There are two obvious barriers organic producers face when they consider on-farm processing. The first is psychological. On-farm processing can appear intimidating and beyond reach, on one hand; on the other, it may seem unnecessary to someone who is already “adding value” by raising crops or livestock organically. The second barrier—a more pragmatic one—is the lack of good, producer-friendly information on small-scale organic processing and handling.
Three long-time organic information specialists will create a guide that helps fill the gap in information on organic, on-farm processing. The guide will persent four value-added case studies: sorghum syrup, packaged fresh salad greens, jams, jellies and spreads and table eggs. These enterprises were selected for their suitability to on-farm processing, as well as the variety of circumstances, challenges and examples for discussion that are relevant to a host of other possible enterprises. In each of these examples, the basic requirements for production and processing will be addressed and followed with specific requirements needed to make the enterprise certified organic.
The authors will consult with organic producers and handlers familiar with the focus enterprises, as well as with university and state professionals and regulatory agencies. They also will conduct a comprehensive literature search and provide an extensive resource list.