To Certify or Not To Certify: The perspective of small-scale organic farmers

OFC's Blog - Le blogue de la FBC

3.3  farmer's market

Local +organic = a win-win situation for growers, consumers and the environment.  

Small-scale organic farmers represent the face of the Canadian organic industry—at the farmers’ market, CSA drop-off and at the restaurant back door. Today, public on-farm exposure often happens through harvest days and other events offered by small farms.

Many of these farmers, however, are not certified organic. The typical small-scale farmer depends on direct marketing relationships—their sales pitch cultivates and educates buyers interested in supporting environmentally sound farming methods.  For these growers, the expense and effort of certification isn’t justifiable, since attaining certified organic status doesn’t significantly increase sales or the trust already earned from buyers.

In the spring of 2014, the Working Group on Small Scale Organic Certification (WGSSOC) administered a survey to small-scale farmers. 200 responses were received.  The data highlights how the current “one size fits all” model of organic certification is often not…

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