Last spring, New Jersey became the 17th state in the nation to gain accreditation by USDA to offer in-state certification services to growers and processors who want to enter the organic market. The certification program allows the state to assist organic growers with marketing Jersey Organic products, similar to the Jersey Fresh brand for general produce.
“When people see the the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) or USDA’s organic seal on a product, they will know it meets the stringent standards that must be met to label it organic,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus.
The Department expects to have at least 52 organic farms in New Jersey with 2,228 acres in organic production and $2.8 million in organic sales. There are an additional five certified organic farms with 95 acres in Pennsylvania. The program also has certified 18 organic food processors and handlers.
In addition to New Jersey, the state Departments of Agriculture in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Washington, and the New Mexico Organic Commodities Commission and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management are accredited organic certifying agents.
For more information on New Jersey’s Organic Certification Program, visit: www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/jerseyorganic.html.