Becoming Organic Certified
How Do I Become a Certified Organic Farm?
A Certified Organic Farm is in compliance with the National Organic Program (NOP) standards, and has been inspected and certified by an accredited USDA certifying agent. Products have been grown/raised without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, growth hormones, irradiation, or genetic engineering. The certification process is rigorous and requires record keeping, payment of an annual fee, and an annual inspection.
Note: The National Organic Program allows farmers who sell less than $5,000 worth of organic produce per year to call their produce “organic” if they follow the national standards, even if they are not certified.
Becoming Certified Organic
The USDA maintains a list of organic certifiers who can help guide farmers through the certification process.
Additionally, CT NOFA offers a low cost consultation service for those seeking to become certified organic, as well as mentorship assistance through the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic TOPP (Transition to Organic Partnership Program), which is a region-wide support network to help farmers transition their operations to certified organic. See more information about both of these programs, below.
CT NOFA RESOURCES
CT NOFA Supports Its Members in the Certification Process with Free Consulting
CT NOFA now offers consulting for those who need help with their application for organic certification for crops, livestock, poultry, eggs, wild crops, mushrooms, sprouts, processed products, and cranberries.
This consulting service is reserved for active CT NOFA members. (Join or renew a membership here.) The first 4 hours of help are free and are paid for by the generosity of CT NOFA Donors.
After the four hours, fees will be $50/hour.
Our CT NOFA Certification Consultant is Laura Davis. Laura is a NOFA/Mass Board Member, Certification Assistance Coordinator, and owner/farmer at Long Life Farm in Hopkinton, MA – a diversified vegetable farm that was certified organic in April 2013 by Baystate Organic Certifiers. Please email email@example.com or call 508-596-1651 with your inquiries about this helpful opportunity for CT NOFA member farmers.
The Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Regional Partnership for Organic Transition is a coalition of organizations providing technical assistance and wrap-around support for transitioning and existing organic farmers.
CT NOFA is proud to be a Core Partner in this program. This community agreement is sponsored by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and will continue through October of 2027.
CT NOFA is currently recruiting farmers looking to transition to organic growing methods with the goal of becoming Certified Organic. We will be connecting experienced mentors to farmers in the process of transitioning to organic (mentees) for one year. The mentorship program is expected to commence in the 4th quarter of 2023. CT NOFA staff will assist with helping mentee farmers navigate the organic certification process.
If you are operating a farm and would like the assistance of an experienced organic farmer during your transition to organic, we welcome you to join our group of mentee farmers. Click here to read more about the program, learn about mentor and mentee qualifications, and apply to participate.
Memberships are available for individuals, farms, families and others committed to ensuring the growth and viability of organic agriculture, organic food, and organic land care in Connecticut.