In response to requests from certified organic producers to help increase demand for organic products in the marketplace, 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.
Five consumer-focused video clips, designed for easy sharing online, 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 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.
As a companion to the videos, VOF has created an brochure for farmers interested in pursuing organic certification, which outlines five benefits of becoming certified organic and also addresses concerns, such as the burden of recordkeeping and the cost of certification.
The project was funded with support from the USDA National Organic Program’s Sound and Sensible initiative, a campaign that aims to make organic certification more accessible, affordable and attainable.