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Goodness Grows In North Carolina


Membership Criteria

I. The Goodness Grows in North Carolina label may be used only by qualified producers or processors of North Carolina agricultural and food products.

1. In-State Processed Items

  • The label may be applied only on North Carolina produced or processed products which use product ingredients from North Carolina when readily available.
  • Products not indigenous to North Carolina do not qualify (Ex. citrus, coffee, etc.).
  • Imported products from foreign sources are not eligible.
  • Only the first/top-quality products from a product line will be considered for membership.
  • The processing/production facilities or corporate headquarters must be located in North Carolina.
  • If the processing facility is located out-of-state, the product must be a 100% North Carolina agricultural product.
  • Identification of the North Carolina corporate headquarters is required on product packaging.
  • Facilities and products must meet all Federal and State regulations where applicable.

2. Out-of-State Processed Items
GGINC member companies are strongly encouraged to explore every possible opportunity to have their products processed in North Carolina. If a NC – based processor is unavailable, an out-of-state processor may be used as long as all of the in state processing rules in addition to the rules shown below are met:

  • The primary ingredient used in the product must be grown or raised in NC by GGINC members.
  • The out-of-state processor must be approved by the GGINC Manager
  • The item to be processed may only be packaged under the NC-based company’s brand name(s).
  • Identification of the company’s North Carolina headquarters is required on product packaging.
  • Processing facilities must meet or exceed North Carolina regulations and be consistent with Federal regulations.
  • A signed out-of-state addendum must accompany any application for an out-of-state processed item. Click here for a copy of the addendum

II. Out-of-State Company Provisions

If an out-of-state based company applies for GGINC membership it may qualify for GGINC membership if these guidelines are met:

  • The company must own the NC processing facilities where the product is processed or if a company contracts with a North Carolina based co-packer / processor, the product must include over 50% NC grown or raised ingredients to qualify for membership.
  • The product must include over 50% NC-grown ingredients.
  • Products processed in NC by an out-of-state company must contain wording such as “Processed in North Carolina for ‘company name’”.

III. Associate Member Qualifications:

Any business that promotes and sells GGINC member products may qualify as an associate member. This would include grocery stores, restaurants, food distributors, specialty and other retail stores and farmers markets

IV. Membership Categories:

All members will be including in one of the following categories. If your product does not qualify, approval must be requested in writing to the Goodness Grows Manager. Inclusion in the Goodness Grows in North Carolina program under the following categories requires that all inspections are current and you meet or exceed all membership criteria.

1. Fruits / Vegetables
NC grown fruits and vegetables must meet USDA Number 1 grades or better. Only top quality products will be accepted. Products not grown in NC may not be shipped/sold in boxes or packages bearing the GGINC logo.

2. Fresh / Processed Meats
Must be raised and packaged / processed in North Carolina. Must comply with NCDA & CS, County Health Inspection, and/or FDA standards. For more information, please visit http://www.agr.state.nc.us/vet/meat_poultry/pdf/InspRequireM&PBusinesses.pdf .

3. Dairy / Frozen Foods / Eggs
All inspections must be current. Must be consistent with all state and federal laws for the production and sale of dairy, frozen and egg products.

4. Bottled Water
Must be from a NC Spring or underground natural water source

5. Beer / Wine / Soft Drinks
Must be bottled in NC and include NC ingredients when available

6. Processed Food Items
Main ingredient must be from NC, when available. If the main ingredient is not from NC, prior approval must be requested for inclusion. See processed product guidelines.

7. Out-of-State Processed Food Items
The main ingredient must be from North Carolina. If the main ingredient is not in season in North Carolina, NO SUBSTITUTIONS MAY BE MADE.

8. Livestock
Producers of cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, horse, goat, ostrich and emu. Quarantined herds do not qualify.

