The “farm to table” mantra is a growing awareness of the importance for choosing the best foods and nutrition for our bodies. With the ever presence media, fads, articles and hype for organic products, consumers have seen a plethora of organic choices in the majority of the local large and small retail grocery stores. Farms are choosing to transition to organic production and in so choosing, are more and more becoming organic certified to take advantage of the premiums that are often associated with organic consumer food choices.
With the organic movement, consumers generally feel healthier and their choices reflect a healthier living style. But what does this really mean and how is it different that non-organic choices? The answer to these two questions is rather straight forward and simple however the requirements are far more stringent and promote a consciousness of conservative farming and producing practices.
Maple Syrup like other crops have their own set of criteria to initiate the journey to become organic certified. For our Maple Syrup business, The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) is the certifying association and the process begins with a twenty-one (21) page application followed with nineteen (19) page Organic System Plan for Handlers with additional pages of maps, drawings and process flows. Both applications are filled with detailed questions relating to your current practices over the previous four (4) years to assure that your current practices are moving or are at that needed to qualify for an Organic on-site Inspection of your maple woods, its management and the Sugar House and its associated processes in production, handling and packaging. All application questions point towards conservative and prudent management of the entire process and avoiding and “contaminants” such a commercial fertilizers, soaps, pest control protocols and products among many other restrictions aimed at assuring a total organic process and product.
Our journey for organic certification of our Maple Syrup started two moths ago and continues as we are anticipating our OEFFA inspection sometime in March with hopeful full certification granted prior to the end our March Syrup campaign. We are excited for the opportunity to add the Maple Woods to our organically certified farm enabling us the opportunity to provide consumers with another organic alternative for an improved healthy living style.
We will continue our maple syrup organic certification story after our on-site inspection including our experiences once we have our first OEFFA visit. In the meantime, we urge you to visit our site often for the continued story.