Organic Certification: The National Organic Program
In order to sell products as organic, farmers, ranchers or processor must first become certified by a National Organic Program accredited certifying agency.
In 2002 the NOP was established through the United States Department of Agriculture to provide legal and consistent regulations and certification procedures which apply to production and processing of all produce sold as organic in the U. S.
- Certification is a yearly cost and a farmer should evaluate whether he or she has enough organic product to sell in order to justify the cost.
- Farmers whose gross agricultural income from organic sales total $5,000 or less annually are exempt from certification under NOP 205.101 Exemptions and exclusions.
National Organic Program
Program Manager, USDA-AMS-TMP-NOP
Room 4008-South Bldg.
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington , DC 20250-0020
- Guidebook for Organic Certification, Answers to Common Certification Questions (order or download here) Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES)
- The New Farm Guide to US Organic Certifiers
Additional Certification Programs
- IFOAM-International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
IFOAM's mission is leading, uniting and assisting the organic movement in its full diversity. Their goal "is the worldwide adoption of ecologically, socially and economically sound systems that are based on the principles of Organic Agriculture."
Selecting a Certifier
- Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA)
- Swiss Ordinance of Organic Farming
Reference to commercial products or trade names in these publications is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by University of Nebraska-Lincoln is implied.