9. Field Crops
Corn, soybeans, grain crops.

10. Organic
To be listed as an organic producer, you must be in accordance with The National Organic Program or have a certified organic product (must provide documentation). For more information on The National Organic Program, please visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/indexIE.htm .

11. Seafood
To qualify as a Goodness Grows in North Carolina or Freshness From NC Waters member in the category of seafood, the product must be farm raised on a NC farm or caught by a NC fisherman and brought to port on the NC coast. If the catch was made on the NC Coast by an out of state fisherman but brought to port on the NC Coast; it is an eligible product only if the company selling the catch is a member of GGINC or FFNCW.

12. Farmers Market (Associate Membership Only)
A majority of the vendors and applying markets must be NC growers and selling NC products.

13. Non-Food Items (Soaps, Lotions, etc…)
The primary component must be from NC

14. Green Industry (Nursery, Greenhouse, Trees, etc…)
Items must be grown in North Carolina. Nursery operators are strongly encouraged to be certified by the NCDA & CS Plant Industry Division.

15. Animal Feeds
Feed must be processed in NC and primary ingredient must be North Carolina grown. PET TREATS DO NOT QUALIFY FOR MEMBERSHIP.

V. Application and Documentation Requirements to use the Goodness Grows in North Carolina Label:

1. Application

  • To be considered for membership, you must include a completed and signed application form with the proper documentation for each type of product considered. If you require county, state or federal inspection for business, please include copies of all certificates.
  • If you are requesting membership for a processed or non-food item, please include five (5) samples of each product you would like considered with your application. If your product is perishable, please include two (2) “real” samples and three (3) “dummy” packages.

2. Acceptable Forms of Documentation:

  • County Extension Agent Letter – To verify your current farm state and condition
  • Co-Packer / Processor Letter – To confirm that they process your product and it is in accordance with GGINC guidelines
  • NCDA & CS Inspection Certificate – This is used for in-home processing and dairy facilities
  • USDA Inspection Certificate
  • NCDA & CS Marketing Specialist Inspection – If a NCDA & CS Marketing Specialist has visited your farm or facility, a letter of recommendation from them may be used as documentation
  • Farmers Market Verification Form – Verifies that you are a current seller at said market
  • Photo Documentation of operation – Used to verify roadside stand operation

VI. Application to use the Goodness Grows in North Carolina label:

1. Any person or firm representing and packaging North Carolina agricultural or food products may submit an application to use the Goodness Grows in North Carolina label on eligible products.

2. Application shall be made on forms provided by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

3. Permission to use the Goodness Grows in North Carolina label will be granted upon NCDA&CS committee approval of application. Application and products will be under continual review by the Goodness Grows in North Carolina committee. All decisions of the Goodness Grows in North Carolina committee are final.

4. Applicant must furnish three copies of product(s) labels and five product(s) samples in a finished package.

VII. Assistance: The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will provide the following services upon request:

1. Marketing service assistance.

2. Assistance in Retail, Foodservice and Institutional marketing.

3. Advertising, sales promotions, merchandising, public relations campaigns and special media promotions throughout the year.

VIII. Penalty:

1. Any person, firm, partnership, corporation or association who shall violate any provision herein, give false information in the application to package products under the Goodness Grows in North Carolina label, or use any container bearing the Goodness Grows in North Carolina label for packaging products which are not of North Carolina production, shall be subject to a suspension of his/her authority to use the Goodness Grows in North Carolina label.

2. Nothing herein shall be construed to exempt any person or firm from provisions of other applicable laws or regulations.

IX. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reserves the right to change these bylaws as necessary


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The Goodness Grows in North Carolina logo is a registered service mark, registered with the N.C. Secretary of State's office, and controlled exclusively by the N.C. Department of Agriculture's Division of Marketing and its participating Goodness Grows in North Carolina members.

NCDA&CS Markets Division, Tom Slade, Director
Mailing Address: 1020 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1020
Physical Address: 2 W. Edenton Street, Room 402, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3100; FAX: (919) 733-0999