National Organic Program
The National Organic Program regulates all organic products certified to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic standards. Third-party organic certification agencies ensure compliance with the USDA organic regulations. There are two certifying agencies in our region:
- WSDA (Washington State Department of Agriculture)
Farmers, ranchers, distributors, processors, and retailers may have their products certified by these agencies as either organic or transitional organic.
These growers have been certified by for compliance with the laws defining “organically grown.”
These growers are participating an Organic Food Certification Program and are in the process of adopting organic practices, but have not completed the qualification process. They are certified as Transitional.
Additional Certification/Audit Programs
The GAP/GHP Audit Verification Program is a voluntary program to demonstrate that the participating company has adhered to Food and Drug Administration’s Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. A successful audit shows commitment by management and employees to follow and maintain the guidelines to help minimize the potential risk for microbial contamination of the product.
In December 2014, WSDA published the “Bridging the GAPs FARM GUIDE – Good Agricultural Practices and On-Farm Food Safety for Small, Mid-Sized, and Diversified Fruit and Vegetable Farms.” English and Spanish versions are available.
The guide is part of WSDA’s Bridging the GAPs project, which focuses on communicating effective food safety strategies, providing information on regulatory changes, and sharing marketplace guidance for small, mid-sized and diversified farms.
CNG is a non-profit organization offering a peer-review inspection program for small-scale growers and beekeepers utilizing natural methods.
A peer-reviewed certification program linking land management practices with the protection of agricultural and urban watersheds.