Small Farm Exemption
Small Farm Exemption
SMALL FARM EXEMPTION
National Organic Program; Final Rule, as published December 21, 2000 and effective April 21, 2001: § 205.101.(a) Exemptions (1) A production or handling operation that sells agricultural products as “organic” but whose gross agricultural income from organic sales totals $5,000 or less annually is exempt from certification under subpart E of this part and from submitting an organic system plan for acceptance or approval under § 205.201 but must comply with the applicable organic production and handling requirements of subpart C of this part and the labeling requirements of § 205.310. The products from such operations shall not be used as ingredients identified as organic in processed products produced by another handling operation.
Persons who sell no more than $5,000 annually in value of agricultural products and sell or label a portion or all of such agricultural products as organically produced are exempted from certification by a USDA-accredited agency but are required to produce and handle organic products in accordance with the specified provisions of the National Organic Program Final Rule.
The exempted person shall demonstrate compliance with the National Organic Program Final Rule by the implementation of the following measures:
• Signature on a completed Affidavit form, which attests to a thorough knowledge of the provisions of the Rule and to the production and handling of organic products according to the National Organic Program Final Rule;
• The establishment of record-keeping adequate to trace an organic product from production site through to sale for consumption. Records must be kept for three years; and
• The provision of public access to the above documents.
Exempted Small Farmers who demonstrate compliance with the National Organic Program Final Rule shall be able to market non-certified organic products from their farms directly to consumers at direct sales outlets.
HOFA’s SFE registration service and membership privileges
HOFA offers registration of the Small Farm Exemption (SFE) for a fee. Registering for HOFA's SFE service is completely voluntary.
When you apply, you receive the SFE package, which includes the HOFA Organic Certification Handbook and one year's HOFA membership. Membership includes the privilege of a vote in the annual election for the HOFA board of directors, subscription to the HOFA quarterly newsletter Rural Connections, and periodic updates on Hawaii, national, and international organic and agriculture news.
Once a member has the Handbook, refer to Appendix A, fill out the Affidavit found there, have it notarized, and send the signed original to the HOFA office. As long as the producer's membership remains current, HOFA provides public access to the documents by verifying that the affidavit is on file with HOFA. It is the producer’s responsibility to be familiar with and follow the NOP organic rules and regulations. Please refer to § 205.101 of the NOP regulations.
The standard may also be found online at:
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR) (Standards)
It is also strongly recommended to become familiar with the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) lists, which are available for free online. You may also become a member of OMRI and/or purchase hard copies of the OMRI Products List and/or Generic Material List booklets.