Working to Maintain Consistent, Timely, and Cost-Effective Service

Date

Date Published: 
July 10, 2013

We strive to provide cost-effective certification services that respond to your priorities. Each year, CCOF receives about 11,000 requests for service from our clients, in addition to annual inspection requirements. These requests include new products, acreage, or labels; changes in formulation; updated supplier lists; and more. Certification staff reviews each of these items and responds with follow-up questions before giving approval.
 
Unfortunately, we can’t keep fees low and immediately respond to certification requests. Therefore, we strive to be transparent with our clients about the service timelines that can be expected.

Our goals are to provide the following service, on average:

  • No more than 7 days to review highly time sensitive items such as new input materials or labels
  • No more than 21 days to review and respond to regular items
  • No more than 30 days from the date of inspection to respond to highly time sensitive inspections such as new production, land, or products, or major issues
  • No more than 60 days from the date of inspection to respond to regular annual inspections. Please remember that we can provide a copy of your certificate at any time or you can download a copy from MyCCOF, and all certified operations remain certified during the inspection and review process

We are glad that we’ve been able to consistently meet these goals, and continue to measure our performance on a quarterly basis to ensure action is taken when needed.
 
We also try hard to focus on the most time-sensitive client submissions, and frequently process important items like requests to use new pest control materials or approve new label artwork the same day they arrive! Because we constantly balance these priorities with other "regular" requests, we sometimes cannot meet our stated turnaround goal for every individual item or inspection. If you are submitting a request to CCOF, it is helpful if you inform us if your request is a high priority due to an impending deadline. The goals we have set allow us to measure our performance and communicate with our clients so we have mutually understood expectations. If we are in danger of not meeting our service goals, we will consider options such as hiring staff, striving for more efficiency, or other innovations to address the situation and ensure that our clients can expect consistent, timely service from us. We are careful to balance costs and service on an ongoing basis.
 
To ensure you get the service you need, you can monitor the dates your requests were received and the review deadlines set by CCOF by visiting the Action Items area of MyCCOF. If you need to speed up the process by enrolling in our Rush or Expedited programs to receive faster turnaround, you can do so for a modest additional fee. By charging additional fees to rush certain items, we can keep our base fees low for the 1400+ small farmers and processors we certify while providing fast turnaround for those that need it.
 
We are always working to reduce the number of items you are asked to submit (see this Certification News article from the spring edition of Certified Organic for great news in this area) while providing more efficient processes to benefit you while minimizing costs. We welcome your feedback and thank you for your support.