OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) is a non-profit organization that certifies products for use under the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) for organic agriculture. OMRI is not affiliated with the USDA nor is it the only agency offering organic certification but it is the most widely recognized.

The OMRI organization has defined a number of products and processes as conforming to their ‘organic’ qualifications which many in the organic industry have concerns about. 

The intent of having an organic certifying organization is to give consumers an awareness of the practices used to grow produce and products labeled as organic. Unfortunately, OMRI has become a political organization, and big money is involved.

OMRI has a list of allowed synthetics. OMRI has a list of chemical pesticides allowed for restricted use. OMRI has a list of synthetic fertilizers allowed. OMRI is considering allowing hydroponic fruits and vegetables to be certified organic.

Sure, there is probably plenty of rationalization why OMRI makes the decisions they make but it all boils down to money. If we were just worried about what’s organic, the decisions would be simple. But if we’re concerned about who gets to call their products organic (and reap the rewards from us organic folks who are willing to spend more for what we hope is organic), then the lobbyists get to do what they do.

Also, OMRI charges a significant amount ($) to companies every year for every product. While this might be fine for a large company, it has a real financial impact on a company like ours.