Frequently Asked Questions

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Processor or Handler

These terms are used interchangeably by CCOF. You are a handler if you process products or if you merely arrange for the sale and purchase of already-packed product. All non-grower operations are handlers. Anyone who sells, processes, or packages agricultural products is considered a handler and “Handler” will appear on your organic certificate.

Yes! To export to Switzerland, your product must be certified equivalent with EEC 834/2007. To verify your equivalence, you must enroll in CCOF’s International Standard Program. You will be required to complete an import application with your Swiss importer, which will be verified by the Swiss government. Please be aware that this... Read more

Yes! Both the EU and Canada now have equivalency agreements with the US to simplify trade of organic products. If your product meets the relevant critical variances for each market; you will be able to export to them. Our EU and Canada pages will help you determine the steps to take, and our... Read more

No, products labeled as organic must be produced in an inspected and certified organic facility. If you own or lease the facility, you can easily add an uncertified facility location to your own certification. If you contract with the facility to produce your products, the facility will need to apply for a separate organic certification with CCOF.... Read more

Yes, as long as adequate measures are taken to distinguish organic from non-organic and storage practices do not pose a commingling or contamination risk for organic ingredients. You do not have to have a physical barrier in place, but adequate separation and labeling should be in place to protect the organic product.

Yes, you can use off-site storage facilities to store and distribute your products without having that location inspected or certified. Off-site storage facilities and distribution centers are not required to be certified as long as the products are packaged or otherwise enclosed in a container prior to being received or acquired. The product must remain in the same package and may not be... Read more

Yes, CCOF certification confers the ability to use either the CCOF seal or the USDA seal (or both) on products sold as “100% Organic” and “Organic.” The USDA seal may not be used on products labeled as “Made with Organic (list of specific ingredients).” USDA National Organic Program standards define the... Read more

Your MyCCOF account allows you to view invoice descriptions and outstanding balances for your operation!

From within MyCCOF, navigate to the ‘Invoices’ tab for your operation and view past and present balances.

Once in the ‘Invoices’ tab you can view your Account Status, Description of an Invoice as well as any outstanding balances.*

*Note: hard copies of... Read more

CCOF provides organic certification only for crops and products made from them. We do not certify farm inputs and non-organic processing aids.

Inputs and processing aids are reviewed and listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)  and the... 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, you are required by USDA organic requirements to report all materials you use, including fertilizers, pest control materials, processing aids, livestock health care materials, and other materials. We have made it easy for you to view the materials we have approved for your operation by listing them on your Organic System Plan (OSP) Materials List.   You can view and print your OSP Materials... Read more

Yes! We understand that you may be pressed for time or require certification by a certain deadline. In these cases, we are pleased to pull out all the stops and provide expedited services that meet your deadline. Please consider our Expedited Certification Program application if you are short on time. In many cases we... Read more

Yes, CCOF offers two programs designed to verify your compliance with a variety of international standards, including those for EU member states, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, and others. Which program you should enroll in depends on which markets you are shipping to and whether your product is shipped from the US or from... Read more

Yes! MyCCOF is the first of its kind online organic certification management system. MyCCOF is free for all clients and provides access to records, bills, inspection reports, certificates, and more. Our website also offers a wealth of forms, payment options, and other tools... Read more

Currently there is no federal regulation for organic cosmetics. If you would like to claim that your product is “certified organic” it must meet the same requirements as organic food, including the restrictions on non-organic ingredients and labeling.

There have been several... Read more

The onsite inspection is an integral part of organic certification. The inspector bills CCOF for the time and expenses of each inspection and CCOF in turn bills the inspected party. The costs of inspections vary widely. Usually, the major cost factor is the scope and complexity of an operation. Other factors may include the producer's knowledge of applicable organic standards, previous issues... Read more

The way you label your certified organic products will depend on the amount of organic ingredients in them. Most crops and single-ingredient products can be labeled “Organic” and use the USDA seal. If you are making a multi-ingredient product with some non-organic ingredients, you may be allowed to claim your product is “Made with Organic (specified ingredients).” See CCOF’s... Read more

Your inspector will probably focus on records from the past year, but records for five years should be accessible as well.

Growers should prepare a copy of your Organic Farm Input Report (OFIR) to show all inputs going back to the last inspection. If there are many redundant input applications, you may prepare a summary OFIR that lists each material applied. Mixed operations (organic and... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can view your operation contact information. Within MyCCOF, to view contact information for your operation, navigate to the desired Company Record from the ‘Company Data List.’  

  The ‘Company Data List’ will show all Operations that you are currently a contact for. From here you can choose which company record will automatically open when you sign into your MyCCOF account... Read more

CCOF wants to help you address marketplace problems and complaints. Under the National Organic Program, all products marketed as organic must be certified. If you witness organic products being mislabeled or fraudulently identified, you are highly encouraged to report the problem. Reporting is the best way to stop fraudulent practices.

The Short Answer

If the complaint involves a CCOF... Read more

CCOF certification offers comprehensive services at a minimal cost to our clients. We understand that keeping certification costs down is important to our clients. The following tips are great ways to save time and money:

Have your paperwork organized and prepared for your annual inspections. Respond to CCOF Request for Information letters in a timely manner to avoid noncompliance fees.... Read more

The National Organic Program (NOP) outlines a specific order of pest control methods in areas where organic products are processed, handled, or stored.

First use preventative measures such as good sanitation, then mechanical measures, such as mechanical, sticky, or pheromone traps. If preventative and mechanical measures do not adequately control pests, you may use NOP allowed materials... Read more

As an Accredited Certification Agency (ACA), CCOF cannot provide consulting assistance to meet organic certification issues. However, as a service to our members and others, CCOF maintains a list of organic consultants who are available to assist with certification and regulatory compliance issues.... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can access your Inspection Report. From within MyCCOF, click on the ‘Inspection Status’ tab. This will show all current and past inspections for your operation.

