Steps to Become Food Justice Certified
Certify your business in 10 steps! Contact AJP with any questions.
Farmers are entitled to use the AJP Appeals and Complaints procedure at any point in the certification process: click here to read this section of our Policy Manual.
1. Get Ready
- Read the AJP Standards
- Reference AJP’s resources for businesses
- Consider Technical Assistance. If your operation is complex or if you have many employees, this option could speed up and simplify your certification process.
- Estimate your FJC Licensing Fees, based on annual gross income.
- You may want to print out a copy of the Certification Section (Chapter 3) in the AJP Policy Manual.
2. Find an AJP Certifier
- Click here to see our list of AJP approved certifiers
- If you are already certified organic, your certifier could become trained to offer AJP certification as well – reducing your certification costs by doing both inspections in one trip. To become trained your certifier must attend an official AJP training and begin our accreditation process. Contact AJP for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Request an Estimate and Application from Your Certifier
4. Fill out Application and Return to Certifier
- Your application includes a licensing agreement and a request for an affidavit asserting that your farm and/or other entities owned by you or associated with your farm have not had any labor violations.
5. Certifier will Conduct an Initial Review of Your Application
- The purpose of the initial review is first to check that your application is complete, collect any additional information necessary, then review your documentation (such as labor policies) for any non-compliances.
- If any non-compliances are found, your certifier will provide you with a list of these and a timeline to address the issue. When you have corrected the non-compliances and documented this for your certifier, the certification process will continue.
6. Public Consultation
- Once your certifier has all the necessary information for your application to be complete, they will send your business name and location to AJP. We will post this information on our website and collect any public comments. Your certifier will take these comments into consideration during their certification decision making process.
7. If Complete, Application will be Reviewed by Inspection Team
- The inspectors, including a worker representative if your business has hired labor, will review your application to familiarize themselves with your operation and streamline the inspection process.
- Click here to see a list of AJP approved worker organizations. Contact your certifier to find out which organizations they have already established relationships with.
8. Inspection Scheduled to Take Place On-Site. Inspection Steps Include:
- Your certifier will schedule an inspection with you for a day when workers are present at your business.
- Initial meeting is held with workers and management present to describe the AJP standards and Food Justice Certification process
- Interviews held with workers, interns and management
- Visit of facilities and any worker housing takes place
- Inspector will conduct an on-site document review of any policies or employee files
- Inspection team will hold on-site follow-up meeting to answer any questions
- A brief summary meeting will be held with the farm owner
9. Certifier will Conduct any Necessary Follow-up Interviews
- If scheduled employees are absent or if certain risk factors are identified your certifier will make phone calls after the inspection to conduct additional interviews
10. Certifier Issues Letter Detailing Non-compliances and Timeline
- As in the step following the initial review of your application, your certifier will identify any non-compliances after the site-visit and provide you with a timeline to address these issues
- Once all non-compliances are addressed..
Your Business is Certified!
- You are now licensed to use the Food Justice Certified mark according to our labeling requirements, section 2.1 in our Policy Manual.