Regenerative Organic Certification

Regenerative Organic Certification

By Stacy Kraker

At Hummingbird, we have been hearing more and more about Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) over the past few years. Recently, we have received inquiries from well-known brands, such as Patagonia Provisions and Dr. Bronner’s asking us if any farmers we work with are certified or plan to get Certified Regenerative Organic. While we do not currently have plans to intentionally seek out ROC farmers or ask farmers to pursue ROC, we are interested to hear about what farmers think about this opportunity because we do see a still small, but growing movement toward Regenerative Organic.

What is Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC)? Being Certified Organic under the USDA Program Rules is the first step in gaining Regenerative Organic Certification. Then, a farm must seek the additional ROC certification.

There are three pillars to ROC:

Soil Health

• Builds Soil Organic Matter
• Conservation Tillage
• Cover Crops
• Crop Rotations
• No GMOs or Gene Editing
• No Soilless Systems
• No Synthetic Inputs
• Promotes Biodiversity
• Rotational Grazing

Animal Welfare

• Five Freedoms
  - Freedom from discomfort
  - Freedom from fear & distress
  - Freedom from hunger
  - Freedom from pain, injury or disease
  - Freedom to express normal behavior
• Grass-Fed / Pasture-Raised
• Limited Transport
• No CAFOs
• Suitable Shelter

Social Fairness

• Capacity Building
• Democratic Organizations
• Fair Payments for Farmers
• Freedom of Association
• Good Working Conditions
• Living Wages
• Long Term Commitments
• No Forced Labor
• Transparency and Accountability

If you are already thinking about pursuing ROC, they are accepting applications and even have a Cost-Share Program to help offset the costs for this certification. Costs for certification vary based on the number of separate parcels a farmer is certifying ranging from $350-$750, with annual fees based on % of annual sales revenue of ROC products.

You can read more about ROC and find web page using this link:

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