 

To get a copy of your Inspection report, click on the inspection you wish to view in the grid to highlight it.

 

Scroll to the bottom of the page. Click the ‘Documents’ tab... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can see all letters from the CCOF office. From within MyCCOF, navigate to the ‘Files’ tab to get a copy of your letters from CCOF.

Here you can view outgoing correspondence from CCOF regarding your Operation. The “Date” column will match the date on a specific letter. The “Subject” column will tell you the type of correspondence.

To access a copy of a... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can access information for your upcoming inspection. From within MyCCOF, navigate to the “Inspection Status” tab to locate information on inspections.

Here you can view all past and present inspections for the operation as well as the Season, Inspection Type, and Inspector.

To locate Inspector Contact information click on the icon next to the Inspector... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can instantly download copies of your certification certificates. From within MyCCOF, click on the ‘Certificates’ tab to locate copies of your Certificates.

Here you will be able to view, download, and print copies of your Certificates and Client Profiles.    The ‘Description’ column will tell you the Certificate type. The ‘Year’ column will tell you which year the... Read more

In the simplest terms, certification involves an application, review, inspection, compliance with any standards issues, and, finally, certification. The detailed steps to organic certification are outlined for you.

How the process works:

In your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), you explain what you do, how you do it, and what you use to... Read more

After your inspection CCOF will review the inspection report and respond to you as soon as possible. You will receive one of three review results:

Compliant: No further action is required as a result of this inspection
An updated certificate has been created and can be found online. You may have other outstanding items related to other inspections or processes. Visit your Action... Read more

Certificates may only be issued by certifiers that have been accredited by the USDA. To verify if your supplier is certified by an USDA accredited certifier, see the list of accredited certifiers on the... Read more

There are 2 ways to login to MyCCOF to access your certification information.

1) Visit the CCOF homepage and click on the ‘My Account’ tab at the top. From here you can log in to MyCCOF.

2) Navigate to the MyCCOF website http://www.myccof.org... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can update your operation contacts and their contact information. From within MyCCOF, to update information regarding your operation including contacts, click the ‘Client Update’ button in the ‘Contacts’ tab. 

After clicking a CCOF Client Update PDF will be available for you to save to your computer.    Here you can update information including adding a contact,... Read more

Before making any changes to your operation, you must update your OSP. Visit our Forms and Documents page to find the forms that you need to update. Submit your fully completed forms to ccof@ccof.org. Please do not submit partially completed forms! Certification... Read more

Water and salt are excluded when calculating the organic percentage of a product. Use our helpful H2.0B Product Formulation worksheet to help you calculate the organic percentage of finished products. This worksheet will also help you if some of your product is not composed entirely of organic ingredients.

Once updates have been submitted it take an average of 7 days for CCOF to review the following highly time sensitive items:

New crop input materials (i.e. pest control, fertilizer, soil amendment, etc.) Updated labels for existing products Adding additional acreages (subsequent inspection required) Adding an additional facility or equipment (subsequent inspection required)

Once updates... Read more

Certification typically requires six to 10 weeks; less for special cases. We generally recommend that you begin the process at least 90 days before harvest or launch of your organic line.

The length of time depends on a number of factors:

How complete the application is when submitted The complexity of your operation How quickly you respond to any requests for information that... Read more

CCOF certification is priced to provide superior value and to allow new farms, processors, and other businesses to easily enter the organic marketplace. Ongoing certification costs are based on an annual fee and the cost of the annual inspection. There is also a one-time, non-refundable application fee.

Small farms and processors are routinely certified for between $600 and $1,200.... Read more

To simplify the process and organize requests of this type, CCOF requires that you provide a completed External Client Inquiry Form to CCOF; submit it to ccof@ccof.org or via fax: (831) 423-4528.

You must protect organic integrity during receiving, storage, processing, packaging, and transportation.  Many certified operations process both organic and non-organic products without any difficulty.  These operations are referred to as “mixed” operations.  Mixed operations are responsible for protecting organic ingredients and products throughout production.  This is done by preventing... Read more

Yes, send all new or revised labels to CCOF for review and approval even if you think the change does not affect your organic certification. Having your label reviewed by CCOF protects you from making costly mistakes. All labels must be included in your Organic System Plan, including a label redesign for an existing product, a new size of packaging for an existing product, labels for new... Read more

No, products that restrict organic claims to the ingredient listing only are exempt from the requirements of certification. However, the manufacturer needs to maintain documentation that the organic ingredients identified are organic and certified according to the regulations. Manufacturers should request and maintain on file current copies of organic certificates for each organic ingredient... Read more

Being compliant to the USDA/MAFF export arrangement allows you to ship your product to an importer certified to JAS, the organic standard in Japan. Be sure to request a Japan export certificate, or TM-11, from CCOF to accompany every consignment/ shipment. See the “What is an Export Certificate? How do I request one?” FAQ for... Read more

The purpose of organic inspections is to confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before it is certified and every year after as long as it remains certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice.

An excellent, low-cost resource titled Preparing for... Read more

Fillable forms are versions of frequently used and/or modified documents that are available in electronic format for easy editing. Each form is a Microsoft word document formatted and locked to allow you to easily enter your data. Available forms include material review requests, annual certification contracts, parcel transfer, withdrawal and additional acreage documents. For processors,... Read more

CCOF cannot recommend any specific cleaners or sanitizers. Processors/handlers are permitted to use any sanitizer allowed for cleaning food contact surfaces as long as the sanitizer does not leave a residue and does not come in contact with organic products. Sanitizers that contact organic products must be on the National List (205.605... Read more

 

As of June 1, 2012, the process for shipping organic product from the US to the EU is dramatically simplified under the terms of the US/ EU Equivalency Arrangement.      

If you are shipping NOP certified product that has final packaging or processing in the US to an EU member state, all you need is to:

Be enrolled in the CCOF... Read more

CCOF believes in being responsive and service oriented, We encourage clients to engage in open dialogue regarding organic certification issues because your complete satisfaction is our goal. CCOF wants to provide options should you disagree with a CCOF policy, service issue, or certification decision that relates to your business.

In these cases you are encouraged to contact the CCOF... Read more

If you forget your Username or Password for MyCCOF, navigate to the MyCCOF login page by clicking on ‘My Account’ at the top of the CCOF website and click the ‘Forgot your password?’ link in the MyCCOF login area. 

  From this screen, enter your Email. If the entered data matches with an existing account, you will get an email with your username and password. For additional help email... Read more

U.S. farmers and ranchers, agricultural educators, and farmer-assistance organizations can get answers about specific farming practices from ATTRA. Ask an expert.

Need outside help? CCOF cannot actively consult with our clients regarding organic certification compliance. We do offer a list of... Read more

Many operations assume that if they pay their fees they are not required to complete the contract. This is not true. Organic regulations require that all operations complete a Continuation of Certification contract, so failure to complete it will result in suspension of certification. Operations that only pay their fees or only complete their contract will force us to issue a Notice of... Read more

No problem. CCOF will assist currently certified operations to recertify by waiving the one-time application fee.

To receive the fee waiver, complete the Certification Transfer Form and submit it to CCOF with your application and valid certificate from your current certifier. Contact us today... Read more

“CN” means “combined nomenclature.” A CN code is a customs/tariff designation required in box 13 of export certificates for the EU. CN codes are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Disclaimer: While CCOF can assist in determining CN codes, the accuracy of... Read more

A lot number is a tracking system that links the organic product back to the farmer or incoming ingredient. The lot numbering system provides critical information regarding the origin of the products being used by processors/handlers, especially in the age of increased food safety requirements.

Both incoming and outgoing products should include lot numbers to allow both recall and... Read more

Transaction certificates may accompany shipments of organic product when an export certificate is not required and the importer requires further documentation of the compliance to NOP standards. A transaction certificate may be used to export to countries other than Japan, Taiwan, the EU member states, and Switzerland. They can also be used for domestic transactions. You can request a... Read more

The best way to imagine an audit trail is to think of a food safety product recall. If you found out that a specific lot of an organic ingredient was contaminated, you would use your recordkeeping system to determine which final batches of product that ingredient went into. An audit trail is the collection of documents that would allow you to do that.

Your audit trail documents should... Read more

Every shipment of certified organic product to the EU, Japan, Taiwan, and Switzerland must be accompanied by an export certificate issued by CCOF. These certificates contain transaction-specific details, such as the lot number(s), net weight, and the unique serial number given to each export certificate. Your consignee (importer or freight consolidator) will require an original export... Read more

MyCCOF, our client-wide online organic certification management tool, makes certification easier for you. Use MyCCOF to monitor certification and renewals, access key documents, and track the inspection and certification process. You can even track invoices and pay bills online.

CCOF has long been a leader and innovator in organic certification.... Read more

The National List is the list of non-organic materials you are allowed to use as ingredients, additives, or processing aids in your organic products. For processors this includes materials such as yeast, citric acid, baking soda, diatomaceous earth, and others. Only non-organic ingredients and processing aids included on the National List may be used in and on your products. CCOF must approve... Read more

The certification application is called an Organic System Plan (OSP). A complete OSP is required by the National Organic Program (NOP). The OSP is a detailed description of the practices and procedures used by your operation to produce organic goods. Clients update their OSP as changes occur.

CCOF has developed a straightforward, comprehensive OSP as part of our organic certification... Read more

Renewal to the certification program happens in January, annually. Clients are sent a certification renewal contract and an invoice for annual fees in November which are due January 1.

The Annual Certification Renewal Contract requires the following information to be submitted to CCOF: Updates on any pending requests for information or noncompliance issues. Updated OSP, detailing any... Read more

Each organic ingredient must be identified as "Organic" on the ingredient statement of products labeled as "Organic," or "Made with Organic (specified ingredients)."

The certifying agent must be identified by name ("California Certified Organic Farmers" or “CCOF”) on the information panel beneath the name of the handler or distributor, and preceded by the statement, "Certified organic... Read more

Products labeled “Made with organic…” may contain up to 30% non-organic ingredients. Non-organic ingredients must either be agricultural or on section 205.605 of the National List. Any nonagricultural ingredient or processing aid that does not appear on section 205.605 is prohibited in all organic products, including those labeled as “... Read more

The National List is the definitive source for allowed materials. However, several agencies and organizations create comprehensive lists of brand name products and ingredients that may be used in organic processing. Among them are the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and the... Read more

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) (7 CFR Part 205) is CCOF’s primary certification standard. Copies of the USDA NOP standards are available to download or purchase. All application packets sent by U.S. mail include a copy of the USDA NOP standards.

We provide additional services as needed for... 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

This list details the most common situations that require you to send information or documentation to CCOF, and what type of information you'll need to send. Read through this list and contact your Certification Service Specialist with additional questions.    I want to change something in my Organic System Plan (OSP), what should I send? Update your OSP forms and send them to CCOF for review... Read more
Before the Inspection: Organic System Plan (OSP): This is the central document of organic certification. The OSP must be completed before the inspection. The inspector will compare your OSP with their observations, interview, and audit of records. An excellent OSP includes all applicable sections and thoroughly answered questions, with all required attachments (labels, parcel maps, land history... Read more

Any time you are considering a change to your organic production, you must update your Organic System Plan before making any changes and submit the update to ccof@ccof.org for review. Updating your OSP before making changes helps your operation avoid a Notice of Noncompliance and possible... Read more

Looking for organic ingredients? You can find the products produced and processed by CCOF members in our searchable online Organic Directory.

The following resources will help guide you in finding other sources of organic ingredients, growers, and manufacturers as well as organic suitable ingredients.

... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can view your authorized contacts for your operation. From within MyCCOF, view authorized contacts for your operation by navigating to the ‘Contacts’ tab.

Under the title ‘Has these Certification Contacts’ you can view the listed contacts for your operation as well as their individual information (phone, fax, email).

Contacts designated with a red shirt in the ‘... Read more

Organic inspections confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before you are certified and every year after for as long as you remain certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice. A CCOF-qualified inspector will conduct the inspection in an efficient... Read more

There are dozens of reasons to choose CCOF for your organic certification. Learn why CCOF should be your choice for certification or browse our website for more information.

Retail or Restaurant

These terms are used interchangeably by CCOF. You are a handler if you process products or if you merely arrange for the sale and purchase of already-packed product. All non-grower operations are handlers. Anyone who sells, processes, or packages agricultural products is considered a handler and “Handler” will appear on your organic certificate.

Yes you can. Retail stores are certified by department such as produce, meat, bulk foods, prepared foods, etc. Any or all departments can be certified.

If you are certifying a prepared food section – such as a bakery, deli, salad bar, or juice or coffee bar – you may choose to certify only selected items instead of all items. As with all other types of certification where both organic... Read more

Yes! To export to Switzerland, your product must be certified equivalent with EEC 834/2007. To verify your equivalence, you must enroll in CCOF’s International Standard Program. You will be required to complete an import application with your Swiss importer, which will be verified by the Swiss government. Please be aware that this... Read more

Yes! Both the EU and Canada now have equivalency agreements with the US to simplify trade of organic products. If your product meets the relevant critical variances for each market; you will be able to export to them. Our EU and Canada pages will help you determine the steps to take, and our... Read more

Yes, as long as adequate measures are taken to distinguish organic from non-organic and storage practices do not pose a commingling or contamination risk for organic ingredients. You do not have to have a physical barrier in place, but adequate separation and labeling should be in place to protect the organic product.

Yes, you can use off-site storage facilities to store and distribute your products without having that location inspected or certified. Off-site storage facilities and distribution centers are not required to be certified as long as the products are packaged or otherwise enclosed in a container prior to being received or acquired. The product must remain in the same package and may not be... Read more

Yes, CCOF certification confers the ability to use either the CCOF seal or the USDA seal (or both) on products sold as “100% Organic” and “Organic.” The USDA seal may not be used on products labeled as “Made with Organic (list of specific ingredients).” USDA National Organic Program standards define the... Read more

Your MyCCOF account allows you to view invoice descriptions and outstanding balances for your operation!

From within MyCCOF, navigate to the ‘Invoices’ tab for your operation and view past and present balances.

Once in the ‘Invoices’ tab you can view your Account Status, Description of an Invoice as well as any outstanding balances.*

*Note: hard copies of... 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, you are required by USDA organic requirements to report all materials you use, including fertilizers, pest control materials, processing aids, livestock health care materials, and other materials. We have made it easy for you to view the materials we have approved for your operation by listing them on your Organic System Plan (OSP) Materials List.   You can view and print your OSP Materials... Read more

No, retail stores are not required to be certified. But they can choose to be in order to provide assurance to customers and go the extra mile to ensure that organic product integrity is maintained.

Retail food establishments (retailers) do not need to be certified in order to sell organic agricultural products. However, they are responsible for verifying and maintaining the organic... Read more

Yes! We understand that you may be pressed for time or require certification by a certain deadline. In these cases, we are pleased to pull out all the stops and provide expedited services that meet your deadline. Please consider our Expedited Certification Program application if you are short on time. In many cases we... Read more

Yes! MyCCOF is the first of its kind online organic certification management system. MyCCOF is free for all clients and provides access to records, bills, inspection reports, certificates, and more. Our website also offers a wealth of forms, payment options, and other tools... Read more

The onsite inspection is an integral part of organic certification. The inspector bills CCOF for the time and expenses of each inspection and CCOF in turn bills the inspected party. The costs of inspections vary widely. Usually, the major cost factor is the scope and complexity of an operation. Other factors may include the producer's knowledge of applicable organic standards, previous issues... Read more

Your inspector will probably focus on records from the past year, but records for five years should be accessible as well.

Growers should prepare a copy of your Organic Farm Input Report (OFIR) to show all inputs going back to the last inspection. If there are many redundant input applications, you may prepare a summary OFIR that lists each material applied. Mixed operations (organic and... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can view your operation contact information. Within MyCCOF, to view contact information for your operation, navigate to the desired Company Record from the ‘Company Data List.’  

  The ‘Company Data List’ will show all Operations that you are currently a contact for. From here you can choose which company record will automatically open when you sign into your MyCCOF account... Read more

CCOF wants to help you address marketplace problems and complaints. Under the National Organic Program, all products marketed as organic must be certified. If you witness organic products being mislabeled or fraudulently identified, you are highly encouraged to report the problem. Reporting is the best way to stop fraudulent practices.

The Short Answer

If the complaint involves a CCOF... Read more

CCOF certification offers comprehensive services at a minimal cost to our clients. We understand that keeping certification costs down is important to our clients. The following tips are great ways to save time and money:

Have your paperwork organized and prepared for your annual inspections. Respond to CCOF Request for Information letters in a timely manner to avoid noncompliance fees.... Read more

As an Accredited Certification Agency (ACA), CCOF cannot provide consulting assistance to meet organic certification issues. However, as a service to our members and others, CCOF maintains a list of organic consultants who are available to assist with certification and regulatory compliance issues.... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can access your Inspection Report. From within MyCCOF, click on the ‘Inspection Status’ tab. This will show all current and past inspections for your operation.

 

To get a copy of your Inspection report, click on the inspection you wish to view in the grid to highlight it.

 

Scroll to the bottom of the page. Click the ‘Documents’ tab... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can see all letters from the CCOF office. From within MyCCOF, navigate to the ‘Files’ tab to get a copy of your letters from CCOF.

