Friday, March 29, 2013

Certified Naturally Grown?

I am terribly interested to hear what our customers would think about this type of certification vs. organic certification? I have found lately that the paperwork and fees for certified organic status has become quite overwhelming and exhaustive. Not to mention the cost. We spend more than $1000 in fees and that doesn't count my hours of paperwork completion which could easily triple that cost if counted. 

The other issue I have with organics is the increasing leniency of the standards to accommodate large corporate farms. And let's not even get into talking about the organic farms and corporations that helped to fund the Anti GMO Labeling campaign in California last year which defeated Bill 37 which would have required products containing GMO's to be labelled on grocery shelves.  

Enter Certified Naturally Grown...

I've been watching this Certification Body for the past 5 years or so. I have wanted to see how they would grow...or if they'd grow. Certified Naturally Grown has seen a steady march of organic devoted farmers join their ranks over the years. 

There's not much for me to write about this subject. The link above is the FAQ page and pretty much sums it up. My question to my customers and readers of this blog is "what do you think about this?"

While I remain completely devoted to organic principles and have an immensely anti-gmo attitude, I am quickly becoming disillusioned about the process that takes away significant resources to prove I am doing the right thing. I will never use synthetic inputs of any kind including pesticides, herbicides or petroleum based fertilizers and at the end of the day, whether certified organic or not, my customers have to choose to believe me or not. 

My father, John Fraser, was a farmer who used chemicals on his farm and who worked at the fertilizer plant in Ft. Saskatchewan. Considering he died of cancer at the age of 23 when I was 8 months old, I hope you'll believe how organic we really are. 

Decision pending customer feedback. 

An update - We have ultimately decided to stick with our organic certification. While it is frustrating at times to have to deal with the paperwork and bureaucracy, in the end, it is the best system we have for assuring customers of a certain standard. Certified Organic means that the food you are eating is free of GMO and has not been grown or treated with any man-made chemical inputs of any kind. Period.