by Cecilia Redding
There are many reasons why I feel it is important to become certified organic but I would have never gone into farming if the USDA did not certify organic farming practices. I fell in love with the science of farming when I was an undergraduate in engineering. The mixture of biological sciences with all the mechanical side of engineering captured my passion but it took working in conventional agriculture to realize that they had lost the science of building nutritious soil and using good environmental practices.
Along the way, I saw first hand the environmental problems that agriculture causes. Good environmental farming practices are part of organic certification. Many people think organic farming’s only difference is the use of pesticides. This is another reason I wanted to be certified. It is very hard to describe your farming practices to customers when it is illegal to use the word “organic” unless you are certified. Sustainable, pesticide free, chemical free are all words used to describe farming practices to differentiate from conventional farming practices but these words don’t do a good job on communicating the differences.
It is very rare to see a FDA inspector in the food industry. Therefore, most conscientious companies hire 3 part auditors to do yearly inspections to help stay focused on “good practices” (this could be Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Agricultural Practices, etc which are regulated by the federal government). Organic certification provides this yearly inspection that will help us stay focused on using only the latest farming practices, using only approved materials in our operations, and in assuring all our documentation are kept in proper order.
I hope this explains why we chose to become certified but stop by the farm if you want to discuss it further!