Each year an inspector comes to visit the farm. It would be fun to have a video of the inspection so customers could understand what farmers go through to be able to prove that they are using farming practices that are healthiest for you and for the environment. They visit fields, go through your cabinets, look at your records (sometimes including bank records), ask a lot of questions and they fill out a report that they send to the certifying agency. The inspector does not make the judgement the certifying agency does and often they follow up with the farmers and ask more question. There are many certifying agencies in this country, although there are non in Michigan. We are White Pine Farm use OEFFA (Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Alliance).
A service repairmen came by the other day and was so proud of himself because he only eats organic, he is sure of the that because he goes to an indoor all year around farmers market. It is kind of sad in a way, often the assumption is that when you go to a market all the farmers are organic and all the farmers are growing their own produce.
Ideally we should work on educating the consumer, although that is tough to do without seeming to be a naysayer.
It is unfortunate that most the produce in the indoor markets are neither local and not organic. Here we are again, going through the rigors, the restrictions and all the work to grow food that is free of toxins so both our customers, our selves and our planet can remain healthy; and again here we are having to see those that care more about their profit both unintentionally and very often intentionally misleading consumers.