Certification for Organic Products


Organic Spinach Field

Certification for Organic Farming

To become a certified organic farm, here are the steps to follow:

  • Identify a suitable certifier.  Organic certification agencies may be operated by a state agriculture department, or they may be private entities, but they must be accredited by the National Organic Program (NOP).  Certifiers work as an extension of the federal government, licensing producers to use the term “organic” in selling their products
  • Submit an application.  After identifying a certifier, the producer should request a copy of the certifier’s organic standard and an application packet. which typically includes an organic farm plan questionnaire.  The producer must complete the questionnaire, which elicits information about the farm or ranch, including details about soil fertility planning, seeds and seedlings, weed and pest management practices.
  • Completeness review.  The certifier reviews the organic farm plan application to be certain that it is complete and that the operation appears able to comply with NOP organic standards.  If additional information is required, the producer will be asked to submit it.
  • On-Farm inspection.  If the organic farm plan application is judged to be complete. the certifier assigns an organic inspector to inspect all relevant areas of the farm.  The inspector looks for all indication that the producer is operating according to their organic plan and is in compliance with organic standards.
  • Final review.  The organic farm plan application and inspection report is reviewed by an individual or certification committee with expertise in organic farming and certification standards.  If certification is granted, the producer can begin marketing his or her products as organic.