FAQs by standards

Certification of animals depends on many factors, including your recordkeeping system and the history of the land on which you manage animals. In some cases, CCOF can certify young animals that you currently manage when complete records are available to demonstrate continuous organic management. The final determination about whether animals can be certified will be... Read more

No, you must use 100% certified organic feed. There are no exceptions.

No, you cannot use lumber treated with arsenate or other prohibited materials for new installations or replacement purposes in contact with soil or livestock. You may use treated lumber on parts of your property that are not included in your certification or in areas where the lumber will not contact soil or livestock.

Dairy operations may transition non-certified livestock to organic by managing animals organically for one year. This is a one-time allowance for an entire, distinct herd. All other livestock, excluding poultry, must be managed organically starting no later than the last third of gestation to qualify for organic certification. Poultry must be managed organically starting no later than the 2nd... Read more

The following individuals and businesses operating in the state of California must annually register with the State Organic Program:

Every person engaged in the production, handling, or processing of raw agricultural products sold as organic Retailers that are engaged in the production of products sold as organic Retailers that are engaged in the processing, as defined by the NOP, of... Read more

Yes, transplants must be from certified organic sources. Growers must maintain certificates and invoices showing all annual transplants are certified organic.

There are two situations in which transplants may come from nonorganic sources:

Non-organically produced annual seedlings may be used to produce an organic crop when a temporary variance has been granted in accordance with... Read more

Ruminant animals are required to graze pasture anytime during the year that pasture is available for grazing. If pasture is not available for at least 120 days per year, the ruminants cannot be certified organic. Organic standards also require that animals obtain a certain percentage of their daily diet, or ration, from pasture. Grazing must provide at least 30% of an organic ruminant’s total... Read more

No, it is possible to manage a “split” operation, meaning that some animals are managed organically while others are not. It is important to make sure that the organic animals are easily identifiable, organic feeds are not commingled with non-organic feeds, and that you keep records of all farm activities, including both the organic and non-organic portions.... Read more

For crops other than sprouts, organic seed must be used unless organic versions are not commercially available. Growers are required to search for organic seed and must document this search in order to demonstrate that organic seed was not commercially available. This documentation may be in the form of a log showing calls made, product/supplier catalogues, letters received, or other... Read more

The NOP regulations do not have specific prescriptive requirements regarding distance for buffering your organic crop from potential contaminants. Prior to implementation of the NOP, 25 feet was used as a baseline for appropriate buffers. CCOF still uses this as a threshold of concern to guide our decision making process along with other mitigating factors such as physical barriers and... Read more

An amendment to an existing registration is required when an operation has one or more of the following changes to their registration:

Addition of new facilities or growing locations in California Change of ownership Addition of production acreage A  change/addition of operation type(s).

A registrant shall notify the Department of any change in the information reported on the... Read more

Potting soil, soil amendments, fertilizers, and pesticides/herbicides are not certified organic. These types of products are “approved for organic production” by agencies like the Organic Materials Review Institute or Washington State Department of Agriculture, who certify products to be allowed for use in organic production. Each product or material is scrutinized by an independent... Read more