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What does it mean to be “Certified Transitional”?

 

“Certified Transitional” is one of the best ways to support farms as they transition to organic farming practices.

Food for Thought: Just because a label doesn’t read “Certified Organic” doesn’t mean it’s not produced through organic practices.

What does it mean to be “Certified Transitional”? Organic has become the fourth largest food commodity in America, according to the USDA, but there aren’t enough farms growing organic food to keep up with demand. As of 2017, less than 1% of American farms (approximately 18,000) have organic certification! That’s where “Certified Transitional” comes in – a new verification created to encourage more farmers to make the switch to organic farming.

One of the most daunting hurdles to becoming certified organic is the 36-month transition period that any farm must go through before being granted organic certification… that’s 36 months of extra work and expenses without getting paid the premium prices commanded by certified organic crops. Certified Transitional organic products are farmed using organic processes but it is being grown on land that’s in the process of converting from conventional to organic certification… kind of like Organic-in-Training! By purchasing Certified Transitional organic products, you’re supporting producers who are working toward and awaiting organic certification.

One Certified Transitional farm you can support today is Better Way Farms – a family-owned and run South Haven, Michigan farm producing organic and transitional blueberries and cold-pressed blueberry juice. Valley Natural Foods currently supplies Better Way Farms Certified Transitional Blueberries and Better Way Farms Organic Blueberry Cold Pressed Juice in the producer department.

Learn more about Better Ways Farms on their website. You can read about their approach to transitional farming on one of their recent blog posts.

 

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