CERTIFIER: Vortex Certification LLC (VORTEX)

WEB SITE vortex-certification.com
NOP INFORMATION Not yet accredited
HEADQUARTERS N/A
US CERTIFIED OPERATION LOCATIONS N/A
ACCREDITED SCOPES N/A

Application for accreditation pending at the NOP.

VORTEX is a new certifier that is associated with the Biodynamic Farming movement. They were very transparent and open in our survey. They are not yet accredited but hope to be available for organic certification soon.

CERTIFIER STANDING: Greenlighted as ethical

Criteria Comments
Hydroponic Details Certifies zero hydroponics and has a moratorium on the practice.
Material Review Variety of sources, OMRI, WSDA, internal reviews are sometimes necessary.
Fee Structure The fee structure will be available. They are provided an estimate and then billed at actual cost.
Inspectors Inspectors must have IOIA training in the scope of inspection at a minimum.  Must have Biodynamic agriculture experience.  Must attend Biodynamic inspector training and perform a shadow inspection with a senior Biodynamic inspector and write an acceptable report to complete their training.
Imports Does not currently certify operations that import.
Farm Sizes New certifier (no clients in 2018).
Outdoor Access for Poultry An open-air run is required.  For chickens, at least 40% of the area should have perennial plants to provide cover.  Each bird is allotted 4m squared for space in this outdoor run, although most have much more.  All birds have access to the outdoors during daylight times, but can be contained at night.  Mobile stables are exempted (Chicken tractors).
Pasture Access Stocking rates vary by animal, but all are designed to ensure pasture health and provide adequate feed for the animal.
Livestock Alterations Most alterations prohibited. Capons are not allowed. Pigs and livestock are allowed to be castrated at an appropriate age and with minimal stress to the animal.
Origin of Livestock Does not certify operations who cycle in and out conventional animals.
Antibiotics in Livestock No antibiotics allowed.
Inspections Generally, if a farm audit demonstrates repeat issues, they will be first selected for an unannounced.  Unannounced audits should focus on no more than three inquiries to keep the farmers time to a minimum.
Residue Testing Vortex does carbon sequestration testing and residue testing.  If an inspector suspects anything, they are empowered to pull a sample at any inspection.
Producer Support Services Vortex is not constrained by the NOP to consult for our biodynamic farmers.  Therefore, they are constantly making connections, informing farmers about other best practices, introducing them, and hosting classes through our farmer volunteer program.