In response to the development of the NOP, the Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) program was established in 2002. It is a grassroots program in great measure; its formation was due to frustration with the USDA’s appropriation of the Certified Organic label. A number of farmers who have previously been certified as organic are pursuing CNG certification. The CNG software provides a growing system of production standards based on NOP standards, but with easier, less expensive administration (and that old, holistic feel). For farmers who sell locally and concentrate on direct-to-consumer sales, it is particularly attractive. CNG or non-CNG growers, extension agents, master gardeners or even customers may perform annual inspections for certification (though other CNG farmers are considered ideal). This software certifies production and livestock activities, as well as apiaries, and random pesticide residue testing is performed on CNG farms.
How To Get Certified Naturally Grown Verification For Foods And Beverage Products
Certified Naturally Grown is seen as the locals’ response to the Certified Organic or USDA certification program. It is said that farmers who have prided themselves in growing wholesome foods were now forced to drop the ‘Organic’ label unless approved and certified under the USDA program.
Founded by Ron and Kate Khosla in 2002, it is a farm assurance scheme based in the United States. It is a non-profit organization aiming to provide a cheaper organic certification option for farmers at the grassroots level.
Farmers who find the Certified Organic expensive and the paperwork bulky are exactly the type of people the Certified Naturally Grown program caters to. This way. They can still have their produce labeled ‘Organic’ without having to go through USDA certification.
Certified Naturally Grown Certification
To apply for certified naturally grown certification, one needs to provide various information such as general production plant or farm information. Information on farming practices, seedlings, crop disease management methods, harvesting methods, crop rotation methods, planting methods, tillage practices, fertilization and weed control methods, machinery used, and production process would also be required.
Both livestock, farm produce, fisheries, bee farms, and all forms of agriculture are covered under the Certified Naturally Grown program. The same procedures used in screening and verifying under USDA certification are also used here. Farmers registered under the Certified Naturally Grown program must pay a yearly fee and go through an annual mandatory inspection. Farmlands of registered farmers also have to be compulsorily screened for pesticide residue.
A major difference in their certification routine is that the verification process is carried out not by third-party agents but by other registered Certified Naturally Grown farmers. In some cases, unregistered farmers. Extension agents, consumers, and gardeners may be recruited as inspectors, but registered farmers are preferred. All information on the procedures, application forms, processes, declarations, and agreements are publicly available on the official Certified Naturally Grown website.
Steps To Getting A Certified Naturally Grown Certification
Getting registered as a certified naturally grown producer or farmer is quite easy; a quick online application, provision of information needed, and securing a slot for inspection. These steps are basically what’s also needed for maintaining the certification.
Producers are authorized to use the CNG name and logo and receive our marketing materials only after their application is accepted, and the three core requirements are completed.
To maintain CNG certification, producers must fulfill these core requirements annually.
Payment Of Dues
The minimum fee to be paid annually is $150. Provision is also made for farmers to pay by installments to enable them cover the fees comfortably.
Joining the certified naturally grown program comes with signing a declaration. This signed declaration is usually uploaded on each member’s user profile within four weeks of application.
Within two months of accepting an application, already certified farmers from the program visit the farm as part of a team of on-site inspectors. After they have gotten acquainted with the farm and practices used, then the inspection will be carried out annually for every farm registered under the program.