We are happy to share that we registered with MPSOCA (Madhya Pradesh State Organic Certification Agency) which is associated with central body Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) for organic certification. The farm is now Certified Organic.
Why did we go for Organic Certification ? We never imagined that we would need or go for any third party organic certification. Frankly, there was little value in it and more troubles. We were not interested in exporting our products to European Countries or the US by exploiting the “India Organic” certification which is acceptable internationally. It’s true that the process does curtail some level of freedom and brings in few unnecessary paper and field work but it also brings in new learnings useful for us. The standards proposed by APEDA – NPOP are quite supportive and help us become more accurate in our farming approach. So, there are few advantages and some disadvantages.
The reason we went ahead with this is to understand the cycle of “real” organic certification. So that we know how good or bad it is. Secondly, it provides certain credibility for our produce for the consumers. It also keeps us in touch with state (that’s why we chose state agency) and it’s initiatives – helping us in being part of system not cutting off from it completely.
So far our experience of being part of this certification programmes has been very helpful. The government agency is very supportive and honest. We are learning with them and through them getting exposures to other farmers and farming events. There are few things that we don’t like about it but then – it’s ok unless it really starts troubling us and our processes.