What does it mean to be “certified organic”?

The National Organic Program is a federal program administered by xxx x xxx blah blah, etc. It means that you have received and organic certificate from a USDA accredited certifying agency such as OneCert. It means you work with an accredited certifying agency and are inspected annually. It means that your operations practices are compliant with The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) xxxx,xxxx…. Taken from EcoCert FAQ…”Certified organic refers to agricultural products that have been grown and processed according to uniform standards that have been verified by USDA. The National Organic Program (NOP) develops the rules and regulations for the production, handling, labeling, and enforcement of all USDA organic products. This process, referred to as rulemaking, involves input from the National Organic Standards Board (a Federal Advisory Committee made up of fifteen members of the public) and the public.

To gain organic certification, a farmer (of cropland, pasture or livestock) submits an organic system plan to an accredited certifier each year. This documents how the farmer adheres to NOP standards. Certified organic farms and processing facilities undergo annual inspections to verify that they are meeting the standards. Organic inspectors examine all elements of a farm operation for adherence to the standards and verfiy that the farm is being managed according to the farmer’s organic system plan.”