The National Organic Program (NOP) Handbook provides those who own, manage, or certify organic operations with guidance and instructions that can assist them in complying with the USDA organic regulations.
USDA Organic Seal must meet the labeling requirements of the NOP that apply to raw, fresh and processed products that contain organic agricultural ingredients. Agricultural products that are sold, labeled, or represented as organic must be produced and processed in accordance with the NOP standards and be certified by USDA-accredited certifying agents. The sole exception is for operations whose gross income from organic sales totals $5,000 or less.
The USDA National Organic Program National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances identifies the synthetic substances that may be used and the nonsynthetic (natural) substances that may not be used in organic crop and livestock production. It also identifies a limited number of non-organic substances that may be used in or on processed organic products. In general, synthetic substances are prohibited for crop and livestock production unless specifically allowed and non-synthetic substances are allowed for crop and livestock production unless specifically prohibited. Some substances on the National List may only be used in specific situations, e.g. only for certain crops or up to a maximum amount. The list is current as of 12/19/2016.
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service How to Become Certified Organic illustrates what a farm or processor needs to do to sell, label and represent their products as organic.
Organic Cost Share Programs from USDA - Two organic certification cost share programs are offered in 2016, which assist certified organic operations in defraying the costs associated with organic certification.
National Organic Standards and Retailers Organic Trade Association – critical information for retailers about handling, storing, labeling, food safety and more.