Is Organic Certification Suitable for my Business?
The real question should be, ‘do you see the value in organic certification for you and your family, whether you are a producer or a consumer?’ Is it right for your lifestyle? In my humble opinion, if we want to live a healthy lifestyle it starts with the right food choices, mental wellness and physical fitness. Choosing to certify is choosing to become a part of an industry that contributes to the health and well being of our families and society as a whole. From a producer perspective, sustainable ranching and farming are imperative to ensure regrowth and balance for our future farming. Some of our members have been around the organic farming movement since the establishment of organics, such as Charlie Lasser, with Lasser Ranches, who says he has always practiced organic farming and ranching before it was a movement.
Consumers often wonder: is buying organic worth the investment? Certification gives the consumer confidence in the product, as well as reassurance that the products have gone through the process of meeting the Canadian Organic Standards. Knowing they have received validation of having met organic integrity. It all comes down to trust in the product and producer. With organic certification you have third-party verification to support the organic claim.
Businesses often wonder: is organic certification worth my time and financial investment? From small-scale farms to large multi-ingredient processors, this question is asked by both, yet all businesses will have completely different business strategies, operational needs and concerns. Small farmers might wonder, ‘am I too small for certification? Is it only for large farmers and processors?’ Large processors might wonder, ‘we have too many ingredients and how can I orchestrate all of them to meet organic integrity?’ and ‘What will be my time and financial commitment to obtain certification?’
Are you wondering, ‘how do I know if being certified organic is right for our business’? Are you still on the fence and feel as if you just don’t have the time to research it? Organic certification can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Organic certification can be seen as an extra expense. However, the cost is not meant to be prohibitive. In practice, the actual cost varies based on the individual needs of the client, their standard operating procedures (SOP), recordkeeping, organisation, gross organic sales and the size of the farm/processor and other factors like certification reviewer time.
During our years as a Certification Body, we’ve recognized that businesses sometimes need a helping hand before they make the big jump into organic certification. PACS has launched a new program just for businesses in this situation called the PACS Organic Suitability Assessment (OSA) program. This service is exclusive to PACS. The cost of this program is $105. This service allows a business to spend up to 2 hours via email questions and/or phone meeting with PACS’ very knowledgeable certification experts to determine eligibility, ask questions, etc. This allows businesses to ask the big questions before committing themselves to the organic certification process. We explore different elements based on your enterprise goals and unique structures and abilities. If you are thinking about getting certified, but have had some reservations, this OSA program should address those common reservations and leave you with a clear idea of what’s involved in the process and if organic certification is right for your business at this time.
At the end of the OSA process, you might realize that organic certification might not be as expensive or cumbersome as you initially thought. If you end up registering with PACS within the allotted time frame, the $105 fee is discounted from your initial registration fee. If you deem it is not the right time for your enterprise, no worries! We are here to educate you and want the best for you, and your business’ future endeavours.
To find out more about the PACS Organic Suitability Assessment (OSA) program, please contact us!