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Certified Naturally Grown is a nationwide quality assurance program founded by farmers in the mid-Hudson Valley in 2002, the same year the USDA National Organic Program took effect. It was specifically developed for small farms with local distribution channels. 


The CNG badge promises the highest food quality and environmental responsibility standards and is regulated by an organization of farmers rather than a government agency. This system encourages farmer-to-farmer networking and reduces paperwork and expenses, allowing savings to be passed on to consumers.

As compared to USDA Organic Certification, Certified Naturally Grown is equivalent in its food safety requirements and restriction of chemicals. CNG farms never use any synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers or genetically modified organisms. Additionally, CNG farms monitor biodiversity, soil and water conservation. All lands must have distinct and defined boundaries and buffer zones to prevent the unintended application of a prohibited substance if it were to be applied to adjoining land.

While USDA inspections for certification are carried out by government contractors, CNG compliance is monitored through annual peer review and detailed on-site inspection. Reports are publicly accessible at

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