Here you can view outgoing correspondence from CCOF regarding your Operation. The “Date” column will match the date on a specific letter. The “Subject” column will tell you the type of correspondence.

To access a copy of a... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can access information for your upcoming inspection. From within MyCCOF, navigate to the “Inspection Status” tab to locate information on inspections.

Here you can view all past and present inspections for the operation as well as the Season, Inspection Type, and Inspector.

To locate Inspector Contact information click on the icon next to the Inspector... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can instantly download copies of your certification certificates. From within MyCCOF, click on the ‘Certificates’ tab to locate copies of your Certificates.

Here you will be able to view, download, and print copies of your Certificates and Client Profiles.    The ‘Description’ column will tell you the Certificate type. The ‘Year’ column will tell you which year the... Read more

In the simplest terms, certification involves an application, review, inspection, compliance with any standards issues, and, finally, certification. The detailed steps to organic certification are outlined for you.

How the process works:

In your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), you explain what you do, how you do it, and what you use to... Read more

After your inspection CCOF will review the inspection report and respond to you as soon as possible. You will receive one of three review results:

Compliant: No further action is required as a result of this inspection
An updated certificate has been created and can be found online. You may have other outstanding items related to other inspections or processes. Visit your Action... Read more

There are 2 ways to login to MyCCOF to access your certification information.

1) Visit the CCOF homepage and click on the ‘My Account’ tab at the top. From here you can log in to MyCCOF.

2) Navigate to the MyCCOF website http://www.myccof.org... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can update your operation contacts and their contact information. From within MyCCOF, to update information regarding your operation including contacts, click the ‘Client Update’ button in the ‘Contacts’ tab. 

After clicking a CCOF Client Update PDF will be available for you to save to your computer.    Here you can update information including adding a contact,... Read more

Before making any changes to your operation, you must update your OSP. Visit our Forms and Documents page to find the forms that you need to update. Submit your fully completed forms to ccof@ccof.org. Please do not submit partially completed forms! Certification... Read more

Once updates have been submitted it take an average of 7 days for CCOF to review the following highly time sensitive items:

New crop input materials (i.e. pest control, fertilizer, soil amendment, etc.) Updated labels for existing products Adding additional acreages (subsequent inspection required) Adding an additional facility or equipment (subsequent inspection required)

Once updates... Read more

Certification typically requires six to 10 weeks; less for special cases. We generally recommend that you begin the process at least 90 days before harvest or launch of your organic line.

The length of time depends on a number of factors:

How complete the application is when submitted The complexity of your operation How quickly you respond to any requests for information that... Read more

CCOF certification is priced to provide superior value and to allow new farms, processors, and other businesses to easily enter the organic marketplace. Ongoing certification costs are based on an annual fee and the cost of the annual inspection. There is also a one-time, non-refundable application fee.

Small farms and processors are routinely certified for between $600 and $1,200.... Read more

To simplify the process and organize requests of this type, CCOF requires that you provide a completed External Client Inquiry Form to CCOF; submit it to ccof@ccof.org or via fax: (831) 423-4528.

Yes you can. You will need to maintain the organic integrity of the ingredients and products by preventing commingling and contamination of organic products with any prohibited materials such as sanitizers, pesticides, and non-organic products or ingredients. Additionally, you will need to clearly distinguish organic products from non-organic products to provide accurate information to your... Read more

Yes, restaurants are considered retail food establishments and are excluded from certification but can identify products on their menus as organic without certification. Restaurants must prevent commingling or contamination of organic product/ingredients with prohibited materials such as sanitizers, pest control materials, and non-organic ingredients. Additionally, restaurants need to comply... Read more

When displaying bulk products that are certified "100% organic" or "organic" food in self-service bins or creating other product displays you may post signs that provide the same information as listed on the original container or shipping documents. For example, your display, labeling, and display containers may use the USDA “organic” seal and the certifying agent’s mark, logo, or seal.

Being compliant to the USDA/MAFF export arrangement allows you to ship your product to an importer certified to JAS, the organic standard in Japan. Be sure to request a Japan export certificate, or TM-11, from CCOF to accompany every consignment/ shipment. See the “What is an Export Certificate? How do I request one?” FAQ for... Read more

If you buy product from a small-scale organic producer who is exempt from certification, you may identify this product as "organic." But you may not identify this product as being "certified organic" and you may not display the seal, logo, or other identifying mark of a certifying agent; nor may you display the USDA “organic” seal in conjunction with this product.

Records should include date of purchase, source, quantities, and organic certificates listing the specific for organic products you purchase. Records should also include documentation of methods used for prevention of commingling and contact with prohibited substances such as sanitizers, pest control materials, and non-organic products. Records are very important if the organic status of a... Read more

The purpose of organic inspections is to confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before it is certified and every year after as long as it remains certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice.

An excellent, low-cost resource titled Preparing for... Read more

Fillable forms are versions of frequently used and/or modified documents that are available in electronic format for easy editing. Each form is a Microsoft word document formatted and locked to allow you to easily enter your data. Available forms include material review requests, annual certification contracts, parcel transfer, withdrawal and additional acreage documents. For processors,... Read more

The main benefit of organic certification for retail food stores is that consumers have confidence that the organic integrity of the products they buy extend from the seeds used to grow their food to their shopping basket. Consumers want to know the store where they shop cares enough to go the extra mile to provide them that assurance of organic integrity.

... Read more

CCOF believes in being responsive and service oriented, We encourage clients to engage in open dialogue regarding organic certification issues because your complete satisfaction is our goal. CCOF wants to provide options should you disagree with a CCOF policy, service issue, or certification decision that relates to your business.

In these cases you are encouraged to contact the CCOF... Read more

If you forget your Username or Password for MyCCOF, navigate to the MyCCOF login page by clicking on ‘My Account’ at the top of the CCOF website and click the ‘Forgot your password?’ link in the MyCCOF login area. 

