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2012
Mar 2

PUBLISHED IN
News

Trust in the Certified Local Sustainable Logo

by Joel Aitken

It’s nearly spring and that means it’s nearly time for LFP to start a new year of farm certifications and on-farm inspections! Below is a quick run down of the application and certification process. Our certification program ensures you, the consumer, that products marked with the Certified Local Sustainable mark are truly locally and sustainably produced.

Application

We do our best to make our paperwork as simple to complete and straight forward as possible for our farmers and processors. We simply require them to complete an annual application that includes their plans for the upcoming year, goals for the long-term sustainability of their farm, and any changes they may have made to their production system over the winter.

Inspection

In order to become certified, in their first year, an on-site inspection by a qualified independent inspector is required. Generally these inspectors are IOIA trained organic inspectors who also inspect to the Local Food Plus standard. The inspection is completed in order to assure that the information provided in the application is accurate and that any potential sustainability issues are reported to LFP prior to certification.

After the initial year of certification, on-site inspections are completed every third year in order to ensure continued adherence to the standard and continual improvement of sustainability programs.

Review

The producer review process is completed by third party independant reviewers who review the application documents of the producer and the inspection report completed by the onsite inspector. Upon completion of the review, there can be one of three results; a suggestion of certification, a request for further documentation from the producer, or a denial of certification.

Standards

Our certification process is designed to reduce the work load on already busy farmers as well as reducing the potential duplication of paperwork and similar standards. This is why we accept organic certification as acceptable sustainable production methods, as well as our use of systems such a Best Management Practices, Integrated Pest Management and the Environmental Farm Plan as the base requirements for the majority of our standards. As such, producers that are already participating in those programs can more easily apply for LFP certification in order to gain access to new markets and receive compensation for their efforts towards sustainability.

The independently reviewed process and rigorous standards ensure that consumers can trust that the Certified Local Sustainable logo means the food they are buying was truly locally and sustainably produced.