Some small fruit growers choose organic production methods. Consumers of organic produce represent a growing market niche. This market is increasingly looking for certification to substantiate product claims. Federal legislation now requires certification of food products that are labeled as organic except for producers who gross under $5,000. These small producers must follow the same practices as certified growers. Organic agriculture is based on the use of practices and inputs that enhance the physical, biological and chemical aspects of the soil and its ability to sustain crop and animal production in an environmentally safe manner. In general, the use of synthetic substances for pest management or to supply nutrients is prohibited. Organic agriculture relies on cultural practices and natural based materials for pest management and on-farm or locally available sources of nutrients as much as possible. This guide includes information on many materials and inputs approved by the National Organic Program. Organically accepted practices are also included in the recommendations for specific crops and so designated with the symbol . The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) lists products it finds suitable for certified organic production. These products are generally allowed, but some are regulated and subject to restrictions. In some cases, certain formulations of a product are permitted and others are not. The list of substances approved by the OMRI is subject to change. Be sure to check with your certifier in advance to be certain that the materials and practices you plan to use are approved. Some materials labeled as organic may not be allowed by the program. For a current list, visit the OMRI web site at: www.omri.org.
The following is a list of certifying organizations currently accredited by USDA.
Connecticut and Massachusetts:
Baystate Organic Certifiers
Don Franczyk (Director)
1220 Cedarwood Circle
N. Dighton, MA 02764
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://baystateorganic.org
NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food
Division of Regulatory Services
25 Capitol St., P.O. Box 2042
Concord, NH, 03302-2042
Email: Jennifer.Gornnert@agr.state.nh Website: http://www.agriculture.nh.gov/divisions/regulatory-services/
Div. of Ag.
235 Promenade St.
Providence, RI 02908
Telephone: 401-222-2781 x4509