Big food companies routinely take liberties with the word "Natural" on their packaging. Savvy shoppers know to question the legitimacy of these marketing claims. But some writers and advocates go way too far.
Most recently, the popular online outlet Modern Farmer published an article titled, "Reminder: The Word “Natural” Means Absolutely Nothing on Food Labels." It is a bold and enticing headline, but it is inaccurate. And it hurts farmers.
The Certified Naturally Grown label is both meaningful and a point of pride. Natural on a bag of chips is something else altogether.
When we say natural, we mean it! And we think you are smart enough to know the difference.
Packaged food companies play fast and loose with the word natural. But Certified Naturally Grown has a specific and verified meaning.
Food with the Certified Naturally Grown label means:
No synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers or genetically modified organisms. Period. Never.
Livestock is raised mostly on pasture and with space for freedom of movement
Feed for livestock must be grown without synthetic inputs or genetically modified seeds
Look for the CNG label at your better farmers markets and some local independent grocers.
Not every farm qualifies to be CNG certified. Far from it! Only a fraction of applications are accepted, and only a portion of those accepted go on to complete the certification process. Being a part of Certified Naturally Grown is a badge of honor for those who have earned this designation. Every CNG producer must undergo an on-site inspection annually to maintain their certification.
Transparency is central to our certification model. Every CNG producer has a profile on our website. On it you will find the information they submitted in their application, as well as inspection reports and signed declarations. We are even introducing the option for community stakeholders to serve as witnesses to inspections, to further enhance transparency and direct engagement.
Certified Naturally Grown is tailored for direct-market farmers producing food for their local communities without the use of synthetic chemicals or GMOs. They typically sell at farmers markets, farm stands, or through CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture).
CNG is not a big packaged food company playing fast and loose with language.
Your vocal support boosts the farmers at the heart of the good food movement.