Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Organic Certification

Today BCODA Organic Certifier Gary Atherstone visited the farm to assess the fields and gardens for Organic Certification. This process will cost R2500 per year and the expense could be reduced if certification is applied for as a cooperative.
Gary also mentioned that the cost to properly fence and install irrigation for two ha of organic gardens was about R100,000.

1 comment:

  1. Tarirai,
    This is part of a discussion on "Farmers for a Sustainable Future"
    Read full discussion

    "When I started farming 11 years ago, it was under a bigger operation that was certified organic and Biodynamic. I decided to get certified BD. There were only a few markets I sold to where certification was important. Once the NOP passed, BD was not organic as the USDA set the minimum abd maximum standard. I got NOP for one year but the fees and paperwork were too much so I dropped both.

    I then moved to just direct marketing to people where it didn't matter. My operation now has moved under a different bigger operation and have slipped under their BD certification. It's mostly because we are selling to restaurants in the SF bay area. We don't need it but would like it for the educational purposes.

    As an aside, a group of local people, myself included, have started a local non-USDA "beyond organic" ecolabel that helps have some verification for small local people disenfranchised by the government. You can check it out at www.mendocinorenegade.com

    So basically, what I am saying is it depends on your market. If you are selling to people who can know and trust you, it probably doesn't matter. If you are moving out into bigger trade channels, at somepoint it may matter."
    Adam Gaska
    Mendocino County, USA