Thursday, March 23, 2017

USDA Certified Organic Statistics

We recently received and completed the survey for Certified Organic farms distributed by the US Department of Agriculture.
By "agriculture" standards, we're a pretty small producer but we are committed to the organic standards and the rigorous process for organic certification.
Here's information about the survey process.
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will begin conducting the 2016 Certified Organic Survey to gather up-to-date data on certified organic crops and livestock in the United States. This special survey effort is critical to help determine the economic impact of certified organic agriculture production across the nation. NASS is mailing the survey to all known certified organic farms. The form asks farmers to provide information on acreage, production, and sales for a variety of certified organic crop and livestock commodities"
As part of our certification, we must use seeds that are USDA Certified Organic. I recently came across a new-to-me seed company, Reimer Seeds, that offered a nice selection of what I thought to be organic seeds, based on the special section that touted them as such. As I clicked through their glitzy website to read more about the various tomato and pepper varieties, I also took note of the icon on each description that indicated they were Certified Organic. I ordered several intriguing varieties of peppers and tomatoes
It was only after I received my seeds did I notice that nowhere was the required USDA Organic insignia that appears prominently on all of my other seed packets, invoices or packing slips. I then went back to the online catalog and determined after clicking through several more windows, that their seeds were "grown organically by our suppliers." Well, that's not good enough.
And, to add insult to injury, there is no published telephone number for this company - all communication is online. So numerous attempts to contact the company to lodge my complaint, have gone into the "live chat" section with no response.
Meanwhile, I was successful in locating most of the varieties from my usual reputable seed dealers.
And the moral of my story is to look for the USDA organic seal if you want to be sure you're getting organic products.
And speaking of organic products, many of the USDA certified organic seeds planted recently haved poked through the USDA certified organic seed starting mix. I'll soon put together a list of varieties of certified organic tomato, pepper and other vegetable starts we'll be offering for sale this spring.


Eddie and Georgia said...

I have being trying to get in touch with Reimer Seed Company since the seeds they sold me didn't sprout. I found many complaints about them online but too late to keep me from spending my money. Congratulations on your organic certification. It is a big accomplishment.

Kim said...

We are glad that at least some people are accountable to the standards set for organic. We love your produce!