The problem is that without certification there's no way to prove that small producers at farmers markets are complying with the "national & labeling requirements" like they're supposed to. Thus, the local farmers markets around here (& I imagine in others) insist that their vendors not use the word "organic" unless they have proof of certification.
I guess one has to check with their market management to see how they handle that.
"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "And no, I'm NOT being snarky." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Posts: 5619 | Location: Culpeper, VA - Zone 6/7 | Registered: June 18, 2008
Pardon, but even with certification, there is no way to prove that one meets NOP (National Organic Program) standards of the USDA unless one survives a careful audit by their certifying agent (often the state dept. of agriculture). Producers grossing less than $5,000 aren't required to hire a certifying agent, or the attendant paperwork, because the cost can be well over $1,000 annually; but are subject to the same -- potentially enormous -- penalties if they violate NOP standards.
In effect, if you say you're "organic" and you're not, you stand to lose a bundle, and I don't care who you are.
Those who declare themselves "Chemical-Free" may be just that, but they're not "Organic" necessarily, because a lot more is involved than chemicals. You must use organic seed if it's available, for example; you must compost animal manure in accordance with NOP rules; and any "input" you use in your farm or gardens must have a stamp of approval from OMRI (the Organic Materials Research Institute).
And the list goes on.
Posts: 1927 | Location: Cape Cod, zone 6, elevation 13 ft. | Registered: October 03, 2010