Local Organic Certification

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Organic certification is something I posted on last week. After I posted that article, I started thinking about the certification of local growers. Many of the small local growers are not technically certified. One told me the process was prohibitively expensive. There is a lot I don’t know about the process and cost for a small farmer to get certified, but all the local organic growers I have talked to, grow organically because they are deeply committed to sustainable, healthy, farming practices. They may not be certified, but they have the best of intentions and as best as they can know, do grow their produce organically. Many of the growers are almost evangelical about organic food and farming. Their families eat the products they are selling and they seem to be 100 percent honest in their growing practices. The produce they grow is beautiful, delicious, and good for you.

Having said all that, I did ask a couple of the growers about their irrigation practices. Upon hearing their answers, I realized that without certification, there were possibly some unintended glitches in the organic growing process. I am looking into this a bit more and will write a future article on the subject.

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Will Sig
1 B Hunter

I am an organically certified farmer your questions regarding the organic certification are valid,as in my province there are currently 7 certifying bodies,all with different criteria.We will be switching to a Canadian standard as of Dec. 2008 which effectively means that all products labeled organic will have to meet the canadian standards including all imported Organic products which hopefully will lead to a more confident consumer as all the organic products will fall under this umbrella.i do not agree with the cost prohibitive comment,as organic products are constantly in demand and as more consumers find out how or what there food is grown/sprayed with they are seeking out organic foodand are willing to pay a higher price,and are also asking a lot of questions as to how they can be sure the product is Organic.One of my favourite hobbies is teaching and talking to my customers at the farm and the farmers market about the Organic Sectorand how it works. keep up the good work

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2 Will

Welcome B Hunter! Don’t know if you are subscribed to the post, but if you are, I have a question. Are you referring to the cost prohibitiveness of the certification process, or to the cost prohibitiveness of organic food in general as raised in a couple of my other articles?

The cost of certification in your area is an issue you would certainly know about. I just know that many growers in Oregon say they can not afford the process of getting certified, but they are 100% committed to growing organically.

The cost of organic food in general is an issue that absolutely needs to be resolved. It is absurd the differential sometimes, and most of that is not going to the farmer, but to businesses who see organic food as a specialty item to be marked up and profited on beyond any semblance of what is reasonable.

-Will

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