We have taken the opportunity to reflect on our role and relationship with our certified members as major fires appear to occur more frequently and after learning of other tragic events affecting CCOF-certified operations.
Organic certification is a process that depends on annual inspections, replies to communication, and ongoing updates when changes occur that may affect compliance. However, we understand that you may at times be impacted by natural disasters, personal tragedies, or even accidents or injuries at the certified operation.
When an operation is affected by a natural disaster, we strive to be as helpful and flexible as possible. When we can, we try to map and identify affected and potentially affected operations. When you’re impacted, our goal is to help you remain certified and to take additional stress out of the process.
We can extend deadlines, reschedule inspections, consider emergency temporary locations, and postpone escalation of issues to noncompliance or Proposed Adverse Action when we have a reason or knowledge that you’re unable to respond. When possible and appropriate, we also perform abbreviated or low-impact inspections to operations that are out of production for some period but do not wish to leave organic certification.
We also encourage you to take advantage of the CCOF Foundation’s Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund that provides financial assistance to organic operations experiencing hardship. Learn more about how to apply for assistance or share with an affected operation.
Please contact us if you are affected by a natural disaster so we can do our best to support you during a challenging time. We know that without you, organic food and farming are not possible, so we are committed to doing what we can to help you during trying times.