How to get certified as an organic farmer in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), and funding available to convert and manage your land.
If you produce, prepare, store, import, export or sell organic food, an approved UK organic control body must certify your food and business.
You’re breaking the law if you call your food ‘organic’ when it is not certified.
Rules you must follow to get organic certification
To get certified as an organic farmer, you must use only organic farming methods. You should:
- maintain soil fertility using crop rotation and other organic farming methods
- only control weeds, pests and diseases where necessary, using organic farming techniques and approved materials
- only process organic food where necessary, using limited approved products and substances
You must avoid using artificial fertilisers, pesticides, and products for cleaning and disinfection. Where they are needed, you must only use:
- fertilisers listed in the organics regulations
- pesticides listed in the organics regulations
- products for cleaning and disinfection listed in the organics regulations
Contact your approved UK organic control body for guidance on organic production rules.
Apply to get certified as an organic farmer
To get certified as an organic farmer, you need to apply to an approved UK organic control body. During the application process, you’ll need to convert your land to organic and pass inspections.
If your control body approves your application, they will send you a certificate. Your certificate is valid for one year, and you can renew it each year.
Find out about organic food inspections and tests.
Contact your control body for an information pack and other advice.
Get your certificate renewed
Your control body will contact you when your certificate is due to be renewed. They will need to inspect your farm.
Contact your control body to find out more, such as:
- when they will inspect your farm
- how to get your certificate renewed
- how much renewal will cost
How long it takes to convert to organic farming
Usually it will take 2 years to convert your land to organic farming. It might take more or less time depending on the type of organic farming and previous use of the land. For example, it can take:
- 3 years to convert established orchards of perennial soft, top and vine fruits
- 12 months to convert grass for pig and poultry grazing, as long as no banned products have been applied to soil in the previous 12 months
- 2 years to convert land intended for ruminant grazing and annual crops
Contact your control body to find out what you need to do.
Apply for funding
In England, you can get funding to convert to organic farming through the following:
- the Countryside Stewardship scheme
- rural grants and payments
- Sustainable Farming Incentive
- organic conversion grants
- organic land management grants
You can get funding through:
Organic conversion grants in England
Find out about eligibility and requirements to convert your land to these types of organic farming:
- improved permanent grassland (OR1)
- unimproved permanent grassland (OR2)
- rotational land (OR3)
- horticulture (OR4)
- top fruit (OR5)
Organic land management grants in England
Find out about eligibility and requirements for these organic land uses: