DEAR NEW FARM:
I would like to know if honey can be certified as organic?
Can I get certification in Puerto Rico?
When the U.S. National Organic Standards were finalized in
2002, they didn't include specific guidelines for organic
apiculture, and the term "livestock" was defined
to exclude bees (and aquatic animals—but that's another
story). Draft organic apiculture standards were put forward
by a National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Apiculture Task
Force in September 2001, but they have yet to be officially
approved. Instead, the National Organic Program (NOP) issued
a policy statement in May 2002 saying that honey could be
certified under the existing standards. Essentially, this
has left it up to individual certifying agencies to decide
what's reasonable for organic farmers managing bees and producing
organic honey and other bee products.
In terms of your second question, you can use New Farm's
to US Organic Certifiers to find a list of certification
agencies active in different parts of the world. We suggest
you contact a few of them directly and ask if they work in
Puerto Rico, or if they can recommend another certifier who
does. You also might ask around among the organic farming
community in Puerto Rico to see who people there work with.
us with comments, suggestions and questions.