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Blank place holder.Virginia Certified Organic Resource Guide. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that anyone who produces, processes or handles organic agricultural products must be certified by a USDA-accredited certifier in order to sell, label or represent their products as organic.  To become certified, an organic producer, processor or handler must develop, implement and maintain an organic system plan.  Once an organic system plan is approved by a certification agency, an organic inspector is assigned to perform an on-site evaluation of the organic operation.  Then, based on review of the organic system plan, inspection report and related documents, the certifier will determine whether the operation meets the requirements of organic certification.  A certified operation must update its organic system plan and be inspected annually.

There is an exemption from USDA requirements for producers making less than $5,000 gross annual income from organic sales, but they must comply with organic production, handling, labeling and recordkeeping requirements, may not sell their product as ingredients for use in someone else’s certified organic product and must be available for spot inspections.

Organic certification is not a guarantee of the quality or purity of the product.  Rather, it is evidence of the operation’s adherence to a prescribed system of agriculture and food production that involves building and enhancing the soil naturally, protecting the environment, treating animals humanely and avoiding synthetic substances.

So what specifically does this mean for the producer?

What does this mean for processors/manufacturers who want to get their business certified organic?


  1. Choose USDA accredited Organic certifier
  2. Submit an application for review by the certifier
  3. Schedule an on-site inspection
  4. Inspector submits report
  5. Certifier issues decision

Certified Organic Livestock Processors in Virginia
Certifiers Servicing Virginia
Organic Standards
Organic Supplies
Product Lists Allowable For Use in Organic Production

Virginia Organic Certification Resource Guide (CLICK here to PRINT COPY)

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