Thanks to a recent decision, the organic market will be able to satisfy its public with an improved qualityof products. The United States Department of Agriculture has just partnered with the Organic Trade Association to develop a certification called the National Certified Transitional Program or NCTP. Once it becomes official, farmers and producers will enjoy greater freedom to market their organic crops or livestock as premium products. By doing so, they will still function within the rules of the USDA National Organic Program.
If someone wants to become a certified organic producer, he or she will be able to acquire the qualification in a span of three years. However, in the meantime, these transitional producers can give up on certain practices that are not in alignment with the organic label, and still market their products as organic. The public that is looking for clean foods is at the moment unable to make a difference between certified and uncertified organic farmers. The new program is determined to make this situation as transparent as possible.
Under the new program, USDA will partner with certain certifying agencies to start the inspections of all proclaimed organic farmers. The organization is at the selection stage when this kind of agencies can send their applications until the end of February. Besides the inspections conducted by the chosen organizations, the program will also be in charge of promoting same production standards among all crop and livestock producers. This way, the consumers will come to trust the organic market once again.
Once a farm is receiving an official inspection, certain details will need to be proved. First of all, organic farmers will have to attest the fact that they didn’t use any kind of illicit substances on their land for at least 12 months. These substances can be both synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. They also have to be in compliance with the standard practices, such as crop rotation, lack of genetic engineering alterations, and certain measures to foster biodiversity.
According to NCTP, there will be a new term for products advertised on labels, namely transitional. This adjective is positioning the goods somewhere between conventional and organic products. It will mark a producer who entered the three-year period for the organic certification. This way, the consumers will be able to make the difference between the organic market and pre-certified products.
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