The “organic” label appears today on everything from lettuce to livestock. But that label is not just a marketing ploy – what’s behind a product that’s been certified as organic is more than a quick handshake to agree to farm naturally. There’s a process to ensure that all farming and production operations meet federal standards – and conventional farms need to go through a transitional period of three years if they want to be considered for organic certification. To simplify the picture, there’s an information submission stage, an application stage, and an annual recertification process. Oh, and you have to actually farm, produce, and sell your goods while undergoing a time- and resource-intensive process.
Crosstek Solutions, a technology company based in Cinncinatti, saw a business opportunity in helping farmers go through the process of becoming certified in organic production. Crosstek founded Sow Organic to assist farmers not only to begin and implement the process, but also to help farmers and organic inspectors keep up with standards. Sow Organic offers applications for farmers who are gathering records at the beginning of the process, another tool to manage certification and inspection documents, and a separate tool for inspectors who are charged with verifying organic processes.
Sow Organic was named a finalist in the local 1776 Challenge Cup competition at #StartUpCincy in Cincinnatti in November, and will continue on to the regional competition in New York City in March. Follow the competition with #1776Challenge and here on #FreeEntepriseFriday!