What this seal means:
The seal means that the farm meets the Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) standards, which are based on the USDA organic standards for crops and livestock. These standards promote a sustainable system of agriculture, requiring responsible soil management and prohibiting the use of synthetic fertilizers, most synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, and artificial hormones. For verification, the CNG program uses a peer-review system, where the farmer sets up an inspection by another farmer, extension agent, or three of the farm’s customers, instead of using a third-party certification agency.
The bottom line:
If you see this seal displayed at a farmers market, farmstand, or your local farm, it means that the farm’s practices are similar to those of a certified organic farm. The differences in the standards are minor, the main difference is in how those requirements are verified. The bottom line is that the seal signifies that the farmer shares a commitment to farming practices that build soil health, do not rely on synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, animal drugs, and GMOs, and provide humane living conditions for farm animals. Verification is achieved through a yearly inspection by another farmer, a local extension agent, or three of the farm’s customers.
This label can be found on:
The Certified Naturally Grown program is tailored to direct-market farmers producing food for their local communities. You are likely to see the seal at farmer markets or farmstands selling the following types of foods:
- Vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, and grain
- Maple syrup
- Meat and poultry
ORGANIZATION: Certified Naturally Grown
LABEL STANDARDS: www.cngfarming.org/certifications
What this seal means