Flashback to another time (Autumn, 2019): Two farmers inside a tunnel completing a peer inspection, without masks
When we asked the Certified Naturally Grown membership how we could better support them during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the number one request was for flexibility with CNG's peer inspection requirement. People were concerned about the health risks posed by such a contagious virus. We wanted to help keep our members healthy, so we've granted flexibility with inspection deadlines as a stopgap solution.
But for the long run, it was important to investigate alternative, safe approaches to conducting peer inspections - ones that would protect the health and safety of our members. It seemed very unlikely the pandemic would just disappear in a few months. So we began to explore the option to conduct remote inspections via video call, where the farmer receiving the inspection gives a live virtual tour of their farm and fields questions from their peer inspector who is at another location.Read more
By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator
We are thrilled to announce the first nine CNG inspections conducted with Community Observers!
Community Observers are those who participate in the CNG certification process by witnessing a farm's annual inspection. Just about anyone can serve as a Community Observer! From farmers market managers to school crossing guards, postmasters to pitmasters: if they want to have a healthier and more resilient local food system, they're a good candidate.
Community Observers all over the country are starting to join the CNG movement, connecting on a deeper level to their local food system and those who help it thrive.
Farmers are benefiting by developing stronger ties with local community members, while some gain flexibility around our "No repeat inspectors" rule.
Read on to hear from the pioneering cohort of growers welcoming Community Observers to their Certified Naturally Grown farms!
It's a common misconception that CNG members must only rely on another CNG producer to complete their annual peer-review. While we'd love to have so many participants that there's always a CNG-er within an hour's drive, for many, the nearest CNG farm is a couple hours away or more. This post reports on the full variety of inspector-options available to members.Read more
Certified Naturally Grown's peer inspections are about much more than verifying a member's practices meet CNG standards.
Our peer-review model also:
- promotes knowledge exchange between like-minded producers,
- fosters valuable relationships, and
- provides peer-to-peer technical assistance, all of which
- helps farms succeed.
This summer we want to enhance these benefits and streamline the inspection process.Read more