If you’re thinking of getting into the organic farming industry, one of the very first things that you should do is get your farmland certified, otherwise, you won’t be able to market your products as organic. However, if even if you think you’re following organic practices, you will not be able to sell your products under an organic label.
If you’re looking to sell your products under an organic label, you’re going to have your farmland certified. In the United States, you’re going to be certified with the USDA Organic Seal. However, this is not an easy process.
After all, having an organic label is a big deal, so the process to get certified is a rather rigorous one. But if you’re committed to growing organic products, here are some things to know about the process of getting certified.
How to determine if your farm is eligible
Of course, before anything else, you have to find out if your farm is even eligible for the organic label. You might think that you’re complying with all the needed requirements, only to find out that there is an aspect of your farm that disqualifies you.
The best way to determine if you qualify is to contact a National Organic Program certified agent. They will be with you throughout the certification process as well as be the one who licenses you to use the term organic for your products.
Technically, anybody who produces crops, raises livestock, is a restaurant owner who sells organic foods, basically, anybody who is looking to market their products as organic to the general public.
It is not limited only to organic farming but can apply to any kind of products that have the capacity to meet the organic label.
What might disqualify you?
The process of obtaining an organic certification is not an easy one, and one small mistake can disqualify you from getting that certification. In order to avoid that, you should be aware of the National List of Allowed and Organic Substances, which will tell you what substances can and cannot be used in your productions.
You should also be aware of the USDA regulations that may potentially disqualify you. Read up on these, and don’t forget to check in with your NOP certified agent.
Is getting the UDSA Organic Seal right for you?
In addition to everything else, you have to determine whether getting the organic seal is right for you. A lot of farmers simply want that organic label to sell their products at a higher price, only to find out that the certification process and the dedication it takes to maintain that certification is too long for them.
Even meeting the requirements for certification can take years, especially if you’ve been using conventional farming methods in the past. For example, if you’ve been using pesticides in your farm in the past, you have to wait until all traces of this are removed for at least three years before your farmland can even begin to be certified.
The dedication to organic farming takes a lot of effort that involves changing up your entire lifestyle. Organic is much more than just a label.