  From this screen, enter your Email. If the entered data matches with an existing account, you will get an email with your username and password. For additional help email... Read more

Many operations assume that if they pay their fees they are not required to complete the contract. This is not true. Organic regulations require that all operations complete a Continuation of Certification contract, so failure to complete it will result in suspension of certification. Operations that only pay their fees or only complete their contract will force us to issue a Notice of... Read more

No problem. CCOF will assist currently certified operations to recertify by waiving the one-time application fee.

To receive the fee waiver, complete the Certification Transfer Form and submit it to CCOF with your application and valid certificate from your current certifier. Contact us today... Read more

MyCCOF, our client-wide online organic certification management tool, makes certification easier for you. Use MyCCOF to monitor certification and renewals, access key documents, and track the inspection and certification process. You can even track invoices and pay bills online.

CCOF has long been a leader and innovator in organic certification.... Read more

The certification application is called an Organic System Plan (OSP). A complete OSP is required by the National Organic Program (NOP). The OSP is a detailed description of the practices and procedures used by your operation to produce organic goods. Clients update their OSP as changes occur.

CCOF has developed a straightforward, comprehensive OSP as part of our organic certification... Read more

Renewal to the certification program happens in January, annually. Clients are sent a certification renewal contract and an invoice for annual fees in November which are due January 1.

The Annual Certification Renewal Contract requires the following information to be submitted to CCOF: Updates on any pending requests for information or noncompliance issues. Updated OSP, detailing any... Read more

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) (7 CFR Part 205) is CCOF’s primary certification standard. Copies of the USDA NOP standards are available to download or purchase. All application packets sent by U.S. mail include a copy of the USDA NOP standards.

We provide additional services as needed for... 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

This list details the most common situations that require you to send information or documentation to CCOF, and what type of information you'll need to send. Read through this list and contact your Certification Service Specialist with additional questions.    I want to change something in my Organic System Plan (OSP), what should I send? Update your OSP forms and send them to CCOF for review... Read more
Before the Inspection: Organic System Plan (OSP): This is the central document of organic certification. The OSP must be completed before the inspection. The inspector will compare your OSP with their observations, interview, and audit of records. An excellent OSP includes all applicable sections and thoroughly answered questions, with all required attachments (labels, parcel maps, land history... Read more

Any time you are considering a change to your organic production, you must update your Organic System Plan before making any changes and submit the update to ccof@ccof.org for review. Updating your OSP before making changes helps your operation avoid a Notice of Noncompliance and possible... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can view your authorized contacts for your operation. From within MyCCOF, view authorized contacts for your operation by navigating to the ‘Contacts’ tab.

Under the title ‘Has these Certification Contacts’ you can view the listed contacts for your operation as well as their individual information (phone, fax, email).

Contacts designated with a red shirt in the ‘... Read more

Organic inspections confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before you are certified and every year after for as long as you remain certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice. A CCOF-qualified inspector will conduct the inspection in an efficient... Read more

There are dozens of reasons to choose CCOF for your organic certification. Learn why CCOF should be your choice for certification or browse our website for more information.

Trader or Broker or Private label owner

These terms are used interchangeably by CCOF. You are a handler if you process products or if you merely arrange for the sale and purchase of already-packed product. All non-grower operations are handlers. Anyone who sells, processes, or packages agricultural products is considered a handler and “Handler” will appear on your organic certificate.

Yes! To export to Switzerland, your product must be certified equivalent with EEC 834/2007. To verify your equivalence, you must enroll in CCOF’s International Standard Program. You will be required to complete an import application with your Swiss importer, which will be verified by the Swiss government. Please be aware that this... Read more

Yes! Both the EU and Canada now have equivalency agreements with the US to simplify trade of organic products. If your product meets the relevant critical variances for each market; you will be able to export to them. Our EU and Canada pages will help you determine the steps to take, and our... Read more

Yes, as long as adequate measures are taken to distinguish organic from non-organic and storage practices do not pose a commingling or contamination risk for organic ingredients. You do not have to have a physical barrier in place, but adequate separation and labeling should be in place to protect the organic product.

Yes, you can use off-site storage facilities to store and distribute your products without having that location inspected or certified. Off-site storage facilities and distribution centers are not required to be certified as long as the products are packaged or otherwise enclosed in a container prior to being received or acquired. The product must remain in the same package and may not be... Read more

Yes, CCOF certification confers the ability to use either the CCOF seal or the USDA seal (or both) on products sold as “100% Organic” and “Organic.” The USDA seal may not be used on products labeled as “Made with Organic (list of specific ingredients).” USDA National Organic Program standards define the... Read more

Your MyCCOF account allows you to view invoice descriptions and outstanding balances for your operation!

From within MyCCOF, navigate to the ‘Invoices’ tab for your operation and view past and present balances.

Once in the ‘Invoices’ tab you can view your Account Status, Description of an Invoice as well as any outstanding balances.*

*Note: hard copies of... 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, you are required by USDA organic requirements to report all materials you use, including fertilizers, pest control materials, processing aids, livestock health care materials, and other materials. We have made it easy for you to view the materials we have approved for your operation by listing them on your Organic System Plan (OSP) Materials List.   You can view and print your OSP Materials... Read more

Yes! We understand that you may be pressed for time or require certification by a certain deadline. In these cases, we are pleased to pull out all the stops and provide expedited services that meet your deadline. Please consider our Expedited Certification Program application if you are short on time. In many cases we... Read more

Yes, CCOF offers two programs designed to verify your compliance with a variety of international standards, including those for EU member states, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, and others. Which program you should enroll in depends on which markets you are shipping to and whether your product is shipped from the US or from... Read more

Yes! MyCCOF is the first of its kind online organic certification management system. MyCCOF is free for all clients and provides access to records, bills, inspection reports, certificates, and more. Our website also offers a wealth of forms, payment options, and other tools... Read more

The onsite inspection is an integral part of organic certification. The inspector bills CCOF for the time and expenses of each inspection and CCOF in turn bills the inspected party. The costs of inspections vary widely. Usually, the major cost factor is the scope and complexity of an operation. Other factors may include the producer's knowledge of applicable organic standards, previous issues... Read more

The way you label your certified organic products will depend on the amount of organic ingredients in them. Most crops and single-ingredient products can be labeled “Organic” and use the USDA seal. If you are making a multi-ingredient product with some non-organic ingredients, you may be allowed to claim your product is “Made with Organic (specified ingredients).” See CCOF’s... Read more

Your inspector will probably focus on records from the past year, but records for five years should be accessible as well.

