Organic Farming Guidelines
Certified Organic Growers may use only inputs which have been approved by their certifier and listed on their approved organic farm plan. Inputs which certifiers determine as acceptable for use in organic farming are those approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), the EPA (for organic use) or by other USDA-accredited certification agencies. View the most recent list of OMRI-approved products here.
To receive notices of OMRI list updates, join the email distribution list by contacting Matt Green, Organic Certification Program, RI Department of Environmental Management, Division of Agriculture and Resource Marketing, call (401) 222-2781 x 4509 or write 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908-5767.
The RI Organic Certification Program is administered by Matt Green at the Plant Industry Section of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture and Resource Marketing.
- See a list of Organic Certifiers sorted by state of operation here. (Scroll down to page 129)
- See a list of Certified Organic and Transitional Farms here. (Sort by state)
Since the USDA Agricultural Marketing System (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) went into effect in October 2002, the RI DEM has been an accredited state certification agency. All raw or processed agricultural product sold, labeled or represented as “100% organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic” in the US must be produced and handled according to NOP Standards.
Producers, handlers and processors with gross income from organic agricultural products over $5,000.00 annually must be certified by a USDA-accredited certifier. Small operations may be exempt from certification but must still comply with all production, handling and record-keeping requirements. View NOP regulations here.
Certified organic fields have been managed organically for at least three consecutive years. Transitional fields have been farmed organically for at least twelve consecutive months. Produce or meats raised on a transitional field may not be represented or marketed as organic and may not be used as organic ingredients in other products.
Organic Production Guides
These four guides describe organic requirements, best practices and explain the National Organic Program (NOP) and certification process. Click the links below or for general information, click here.
- Guide to Organic Crop Producers
- Guide for Organic Livestock Producers
- Guide for Organic Processors
- Organic Certification of Farms and Businesses Producing Agricultural Products
National and state regulations apply to organic growing and certification.
- National Organic Program Standards
- Rhode Island Rules Related to Cultural Practices for Branding Products of the Farm (6/1/2008)
- Farm Home Food Manufacture (RI Title 21-27-6.1)
Organic Certification Application
- How to Apply
- Application for Certification
- Organic Farm Plan Questionnaire
- Organic Farm Plan Update Questionnaire
- Organic Field History Report
- Organic Livestock Plan Questionnaire
- Organic Handling Plan
- USDA Organic Certification Cost-Share
The application fee for organic certification from the State of Rhode Island for the crops producer, livestock producer and handler categories is $200.00 per operation per category per year, regardless of the number of categories of organic or transitional certification. RI DEM offers a cost share program through USDA to reimburse 75% of organic certification fees, up to $750. Learn more and apply for Cost Sharing here.