Certified Naturally Grown

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Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) is a US-based grassroots farm assurance certification program created for small-scale organic farmers selling locally and directly to their customers.[1] CNG was founded in 2002 by organic farmers Kate and Ron Khosla, as a simpler to administer and less expensive alternative to the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) certification, with a production standard based on the NOP.[2][3] It is operated as a non-profit corporation, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.

According to Ron Khosla, CNG was created as reaction to the legislation of organic production standards in the US in 2002:

"Farmers that have proudly referred to themselves as “Organic” for decades were not permitted to do so after October 21, 2002, unless certified by a USDA-sanctioned agency. Today, most family farmers that continue to grow organic are not certified by the USDA. It shouldn’t matter…except that the law states a farmer cannot declare or even describe their produce as “organic” (including “non-certified organic”) unless it is certified by a USDA accredited certifier."[4]

Certified Naturally Grown farmers are required to submit to an annual inspection. For organic producers, this is conducted by a USDA-accredited certifying agency and the producers typically pay fees associated with the inspection. Certified Naturally Grown farmers may be inspected by other CNG farmers, non-CNG farmers, extension agents, master gardeners and customers, with CNG farmers being ideal, and must also pay an annual fee.[5] Inspection forms are posted on CNG website, and all farms are subject to random pesticide residue testing.[6]

CNG operates in the US and Canada. A United Kingdom sister organization, the Wholesome Food Association, promotes similar food production standards at the local, grassroots level, but does not operate a certification program.[7]


  1. ^ Morris, Allie (4 August 2014). "For some small farmers in New Hampshire, Certified Naturally Grown makes more sense". Concord Monitor. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Food fight: Some local farms prefer 'Naturally Grown' over 'Organic'". Institute for Agrigulture and Trade Policy. 9 September 2007. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Certification Programs". Certified Naturally Grown. Retrieved 2013-05-17. 
  4. ^ "Certified Naturally Grown: A Different Kind of Organic: The Satya Interview with Ron Khosla". Satya. December 2005 – January 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Program Requirements". Certified Naturally Grown. Retrieved 2013-05-17. 
  6. ^ "Forms and Flyers". Certified Naturally Grown. Retrieved 2013-05-17. 
  7. ^ "Our principles". Wholesome Food Association. Retrieved 2014-09-10. 

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