National Organic Program (NOP)

Organic Standards and Regulations

As one of the first entities certifying organic, CCOF has played a critical role in developing the standards governing organic. Organic is a strictly defined term. The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 established uniform standards for food labeled “organic.” The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) writes the rules for implementing these standards. The NOP has an advisory body, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), which makes recommendations about the standards, including the approval or rejection of materials used for organic farming and processing. The board meets twice a year to discuss and vote on recommendations. The public is a critical part of this process and provides comments and suggestions to the board. NOSB recommendations go back to the NOP, where final decisions are made. To see agendas for the NOSB meetings, visit the USDA NOP website.  

CCOF at Work  

CCOF actively participates in the standards-making process, advocating with our members for strong, clear, enforceable standards for organic food and farming. We also encourage farmers, businesses, and interested organic consumers to weigh in on issues. The best way to get involved is to read the NOSB committee recommendations, then write to the NOSB in response to their proposals with your suggestions.  By working together, we can make a difference and ensure that the voice of organic is heard loud and clear.

Read more about CCOF’s work with the NOP and NOSB in our blog, From Field to Forum.