Growers should prepare a copy of your Organic Farm Input Report (OFIR) to show all inputs going back to the last inspection. If there are many redundant input applications, you may prepare a summary OFIR that lists each material applied. Mixed operations (organic and... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can view your operation contact information. Within MyCCOF, to view contact information for your operation, navigate to the desired Company Record from the ‘Company Data List.’  

  The ‘Company Data List’ will show all Operations that you are currently a contact for. From here you can choose which company record will automatically open when you sign into your MyCCOF account... Read more

CCOF wants to help you address marketplace problems and complaints. Under the National Organic Program, all products marketed as organic must be certified. If you witness organic products being mislabeled or fraudulently identified, you are highly encouraged to report the problem. Reporting is the best way to stop fraudulent practices.

The Short Answer

If the complaint involves a CCOF... Read more

CCOF certification offers comprehensive services at a minimal cost to our clients. We understand that keeping certification costs down is important to our clients. The following tips are great ways to save time and money:

Have your paperwork organized and prepared for your annual inspections. Respond to CCOF Request for Information letters in a timely manner to avoid noncompliance fees.... Read more

As an Accredited Certification Agency (ACA), CCOF cannot provide consulting assistance to meet organic certification issues. However, as a service to our members and others, CCOF maintains a list of organic consultants who are available to assist with certification and regulatory compliance issues.... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can access your Inspection Report. From within MyCCOF, click on the ‘Inspection Status’ tab. This will show all current and past inspections for your operation.

 

To get a copy of your Inspection report, click on the inspection you wish to view in the grid to highlight it.

 

Scroll to the bottom of the page. Click the ‘Documents’ tab... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can see all letters from the CCOF office. From within MyCCOF, navigate to the ‘Files’ tab to get a copy of your letters from CCOF.

Here you can view outgoing correspondence from CCOF regarding your Operation. The “Date” column will match the date on a specific letter. The “Subject” column will tell you the type of correspondence.

To access a copy of a... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can access information for your upcoming inspection. From within MyCCOF, navigate to the “Inspection Status” tab to locate information on inspections.

Here you can view all past and present inspections for the operation as well as the Season, Inspection Type, and Inspector.

To locate Inspector Contact information click on the icon next to the Inspector... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can instantly download copies of your certification certificates. From within MyCCOF, click on the ‘Certificates’ tab to locate copies of your Certificates.

Here you will be able to view, download, and print copies of your Certificates and Client Profiles.    The ‘Description’ column will tell you the Certificate type. The ‘Year’ column will tell you which year the... Read more

In the simplest terms, certification involves an application, review, inspection, compliance with any standards issues, and, finally, certification. The detailed steps to organic certification are outlined for you.

How the process works:

In your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), you explain what you do, how you do it, and what you use to... Read more

After your inspection CCOF will review the inspection report and respond to you as soon as possible. You will receive one of three review results:

Compliant: No further action is required as a result of this inspection
An updated certificate has been created and can be found online. You may have other outstanding items related to other inspections or processes. Visit your Action... Read more

Certificates may only be issued by certifiers that have been accredited by the USDA. To verify if your supplier is certified by an USDA accredited certifier, see the list of accredited certifiers on the... Read more

There are 2 ways to login to MyCCOF to access your certification information.

1) Visit the CCOF homepage and click on the ‘My Account’ tab at the top. From here you can log in to MyCCOF.

2) Navigate to the MyCCOF website http://www.myccof.org... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can update your operation contacts and their contact information. From within MyCCOF, to update information regarding your operation including contacts, click the ‘Client Update’ button in the ‘Contacts’ tab. 

After clicking a CCOF Client Update PDF will be available for you to save to your computer.    Here you can update information including adding a contact,... Read more

Before making any changes to your operation, you must update your OSP. Visit our Forms and Documents page to find the forms that you need to update. Submit your fully completed forms to ccof@ccof.org. Please do not submit partially completed forms! Certification... Read more

Certification typically requires six to 10 weeks; less for special cases. We generally recommend that you begin the process at least 90 days before harvest or launch of your organic line.

The length of time depends on a number of factors:

How complete the application is when submitted The complexity of your operation How quickly you respond to any requests for information that... Read more

CCOF certification is priced to provide superior value and to allow new farms, processors, and other businesses to easily enter the organic marketplace. Ongoing certification costs are based on an annual fee and the cost of the annual inspection. There is also a one-time, non-refundable application fee.

Small farms and processors are routinely certified for between $600 and $1,200.... Read more

To simplify the process and organize requests of this type, CCOF requires that you provide a completed External Client Inquiry Form to CCOF; submit it to ccof@ccof.org or via fax: (831) 423-4528.

