Organic labeling and certification are probably the most important tools that help farmers make their products reach the market shelves. While there are many fancy terms added to the labels for influencing purchases, organic seals have the most enforceable meanings which make them highly desirable additions. A farmer, for being certified as organic, needs to abide by the USDA and NOP standards, especially when it comes to adhering to organic farming practices.
In the subsequent sections, we shall talk about the basics of organic certification and how it can be availed by farmers for improving credibility:
- Start by Learning, Planning and Applying
It is important to learn about the organic farming standards before planning and applying the next course of action, precisely for approaching an organic certification committee. It is all about checking the application process, associated fee structure, and other overhead costs pertaining to the organic tag.
- Embrace the Transition
The trickiest aspect of availing an organic certification is to actually prove that the farming techniques in place are free of prohibited substances, sewage solids, fungicides, and GMOs. Therefore, famers must make sure that these basic guidelines and compliance requirements are met. Most certifying committees offer a 12 month transition period after which the farmers are free to market their products as transitional organic.
- Be Ready for Inspection
Once the farming guidelines are met, a single round or rather multiple inspections can be expected.
- The Review Process
If and when the inspection committee files a report, it’s time to wait for the results to come out.
- Get Certified
Once all the guidelines are adhered to and the concerned authority certifies the farmer as organic, the products can be sold with a similar tag in place.
Getting hold of an organic certification is feasible only when the concerned user base starts emphasizing on organic food items. However, following organic farming techniques, in order to get hold of a certification, also has several associated benefits for the farmers:
- Higher Premium
Organic items are sold at a higher tick as compared to the conventional food items. Therefore, the earning of an average farmer gets a sizeable boost if organic farming techniques are put in place.
- Lower Investment
The capital investment, associated with organic farming techniques are on the lower side with the reasons being minimal to zero usage of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. This is why organic famers incur lower yearly costs as compared to the conventional producers.
- Minimal Dependence on Lenders
Chemical farming inputs aren’t necessary in organic farming. Therefore, instances of high debt can be readily avoided as farmers aren’t overly dependent on money lenders for getting hold of crop enhancing substances.
- Better Synergy
Most organic farmers have cohesive associations with animal, plant, and ecological entities. As organic farming aims at maintaining the well-being of soil, water, and living organisms, farmers following the same are best suited for receiving the environmental perks.
Organic farming is highly rewarding concept, both for the consumers and farmers. While organic farming techniques have diverse financial and environmental benefits in place, it all eventually boils down to organic certifications and credible seals.