Organic farming: how to get certification and apply for funding

How to meet Great Britain standards for organic farming and apply for funding.

You must register with an organic control body if you’re going to produce, prepare, store, import or sell organic products.

You’re breaking the law if you call a food product ‘organic’ if it has not been inspected and certified by one of the 8 approved organic control bodies (CBs).

You’ll have to complete application, inspection and certification steps to become certified to produce or process organic products. You can download information packs from more than one of the approved CBs or talk to them to find out more.

Find out about organic food inspections and tests.

What counts as organic farming

Organic farming can include:

  • avoiding artificial fertilisers and pesticides
  • using crop rotation and other forms of husbandry to maintain soil fertility
  • controlling weeds, pesticides and diseases using husbandry techniques and approved materials to control pests and diseases (where necessary)
  • using a limited number of approved products and substances (where necessary) in the processing of organic food

How long it takes to get certified as an organic producer

Usually it’ll take you 2 years to get certified as an organic producer. It might take shorter or longer depending on your situation, for example:

  • 3 years for established orchards of perennial soft, top and vine fruits
  • 12 months for grass for pig and poultry grazing if no banned products have been applied to soil over the previous 12 months
  • 2 years for land intended for ruminant grazing and annual crops

Contact the CBs to find out what you need to do.

Get funding to convert to organic farming

You can get financial help for converting to organic farming through any one of the following:

Organic conversion grants

Find out about eligibility and requirements for converting your land to these types of organic farming:

Organic land management grants

Find out about eligibility and requirements for these options of managing your land organically:

Get a certificate that proves you’re a certified organic farmer

You’ll be sent a certificate by your CB after you have registered and passed an inspection.

Your certificate is valid for 1 year.

Get your certificate renewed

When it’s near the time for your certificate to be renewed, your CB will inspect your farm. Your certificate will be renewed if it passes the inspection. Contact your CB to find out more, such as when you’ll be inspected, how your certificate will be renewed and how much it might cost.

Published 29 April 2016