Transitional certification

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Certified transitional program

Program Manager: Brenda Book
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What is transitional certification?

Transitional is a labeling claim used to describe crops harvested from land transitioning from conventional to organic production. When land is converted to organic production, it must undergo a 36-month transition before an organic crop is harvested. During the transition, organic practices are adopted, but products must not be labeled, sold, or represented as organic.

Transitional certification verifies the land has not had prohibited materials applied for at least 12 months and verifies the adoption of organic practices by the farm. 

Get Answers Early in the Process 

By certifying transitional, you develop a complete understanding of the recordkeeping, auditing, and inspection processes required for organic certification. Certified transitional operations are able to establish systems that pave the way for compliant organic management. 

Minimize Your Risk

Certified transitional producers submit their list of input materials for review each year as part of the annual certification process. The review and approval of the input material list, coupled with the annual on-site inspection, help avoid the potentially costly mistake of applying a prohibited material and resetting the transition clock back to day one.

Realize Marketing Benefits

Transitional certification enables growers to market their products at a premium by demonstrating a commitment to organic standards.

Easily Transition to Organic

If already certified as a transitional site, an organic certificate is automatically issued once the land completes the 36-month transition.  

Access to Financial and Technical Assistance

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers financial and technical assistance to producers in transition to organic.

How Do I Apply for Transitional Certification?

The application for transitional certification is the same as for organic certification. 

Download and complete the crop producer application packet and complete a site application for each site you wish to certify as transitional. If already certified as an organic producer, simply submit a site application for your transitioning sites.