The current US approach to OG certification is driven by consumer
demand for pesticide free food (and phobia of possibly contaminated food)
and governement interest in
Assisting farmers with implementation of
sustainable farming systems is not the principle goal of any of the
current organic certification programs that I am aware of...
I recently heard a description of the privatized extension system in
Denmark...farmers belong to one of 2 farmers unions and in return for
membership dues they receive a variety of services
including a certain number of hours of consultation from the
extension consultants paid by the union.
An organic certification program designed to serve farmers would
provide consultation not just regulation. A qualified inspector
that visits all the organic farms in a region should be aware of all
the techniques, technologies in use (and coming into use) and should have
in his mission statement
to serve as an extensionist not just a regulator.
I think this probably is already happening to some degree but I would
appreciate hearing comments concerning how to redesign OG
certification so that the focus is serving farmers...
U of MD Agronomy