What is OMRI Listing?
Organic gardening is a healthy and sustainable way of growing your plants, and can be easy to do as long as you are able to refrain from using unnatural or synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and nutrients. When diving into the world of organics, you will quickly notice a seal on select products that shows the phrase "OMRI Listed".
This seal indicates that the product it is on has passed the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) review process and is compliant with organic standards. OMRI is a non-profit third party company that verifies and lists substances such as nutrients, pesticides, and other gardening products. This is very important for certified organic farmers as without some sort of certification or verification of the products they use on their land they would be forced to use questionable products and put themselves at risk of losing their organic status.
OMRI prevents this by requiring the products that they list to undergo a very intensive application and review process. This process requires the manufacturer of the product to provide their complete ingredient list, as well as a written description of their entire manufacturing process, and, in the case of nutrients or fertilizers, a lab analysis of their product's NPK ratio. Some products may even require an onsite inspection as part of their review process.
Upon passing this application and review process the product is then listed by OMRI as a product that is approved for use in certified organic production, handling, and processing. The product also earns the right to bear the seal stating that it is OMRI listed which lets farmers and gardeners easily recognize that it is a product that is compliant with organic standards.
Can a product be organic without being OMRI listed?
You may notice when searching through our organic nutrient category that not all organic nutrients bear the OMRI seal. These are still products that have been derived from natural and organic sources, they just have not been through the OMRI review process. As the OMRI application and review process can be long, pricey, and difficult to pass, many manufacturers choose not to embark on the challenging journey that leads to obtaining their OMRI listing. This is understandable as many of these products are created with hobbyist growers in mind, rather than being intended for certified organic farmers and pursuing the OMRI seal simply isn't worth the time, money, and effort.
These products can still be used in your garden with no fear for plant's health, or your own. They just would not be able to be utilized on a farm that is specifically certified for organic production.
Are OMRI listed products necessary for a hobby grower?
While seeing the OMRI seal on a package may provide you with additional peace of mind, it is not required to keep your home garden organic. A perfect example is Pure Blend Tea made by Botanicare.
This product is essentially a premade, bottled, and enhanced form of compost tea. It is created using organic elements which are derived from completely natural sources, yet is not specifically OMRI listed. However, it is still considered organic based, and is safe for use within your organic garden as it is not a synthetic product, nor does it contain any harmful artificial substances. While a certified organic farmer would not be able to use this on their operation, you can still feel completely comfortable using it in your own personal organic garden.
While there is nothing wrong with choosing to use only OMRI listed products, it is not critical to your garden's success or your own personal health. OMRI listing on products is only crucial for any certified organic farmer that has very strict rules about what inputs can be used on their land, however this is typically not the case for hobbyist growers.
Do you have more questions about organic gardening? Questions about a specific product? Don't hesitate to reach out to us at 888-815-9763 and chat with one of our experienced professionals today about your gardening needs.