Alternate label for "Organically" grown food? (Gardening - General) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We've always practiced organic gardening here at our farm and sell our produce as such, but have not wanted to go through the hassles with the various government agencies and associated costs that would allow us to be labeled "certified" organic. People can come to see how we garden and they believe us when we tell them we grow the food organically and there's no problem. From what I've been reading in the news lately we are not going to be able to even say our produce is organic unless we go through this gov't certification process. It's my understanding that the cost of this certification is going up also. Not something we want to get into. My dilema is this: We're finally organized enough (well sort of) to put together brochures advertising what we have to sell and will be doing more marketing this year. I'd like to indicate that we take great care to grow everything as naturally as possibly, but I don't want to use the word organic to avoid any possible conflicts with competition I'll be running into at various farm markets who have gone through the hassle and cost of this certification and/or the gov't. Does anyone have any thoughts on this and possibly some ideas of a one or two word label we could start using? Thanks, look forward to the responses!

-- Rose Marie Wild (, April 21, 2001


Response to Alternate label for "Organically" grown food?

You can say you raise the produce naturally or in the case of meats, pastureed or free range, like w esell our eggs as free ranged. i know what you mean about the certification label, we were working on this here in VA and about done with the process and we are now moving. so we will have to begin anew where we land. hope this helps.

-- Bernice (, April 21, 2001.

Response to Alternate label for "Organically" grown food?

well, you could quite simply state that due to government regulations you can't say that your products are organic because it will cost you too much money!! OR our products are produced without the use of pesticides or herbicides - look up the word organic in the dictionary and use that definition.

-- kelly (, April 21, 2001.

Response to Alternate label for "Organically" grown food?

I think that what you are reading in the news is just babble. I know of no law that stops you or me from using the word organic to describe how we produce our products.

Now the word "certified" does require a certification. This of course is a thinly veiled word that requires a government employee to make it work, a government job description if you will. I live next door to the only "certified" organic orchard in my county. The owner of that "certified" operation told me that the only thing needed to continue his certification is $50 a year. He said that "she" drives up in the government owned car, honks and he brings out the check and he is certified for another year. Drive up certification, think about that.

Certification, in my opinion is just another word for taxation (without representation I might add).

I know of no "organic" jail, and I will use the word organic as long as it is true or until I get locked in the organic jail. I really do not think that will happen ever.

-- Ed Copp (OH) (, April 21, 2001.

Response to Alternate label for "Organically" grown food?

I've wondered about the same thing. It also seems the standards vary somewhat, depending on what certification agency you use. The current, new, FDA standards are easier to comply with but what Ed sez makes sense.

I looked into it (certification) a few years ago. Then it was $300 for the initial certicication and $150/yr thereafter.

I think I'm gonna say something like Naturally raised for that home grown goodness. Then ad parenthetically ("no made made chemicals were used to produce this product.")

-- john (, April 21, 2001.

Been in the same boat as you a few times. As with anything that the government gets involved with - its blasted impossible for the little guy...

You CAN state that your product is organically grown. You just can't slap a label that says 'organic' on a sign, brochure, etc. And, you must make it clear that you are not certified if you do this.

If there is room, list some of the methods that you use, and what you don't or won't use.... sort of like a super-short history of your farm.

You can (should??) also tell folks the reason that you are not certified. When I print fliers, I do this. And I state the costs and the procedures to get certified.

Its sort of the same thing as a soap manufacturer that lists 'sodium tallowate' instead of lye and tallow..... Same thing - just sounds better.

You could also use the 'grown using all natural methods' way around the problem. Be sure to tell people why you don't call yourself organic though. It takes over 100 really ticked off people to get one solid written letter about the problem mailed to the Dept of Ag.

-- Sue Diederich (, April 23, 2001.

Thanks for the responses. We watched a Bill Moyers special last night on Wisconsin Public Television about genetically modified food - what an informative show and very scary! The opposition to GMO's was using the phrase "true food". Although it doesn't pertain to the "organic" label specifically, I like the phrase and think I'll incorporate it into my brochures and marketing somehow.

-- Rose Marie Wild (, April 25, 2001.

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