Big John's Garden is proud to have received its organic certification from Oregon Tilth, the original "standard-bearer" of organic certification. Oregon Tilth provides us with the following information via is website www.tilth.org.
Oregon Tilth Certification Program
Oregon Tilth is a world leader in organic certification of food providers from soil to stone, and is noted for the integrity of the Oregon Tilth Certified Organic label (OTCO).
Oregon Tilth is the nation's most seasoned certifier, providing experienced, integrated certification services throughout the United States and internationally. Founded in 1974, Oregon Tilth has become a world leader in organic certification of crops, livestock, and processed products, and is widely respected for the integrity of the Oregon Tilth Certified Organic name (OTCO). Oregon Tilth served as a model program for the development of the National Organic Program and Rule. Throughout its twelve year evolution, Oregon Tilth offered expertise, consultation, and thoughtful review to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and the USDA.
Oregon Tilth advocates a holistic approach to agricultural production systems. Oregon tilth encourages growers to create farm systems which improve soils and require minimal intervention for pest control. In order to ensure the organic intergrity of products from farm to table. Oregon Tilth also works with processors, handlers, and marketers of organic products.
Why Organic Certification?
Since October 2002, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has defined and regulated the use of the term "organic" through the National Organic Program (NOP)
. All products using the term "organic" must meet the minimum requirements set by the USDA.
The NOP defines organic production systems as those which "respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity." (NOP Rule 205.2)
The purpose of organic certification is to ensure that the agreed upon conventions of organic agricultural systems are being practiced not only by growers, but also by all the people who handle and process organic food on its journey to the final consumer. To accompish this, OTCO provides a system which combines strict production standards, verifiable, third-party on -site inspections, and legally binding contracts to protect the producers and buyers of organic products. Detailed records and audit trails provide the documentation necessary for veritification of proper attention to critical control points.