Regenerative Organic

A new Regenerative Organic Certified™ (ROC) program is being developed to focus on pasture-based animal welfare, fairness for farmers and workers, and robust requirements for soil health and land management. It is scheduled to be final by summer 2019.

Based on the USDA’s National Organic Program, this certification program aims to:

  • Increase soil organic matter over time and sequester carbon below and above ground, which could be a tool to mitigate climate change
  • Improve animal welfare
  • Provide economic stability and fairness for farmers, ranchers and workers

We are the program manager for the ROC and will provide training and education to the certifying organizations, collect data, and provide management of audit information and reports. Prior to the full launch of the ROC, we will coordinate a pilot program with various sizes and types of farms, facilities and verifiers to test the audit process and certification criteria.

What Is Regenerative Organic Certification?

Regenerative Organic Certification sets requirements for farming and ranching operations, transportation, slaughter and certain processing facilities for food and fiber in small, medium and large farms in the U.S. and internationally.

All operations pursuing Regenerative Organic Certification must already have USDA Organic (or equivalent) certification. Then, products can be certified to three levels of Regenerative Organic Certification: Bronze, Silver and Gold, with Gold being the highest:

  • Bronze: No product labeling is permitted. After three years of Bronze certification, an operation must advance to Silver or Gold if it wishes to make continued public claims. Between 0 and 50 percent of fiber-or-food-producing land must be certified.
  • Silver: Product labeling is permitted. At least 50 percent of fiber-or-food-producing land must be certified at initial certification and must reach at least 75 percent by year 5.
  • Gold: Product labeling is permitted. 100 percent of fiber-or-food-producing land must be certified.

This tiered approach enables producers to adjust and adapt their practices over time, and allows for continuous improvement. Annual recertification is required for all three levels.