Sometimes when we are going through a new process, like transitioning to organic production, we need a little help to ensure we comply with the rules that define the game. Accredited certifying agents are here to help make sure we do exactly that, stay within the USDA guidelines to ensure the integrity of the certified organic seal.
Organic certification verifies that your farm or handling facility complies with the USDA organic regulations. Once you are certified, you can sell, label, and represent your products as organic. These regulations describe the specific standards required for you to use the word “organic” or the USDA organic seal on food, feed, or fiber products. https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites
Having the USDA Organic Seal on your products when you go to market them is one of the biggest differentiators between you and other producers.
Just like producers needing to follow standards for organic certification, a certifying agent must also follow procedures and are required to be accredited by the National Organic Program (NOP).
They are knowledgeable on many things including:
- Interpretations of the Standards
- Allowances of specific inputs for use in organic production
It is important to know that they are unable to:
- Consult clients or give advice to applicants. For example, they are unable to tell you what to grow or which inputs are best to use.
- Show how to overcome barriers to become certified. As an example, they are unable to make recommendations or tell you who to market your crops to.
Finding a Certifying Agent who is familiar with your type of operation that services your area is a plus. The following is a link to a list of Accredited Certifiers. (Click here)
For more information on the certification process, download the Grow Organic: A Farmer’s Guide eBook. It is free.
Grow Organic: A Farmer’s Guide eBook
YieldOrganic is by your side as you transition from conventional to Organic/Non-GMO production. All the way from understanding Where Do I Start, to going through Common Concerns That Are Raised, the Lessons we have Learned and openly sharing Our Financials from field years 2014 and 2015. With concise information, the transition isn’t as daunting as you may think.