When suppliers and consumers look for organic farming food products, they are also looking, first and foremost, for the “certified organic” label. This label tells them that the food was produced on an organic farm and has no vestige of chemical or synthetic products. It is a term given only to organic agricultural land that passed the strict regulations of different certifying bodies. It assures suppliers and consumers that what they’re buying has met the standards of these certifying bodies.
But alas, getting that label is easier said than done. There are several certifying bodies in the United States. Growers, farmers, processors, and traders all must seek these certifications before offering organic food products.
What Happens During a Certification Process?
The certifying bodies will schedule the inspection of a farm. For growers and farmers, the transition to organic farming will take three years. This means that for the next three years, they will prepare their land for a non-chemical growing of crops. The support of organic certifying bodies is crucial for the success of a grower or farmer. They have to be sure that the land is ready for organic farming.
After the transition period, the certifying body will inspect the land for any trace of chemical products. Once they are assured that the land is free from any chemical and synthetic products, that’s the time that they will give the landowner that certified organic label.
For processors and traders, they will be required to ensure the integrity of the organic standards is kept. Among others, this means maintaining a document trail for audit purposes. They should record everything that happens in the organic farm, so the inspector has something to look back on during the different stages of the certifying process.
There are several certifications needed by organic products. There are certifications meant for local production and distribution. There’s a different certification if the traders want to sell the products outside the state or export it to other countries. Once in another state or country, the products may further undergo rigid testing to ensure that they are organic.
Although the process of getting such certification is often fraught with difficulties, remember that organic farming is the future. If you don’t get on the bandwagon now, you’ll see yourself playing catch up with other farmers who’ve transitioned to organic practices earlier. The future is organic. There is no reason for this society to stay with these conventional farming methods that harm the environment and might adversely affect one’s health.