it helps weed out the pretenders. Almost 70% of respondents think some companies are misrepresenting themselves as “organic” so they can charge more, and 60% of respondents said they would be more inclined to visit a site ending in organic than one ending in .com when searching for organic products.

The survey, which polled over 3,200 U.K. and U.S. consumers, showed people would also like to see major names like Annie’s Homegrown, Clif Bar and Trader Joe’s offer .organic sites. Several major players in the industry have already made the move. Rodale Institute has a live Web address at rodaleinstitute.organic that is identical to the preexisting site still found at rodaleinstitute.org, revealing that Rodale viewed .organic as a way to expand its Web presence and convey a commitment to organic. Others, like Stonyfield Farm, appear to be taking a different tack. A visit to stonyfield.organic currently brings users to a page designed for a select audience of farmers, as it provides information about Stonyfield’s Northeast Organic Dairy Pay Price Program.

Addresses are only available to “products, manufacturers, producers, co-packers, distributors, certifiers, wholesalers, retailers and other qualified registrants who meet specified organic-related criteria as part of their domain name registration.”

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, February 2015