Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The CT NOFA Farmers Pledge

Farmer's Pledge from Sullivan Farm.
Farmer's Pledge from Hunt's Brook Farm.
Many farms that are not USDA Certified Organic adhere to or even exceed the requirements of the National Organic Program.  Recognizing this, and to further enable consumers to identify the farms they want to support with their food dollars, CT NOFA uses the Farmer’s Pledge, separate and distinct from USDA Certified Organic. Farmers and market gardeners who adhere to the Farmer's Pledge have signed a copy which they display for customers and neighbors to view. This pledge is based on the integrity of the farmer/gardener, and can be signed regardless of whether or not the farm is USDA Certified Organic. Those who sign this pledge agree that consumers may inspect, by appointment, their farm or garden to judge the truthfulness of this statement. CT NOFA does not investigate or make any guarantee that the individual farmer is complying with the Farmer’s Pledge.  If you're a farmer who's signed the pledge, you can print out the text below and display it proudly at your farm stand, CSA pickup, farmers market booth, or anywhere you interact with customers to let them know about your association with CT NOFA and your dedication to sustainability.  If you are a member farmer and you'd like us to send you a new Farmer's Pledge Certificate, shoot us an email.  If you're a consumer, look for the Farmer's Pledge Certificate hanging up at farm stands and markets, and if your local farm doesn't have one, ask them about their farm practices and if they have considered signing up.

Knowing your farmer is the best assurance that the food you buy is responsibly grown, with methods that recognize the inherent implications of the web of life in all our individual actions. CT NOFA believes that farmers should work in harmony with natural forces and leave the little piece of the world over which they have stewardship in better condition than when they found it.  The Farmer's Pledge and the National Organic Program are both important ways of quantifying this encompassing and holistic idea.

  • Reject the use of synthetic insecticides, herbicides, fungicides & fertilizers
  • Reject the use of GMO’s, chemically treated seeds, synthetic toxic materials, irradiation & sewage sludge
  • Treat livestock humanely by providing pasture for ruminants, access to outdoors & fresh air for all livestock, banning cruel alterations, & using no hormones or antibiotics in feed
  • Support agricultural markets & infrastructures that enable small farms to thrive
  • Maintain & build healthy soils by farming practices that include rotating crops annually, using compost, cover crops, green manures & reducing tillage
  • Conserve natural resources by reducing erosion & pollution of air, soil & water through responsible farming practices
  • Maximize the nutritional value of food & feed by practicing careful post harvest handling
  • Ensure food safety by using potable water for washing crops
  • Handle raw manure & soil amendments with care
  • Practice minimal processing for all food products to preserve the natural nutritional value of food: NO use of irradiation, ultrapasteurization, excessive heat, synthetic preservatives, or GMO processing agents or additives
  • Reduce the ecological footprint of farms & homes by limiting energy use & converting to renewable sources of energy
  • Reduce food miles by selling produce locally & regionally
  • Create beneficial habitat for wildlife & encourage biodiversity
  • Help preserve farmland & farming knowhow
  • Use ethical business practices
  • Pay a living wage to all farm workers & acknowledge their freedom of association & their right to collective bargaining
  • Treat family members & farm workers with respect & ensure their safety on the farm
  • Work in cooperation with other farmers & with neighboring community to create a more sustainable way of life
  • Sustain the land in healthy condition for future generations
Have a great evening,

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