Seeds and Organic Certification

jay gee jgj23 at
Sat Dec 15 10:09:15 EST 2001

Joan Vibert wrote in part:

>Since our market is all certified organic - we decided to post a certificate
>every week at our stands.  We felt that it would remind our customers what
>certification really means and since this is the last season that the word
>organic can be used without certifying - its sticks that piece of paper in
>customers minds as something to look for at other markets when growers make
>the organic claim.

While posting a certificate at each stand is a good idea, educating your
customers about the reality of the "o" trend in light of USDA intercedance
is a step you all should take to preserve current customers' preferences
for your "organic" goods.

I suggest that you write up an abstract of the new USDA organic standards,
taking care to explain the differences between the old standards and the
new standards.  Then put a copy of that explanation into the top of each
shopper's bag during the coming market season.  At the end of the page,
ask people to pass the sheet along to a friend or mail it to a relative if they
already have a copy.

Title the sheet:

or something like that and set it up with newspaper columns, three
across the page.  Use both sides of an 8 1/2 x 11 page.

As I understand the law, the whole point is to promote world trade via the
powerful marketing value of customer expectations of the label "organic."

If your customers do not understand the differences between the new
and old "o," you are much more likely to lose business when local
supermarkets start selling "organic" produce that really doesn't cut it.

Believe me, if your customers know they are buying organic they will
read every word of the "O News" if it is well written and truthful.

Keeping your customers and prospects informed is a proven way of
keeping them loyal to you.  Those of you who grow organic and
maintain customer mailing lists may find this off-season an appropriate
time to communicate with your customers on the same topic, if
you haven't already.

BTW, Happy Holidays!

Jay Gee
not a farmer -- but interested in farming

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