When you buy local, organic, and free-range food from our member producers, you can rely on KCFC’s three levels of assurance.
- KC Food Circle Member Producer Pledge
- Certified Naturally Grown
- USDA Organic Certification
It's often difficult and cost prohibitive for small farmers to source organically grown feed, so we do not require our farmers to use it. However, by 2017 all of our livestock Farmer members will be using GE/GMO-free feed. We also think that the complete prohibition of antibiotic use in the USDA Organic standards – even for sick animals – is too strict.
1. KC Food Circle Member Farmer Pledge
We have developed a system of written pledges for our members that relies on the good faith of our farmers and on the willingness of eaters to establish a relationship with their farmers to their own comfort level. We will only make inspections in response to credible and serious complaints from Eaters or other KCFC Farmers. Our pledges are also very similar to USDA organic with certain differences outlined within them. All KCFC member Farmers have signed our Farmers Pledge.
2. Certified Naturally Grown (CNG)
One alternate type of organic certification is Certified Naturally Grown (www.naturallygrown.org). It is much like USDA Organic but relies on inspections by volunteers, usually other farmers, who fill out a form that is posted on the website so it can be easily viewed by eaters. Any exceptions to the standards are noted on this form. Some KCFC member producers are Certified Naturally Grown.
3. USDA Organic Certification
Some KCFC member producers hold USDA Organic (NOP) certification. As a label, certified organic has been legally defined by the USDA (www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop). USDA Organic provides a high level of assurance for eaters concerning the avoidance of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. It is based on detailed requirements and regular inspections by a qualified professional. The certification process can be prohibitively expensive for small producers. This has led to the use of some alternative means of assurance.