The USDA National Organic Program is a marketing program with established regulations and monitoring guidelines:
- The NOP is a marketing program housed within the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.
- The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) was passed by congress in 1990.
- The OFPA required the USDA to develop national standards for organically produced agricultural products to assure consumers that agricultural products marketed as organic meet consistent, uniform standards.
- The OFPA and the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations require that agricultural products labeled as organic originate from farms or handling operations certified by a state or private entity that has been accredited by USDA.
- Neither the OFPA nor the NOP regulations address food safety or nutrition.
- More at: www.ams.usda.gov/nop/Consumers/Consumerhome.html
Get Certified: Contact a Certifying Agent
The first step to becoming certified is to contact a USDA Accredited Certifying Agent.
Farmers and handlers wishing to become certified will be asked to submit specific information to the agent, such as:
- Type of operation.
History of substances applied to land for the previous 3 years.
- Organic products being grown, raised, or processed.
- Applicant's organic plan, including practices and substances used in production, monitoring practices and record-keeping system.
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