Certified Naturally Grown

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Certified Naturally Grown (CNG), "The Grassroots Alternative to Certified Organic", is a US-based farm assurance program certifying produce, livestock and apiaries for organic producers who sell 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, using a production standard based on the NOP.[2][3] It is operated as a non-profit corporation, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.[4]


According to Ron Khosla, CNG was created as reaction to the legislating of organic production 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."[5]

Certification process[edit]

Certified Naturally Grown farmers are required to submit to an annual inspection. and pay an annual fee. In contrast with the NOP, where inspections are conducted by a USDA-accredited certifying agency and third-party inspectors, CNG farms may be inspected by other CNG farmers, non-CNG farmers, extension agents, master gardeners and customers, with CNG farmers being ideal.[6] Inspection procedures and forms can be perused and downloaded, and completed applications and signed declarations are available for public viewing, on the CNG web site. All CNG farms are subject to random pesticide residue testing.[7]

International scope[edit]

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.[8]


  1. ^ Morris, Allie (4 August 2014). "For some small farmers in New Hampshire, Certified Naturally Grown makes more sense". Concord Monitor. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Food fight: Some local farms prefer 'Naturally Grown' over 'Organic'". Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. 9 September 2007. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Certification Programs". Certified Naturally Grown. Archived from the original on 2013-06-01. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
  4. ^ "Stoystown honey business earns 'natural' certification". Tribdem.com. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Certified Naturally Grown: A Different Kind of Organic: The Satya Interview with Ron Khosla". Satya. December 2005 – January 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Program Requirements". Certified Naturally Grown. Archived from the original on 2013-05-28. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
  7. ^ "Forms and Flyers". Certified Naturally Grown. Archived from the original on 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
  8. ^ "Our principles". Wholesome Food Association. Retrieved 2014-09-10.

External links[edit]