Certified Naturally Grown
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. 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. 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."
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. Inspection forms are posted on CNG website, and all farms are subject to random pesticide residue testing.
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.
- Morris, Allie (4 August 2014). "For some small farmers in New Hampshire, Certified Naturally Grown makes more sense". Concord Monitor. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
- "Food fight: Some local farms prefer 'Naturally Grown' over 'Organic'". Institute for Agrigulture and Trade Policy. 9 September 2007. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
- "Certification Programs". Certified Naturally Grown. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- "Certified Naturally Grown: A Different Kind of Organic: The Satya Interview with Ron Khosla". Satya. December 2005 – January 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
- "Program Requirements". Certified Naturally Grown. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- "Forms and Flyers". Certified Naturally Grown. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- "Our principles". Wholesome Food Association. Retrieved 2014-09-10.
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