Vermont Organic Farmers releases videos and brochure to convey the benefits of buying organic, and growing organically
Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) has developed a collection of outreach materials that explain and support the organic certification process, and promote organic products. The materials include a series of short videos for consumers that convey the benefits of buying organic products, a longer video that explains the certification process, and a beautifully designed brochure that addresses the reasons for farmers and processors to become certified. These materials can be used and shared by anyone interested in promoting organic agriculture.
In response to requests from certified organic producers to help increase demand for organic products in the marketplace, Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) developed five consumer-focused video clips, designed for easy sharing online, to show the importance and value of organic production. Each video features one benefit, or value, of buying organic products: “No GMOs”, “Taste, “Stewardship”, “Community” and “Integrity”. These values are articulated by organic growers in Vermont, and were filmed on-farm, providing an intimate glimpse into the world of sustainable agriculture. (All the videos can be found on the NOFA Vermont YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwGgmXsdmFP45nSGt-Bx0gbj8hRRLbwfE)
“We are really excited for consumers to get to know the growers of their food better,” said Nicole Dehne, who directs the VOF certification program. “This is a chance for folks to hear directly from the farmers about why they feel it is important to farm organically.”
VOF has also produced a longer video that demystifies the organic certification process for farmers interested in pursuing organic certification. This film will be used as mentoring support and motivation for producers who are interested in learning more about the process. Through various outreach efforts, the video will reach a broader consumer audience and build confidence among buyers that the certification process is meaningful. Viewers will hear directly from organic growers, why they certify their farm as organic and what that process means to them and to their market. After watching the film, viewers will better understand the annual inspection process, the record keeping requirements, and the benefits of organic certification for their business.
What DOES certified organic mean? Who determines that definition, and how is it enforced?
Get the answers to these questions and more in our exclusive interview with Jean Richardson, National Organic Standards Board member and organic certification inspector for VOF.
Use the navigation menu at the beginning of the video to jump to the topic you’re interested in – organic standards, international regulations, the three organic categories for processed products, the NOSB, enforcement, and more – or watch the full 30-minute interview for a comprehensive overview of what, exactly, organic certification means.
PS – Spread the word! Like, share, and comment on the video, and ask your local public access TV station to play it, too. They’ll find it on the Vermont Media Exchange by the name PolicyUpdateOrganicCertification.mpg. Thanks!
Choosing whether or not to become certified organic is a decision that has a lot of factors, including environmental and social values, marketing channels, farm size and type, and more.
We’re working on developing materials to help farmers better understand the potential benefits and challenges of organic certification, including costs, recordkeeping, pricing, marketing, and political impacts.
As part of that effort – and in order to help us understand why farmers do or do not pursue certification – we held (and filmed) a workshop at the 2014 Winter Conference on the topic of “Is Organic Certification Right for my Business?”
This workshop featured three Vermont farmers discussing their experiences with organic certification, and we recommend it as a good starting place if you are considering certification for your farm.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be working with a team of UVM students to organize a few focus groups to explore more deeply what motivates or prevents certification on Vermont’s farms. We’re looking for both certified and non-certified farmers of all kinds to take part. If you’d like to talk with us about your experience with certification, please contact Charles.
You can learn more about the organic certification regulations and requirements on the Vermont Organic Farmers webpage. There are also a number of helpful resources from ATTRA and eOrganic, a program of the university extension network.
We are exited to debut our new short film, Organic Matters, as part of the NOFA Vermont Winter Conference FarmsTED talks this morning! If you didn’t join us to watch it on the big screen in the Davis Center (or if you just want to watch it again!), take a look:
This 9-minute video features certified organic farmers across Vermont talking about why they believe in certified organic, how it defines their approach to their land and to food production, and why organic is important to the overall food movement.
Have you seen our new episode of Farmers Talk? It features an interview with Chris Granstrom of Lincoln Peak Vineyard and Winery, the largest grape producer in Vermont.
Chris gives a thorough overview of the development of cold-hardy grape varieties, what his workflow is like through the seasons, the wine making process, and his marketing techniques. He also discusses the current state and growth potential of the grape industry in Vermont. He is not organic (and explains why), but anyone who has considered getting into grape or wine production or who is just curious about Vermont’s emerging status as a wine producing region should find something of interest.
Also, note the new addition of a menu at the beginning of the video – if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, just click on the topic of interest and it will bring you directly to that point in the interview!
Feel free to post comments on our YouTube page and let us know what you think!
The Northeast Organic Farming Association and the Vermont Farmers’ Market Association are pleased to announce this year’s winner of the 5th annual National Farmers’ Market week film challenge! This year, we asked participants to submit videos that displayed their appreciation for the farmers and vendors that make their local market great.
This year, our first place prize goes to Stephen Pite for his video about the Capital City Farmers’ Market!
Second place goes to the Peacham Farmers’ Market,
and our third place winner is the Colchester Farmers’ Market.
Congratulations and a big thank you to all the participants who submitted videos to our film challenge, and don’t forget, this week (August 4th-10th) is National Farmers’ Market week – so get out there and show your love and support to the farmers and vendors that make your market great!
Local Farms • Healthy Food • Strong Communities • • • the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont