Organic certification is a certification process for producers of organic food that ensures quality by proving that specific guidelines have been met. In general, any business directly involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, etc. Requirements generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging and shipping.
Jerry Dell Farms has been Certified Organic by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) since 2000.
Some of the requirements include:
- Treated wood, including fence posts, is prohibited where it may come into contact with organic land or animals.
- Land must not have had any prohibited substances (synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers, treated seeds) applied to it for at least three years to be eligible for certification.
- A three-year history on every field and pasture must be submitted. It must include crops grown, and substances applied for the past three years.
- Livestock over six months old must have access to managed pasture with edible forage during the entire grazing season (minimum of 120 days).
- Tail docking is prohibited.
- To market certified organic meat, the slaughterhouse must be certified organic.
- Hay, straw, corn stalks, and other agricultural products used as bedding must be certified organic.
- Develop appropriate housing for animals, including young stock. Animals over 6 months old must have daily access to the outdoors (including winter).