Union Point’s USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Practices
Our specialty is making nutrient-dense feeds from clean, delicious and wholesome grains and proteins. We use domestic products sourced as close as possible to our mill. Local is a big bonus, both logistically and from the perspective of sustainability. Organic and local is the very best, but it’s not always available. If it is, it may not be affordable. Some of our customers prefer local non-GMO grains to organic products from offshore, provided they are herbicide and pesticide-free. We like choices.
We’re proud to be associated with the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s organic certification program. We’ve been USDA Organic certified since 2004, back before it was common. So we’ve had some practice, and we can make that work for you.
Some people need certified organic products with the USDA seal on the label to satisfy the requirements of the certifiers, and for those the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Organic certification meets their needs. We can do either. We’ve been involved with organic agriculture since the ‘70s, and have been pioneers in the promotion of toxin-free non-GMO feeds since 2007. We developed our own system of non-GMO verification back then, and can help you with other third-party verifications and certifications as well.
To make USDA Certified Organic feeds, mills need to have particular capabilities for storage, handling, and equipment and meet other requirements beyond the standard requirements of the FDA and the state. We must be inspected, handle recordkeeping, traceability and paperwork accurately, buy and store ingredients in an approved way, use approved methods of pest control and the list goes on. Organic certified mills are held to a higher standard than are ordinary mills, and we like that. We think mills should be doing most of that anyway.
Whenever we trust a third-party certifier to do our due diligence for us we are taking a risk, but it’s impossible on a practical level to evaluate everything first hand. That’s true whether we are looking at the National Organic Program certification, non-GMO claims, farm practices certification or any claims where we rely on someone else’s expertise to validate a choice. Generally we don’t have the information to check the claims ourselves and we don’t have authority to question them even if we doubt them.
People who don’t know us personally and haven’t been in our mill can see our USDA certification and get an idea of our standards. Having organic certification does not mean we must build organic feeds; it means we are capable of doing it. And between you and me and the gatepost, it’s what we do anyway.
We like using organic ingredients whose origins we trust, but once the supplier is from outside the region things get a lot muddier. Click here, if you want to hear more.
If you need the USDA seal to sell your products, you need to use only USDA certified organic feeds. Some of our feeds will meet your needs. Others will not. We have tons of beautiful USDA certified organic flax seed, pumpkin seed, sesame seed and lots more on our shelves, but if we mix them with anything that is not certified - heritage millet, peas or quinoa, for example - none of the finished feed is certifiable as organic. (Rules are actually stricter for animal feed than for human food, since animals can themselves become food.)
There’s lots to talk about in the organic conversation. Great feed is our goal, and we offer options on how to achieve it.