What is KMG?
Kootenay Mountain Grown is a certification system designed to foster a thriving, sustainable, local food supply. It was formed by farmers, food activists, and local food buyers to respond to an increasing focus on locally grown food, and to have a locally recognized certification process that is more affordable for small farmers.
KMG farms are regenerative, diverse, ecological, and focused on soil building, water protection, animal welfare, plant health, local genetics, reducing waste, and social responsibility, with no use whatsoever of herbicides, pesticides, GMOs, or chemical fertilizers. Kootenay Mountain Grown is rooted in love for the earth, healthy communities, and wholesome delicious food.
Is KMG "organic"?
The term "organic" is legally reserved for Certified Organic produce, and KMG is not an official COABC certification body. Consequently, it is not permitted to advertise KMG products as "organic", whether big-O or small-o.
Nevertheless, KMG's strict standards were built to comply with IFOAM's (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) Participatory Guarantee System (PGS), an internationally recognized means of "locally focused quality assurance."
KMG farms are inspected by other KMG farmers, while Certified Organic farms are inspected by a third-party inspector. The PGS peer-to-peer system keeps costs down. Where Certified Organic looks deeper into certain areas such as record-keeping, KMG certification relies on visual inspections and self-reporting.
KMG fills the niche for small organic farmers who only sell locally within the Kootenay region, but who nevertheless want their sustainable practices to be recognized and certified at a reasonable cost. Kootenay Organic Growers Society (KOGS) certification is recognized across the province. Some KMG farmers describe their practices as "beyond organic," but many Certified Organic farms also operate well beyond the minimum standards.
Again, and without the word "organic", KMG farms are regenerative, diverse, ecological, and focused on soil building, water protection, animal welfare, plant health, local genetics, reducing waste, and social responsibility, with no use whatsoever of herbicides, pesticides, GMOs, or chemical fertilizers.