How to Get Regenerative Organic Certified
Get Regenerative Organic Certification
What one might call uber-organics is regenerative organic farming. Although many of the natural farming methods hope to work with nature or use some of the tactics of nature in agriculture, Regenerative Organics designs its systems to closely imitate nature. Instead of depleting them, it seeks to boost the resources it depends on (soil, water, air). Among the objectives are increasing soil fertility and farm biodiversity (with an increase in dependence on perennials over annuals), as well as seed and crop vitality. It aims to sustain low-cost agriculture and farming solutions.
Regenerative Organics, however, really stands out from other certifications in that it appears to be about food production and carbon sequestration in equal measure; it tries to reverse climate change by converting agriculture into a carbon sink rather than a source of environmental carbon. Regenerative Organics is also seen as borrowing from/integrating agroecology, agroforestry, permaculture, holistic management and other practices of ecological farming.
Robert Rodale coined the word ‘Regenerative Organic Farming’ in the ’80s, and the Rodale Institute (headquartered in Pennsylvania) is regarded as a leader of regenerative practices. Many other groups are at the forefront, including Kiss the Ground (California), the Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm, California), the Land Institute (Kansas), the Soil Foodweb Institute (Australia), to name a few, as well as many supporters, including the Bionutrient Food Association’s Dan Kittredge (Massachusetts) and New Forest Farms’ Mark Shepard (Wisconsin).
In 2018, a certification program was launched for Regenerative Organics. Soil health, animal welfare and social justice are his “three pillars” for certifiable programs. The USDA Certified Organic Standard is the basis for certification standards; in addition, it is required that those pursuing certification first work in the arena of all three pillars with different current certifiers. Farms are then eligible for ROC Bronze, Silver or Gold certification until ROC-specific requirements for each pillar are also met. The Regenerative Organic Partnership supervises the ROC.
How To Get Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) For A Food or Beverage Product
The Regenerative Organic Certification is one of the leading and globally acceptable certifications for organic farm products. Here’s a quick guide on how to get your food or beverage product certified. Let’s begin!
Step I: Submit An Initial Application Online
The process of getting your food or beverage product approved for ROC starts with a formal application on the ROC platform. Go online to RegenOrganic.org/Apply to begin the application process by submitting your formal application. Upon submission, a standard fee is required from the agency to get your request processed. In your application, ensure you include the selection for your preferred Certifying Body (CB). You should get a confirmation indicating approval of your request.
Step II: Send Your Regenerative Organic System Plan
After the initial application process, you should get a ROSP (Regenerative Organic System Plan) customised to your food or beverage product. The ROSP comes with a contract and both documentation is tailored to fit your food or beverage product. Specifically your consumer range, location, level of ROC, and other previous and future certifications. Read through the contract terms and ROSP and send a signed copy of the documents to proceed.
Step III: Pair Up With A Certifying Body (CB)
The next step to acquire your food or beverage product ROC is getting a Certifying body assigned to you. This process is completely receptive which means the CB contacts your office and not the other way round. The CB reviews your ROSP, validates the legitimacy of the contract, and assigns your brand a contact from their agency. The CB charges the cost on behalf of the ROA which means every payment to the ROA from this point goes through your assigned Certifying Body (CB).
Step IV: Have An Audit
The ROA mandates an annual audit on food and beverage products that intends to maintain its certification. Your product needs this audit to meet ROA standards of maintaining the ROC seal annually. Some producers pair their ROC audit with their farm Organic audits which makes the process interchangeable. Expect an auditor from ROA to go through your production facilities and ask interviewing questions from individuals associated with the manufacturing of your food product.
Step V: Final Review
Most food and beverage products have been rejected from the audit phase due to their lackadaisical attitude towards the ROC process. The final review is a compulsory process and sometimes take longer than most food and beverage companies expect. This review process involves in-depth screening of your documentation, the contract, your CB recommendation letter, and other information. A major part of this step is reviewing the interview section from the auditor.
Step VII: Get Regenerative Organic Certified!
In the end, your assigned CB (Certified Body) gets to decide if your food or beverage product gets the ROC. The approval process is immediately followed by an electronic issuing of your ROC by the ROA via email. After a few days, you should get the certificate sent to your mailbox. In the case where your operations don’t get approved for certification, you might be eligible to reapply. Your eligibility chances are totally dependent on the results of your first application process.