Yes, send all new or revised labels to CCOF for review and approval even if you think the change does not affect your organic certification. Having your label reviewed by CCOF protects you from making costly mistakes. All labels must be included in your Organic System Plan, including a label redesign for an existing product, a new size of packaging for an existing product, labels for new... Read more

No, products that restrict organic claims to the ingredient listing only are exempt from the requirements of certification. However, the manufacturer needs to maintain documentation that the organic ingredients identified are organic and certified according to the regulations. Manufacturers should request and maintain on file current copies of organic certificates for each organic ingredient... Read more

Being compliant to the USDA/MAFF export arrangement allows you to ship your product to an importer certified to JAS, the organic standard in Japan. Be sure to request a Japan export certificate, or TM-11, from CCOF to accompany every consignment/ shipment. See the “What is an Export Certificate? How do I request one?” FAQ for... Read more

The purpose of organic inspections is to confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before it is certified and every year after as long as it remains certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice.

An excellent, low-cost resource titled Preparing for... Read more

Fillable forms are versions of frequently used and/or modified documents that are available in electronic format for easy editing. Each form is a Microsoft word document formatted and locked to allow you to easily enter your data. Available forms include material review requests, annual certification contracts, parcel transfer, withdrawal and additional acreage documents. For processors,... Read more

 

As of June 1, 2012, the process for shipping organic product from the US to the EU is dramatically simplified under the terms of the US/ EU Equivalency Arrangement.      

If you are shipping NOP certified product that has final packaging or processing in the US to an EU member state, all you need is to:

Be enrolled in the CCOF... Read more

CCOF believes in being responsive and service oriented, We encourage clients to engage in open dialogue regarding organic certification issues because your complete satisfaction is our goal. CCOF wants to provide options should you disagree with a CCOF policy, service issue, or certification decision that relates to your business.

In these cases you are encouraged to contact the CCOF... Read more

If you forget your Username or Password for MyCCOF, navigate to the MyCCOF login page by clicking on ‘My Account’ at the top of the CCOF website and click the ‘Forgot your password?’ link in the MyCCOF login area. 

  From this screen, enter your Email. If the entered data matches with an existing account, you will get an email with your username and password. For additional help email... Read more

Many operations assume that if they pay their fees they are not required to complete the contract. This is not true. Organic regulations require that all operations complete a Continuation of Certification contract, so failure to complete it will result in suspension of certification. Operations that only pay their fees or only complete their contract will force us to issue a Notice of... Read more

No problem. CCOF will assist currently certified operations to recertify by waiving the one-time application fee.

To receive the fee waiver, complete the Certification Transfer Form and submit it to CCOF with your application and valid certificate from your current certifier. Contact us today... Read more

“CN” means “combined nomenclature.” A CN code is a customs/tariff designation required in box 13 of export certificates for the EU. CN codes are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Disclaimer: While CCOF can assist in determining CN codes, the accuracy of... Read more

A lot number is a tracking system that links the organic product back to the farmer or incoming ingredient. The lot numbering system provides critical information regarding the origin of the products being used by processors/handlers, especially in the age of increased food safety requirements.

Both incoming and outgoing products should include lot numbers to allow both recall and... Read more

Transaction certificates may accompany shipments of organic product when an export certificate is not required and the importer requires further documentation of the compliance to NOP standards. A transaction certificate may be used to export to countries other than Japan, Taiwan, the EU member states, and Switzerland. They can also be used for domestic transactions. You can request a... Read more

Every shipment of certified organic product to the EU, Japan, Taiwan, and Switzerland must be accompanied by an export certificate issued by CCOF. These certificates contain transaction-specific details, such as the lot number(s), net weight, and the unique serial number given to each export certificate. Your consignee (importer or freight consolidator) will require an original export... Read more

MyCCOF, our client-wide online organic certification management tool, makes certification easier for you. Use MyCCOF to monitor certification and renewals, access key documents, and track the inspection and certification process. You can even track invoices and pay bills online.

CCOF has long been a leader and innovator in organic certification.... Read more

The certification application is called an Organic System Plan (OSP). A complete OSP is required by the National Organic Program (NOP). The OSP is a detailed description of the practices and procedures used by your operation to produce organic goods. Clients update their OSP as changes occur.

CCOF has developed a straightforward, comprehensive OSP as part of our organic certification... Read more

Renewal to the certification program happens in January, annually. Clients are sent a certification renewal contract and an invoice for annual fees in November which are due January 1.

The Annual Certification Renewal Contract requires the following information to be submitted to CCOF: Updates on any pending requests for information or noncompliance issues. Updated OSP, detailing any... Read more

Each organic ingredient must be identified as "Organic" on the ingredient statement of products labeled as "Organic," or "Made with Organic (specified ingredients)."

The certifying agent must be identified by name ("California Certified Organic Farmers" or “CCOF”) on the information panel beneath the name of the handler or distributor, and preceded by the statement, "Certified organic... Read more

Products labeled “Made with organic…” may contain up to 30% non-organic ingredients. Non-organic ingredients must either be agricultural or on section 205.605 of the National List. Any nonagricultural ingredient or processing aid that does not appear on section 205.605 is prohibited in all organic products, including those labeled as “... Read more

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) (7 CFR Part 205) is CCOF’s primary certification standard. Copies of the USDA NOP standards are available to download or purchase. All application packets sent by U.S. mail include a copy of the USDA NOP standards.

We provide additional services as needed for... 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

This list details the most common situations that require you to send information or documentation to CCOF, and what type of information you'll need to send. Read through this list and contact your Certification Service Specialist with additional questions.    I want to change something in my Organic System Plan (OSP), what should I send? Update your OSP forms and send them to CCOF for review... Read more
Before the Inspection: Organic System Plan (OSP): This is the central document of organic certification. The OSP must be completed before the inspection. The inspector will compare your OSP with their observations, interview, and audit of records. An excellent OSP includes all applicable sections and thoroughly answered questions, with all required attachments (labels, parcel maps, land history... Read more

Any time you are considering a change to your organic production, you must update your Organic System Plan before making any changes and submit the update to ccof@ccof.org for review. Updating your OSP before making changes helps your operation avoid a Notice of Noncompliance and possible... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can view your authorized contacts for your operation. From within MyCCOF, view authorized contacts for your operation by navigating to the ‘Contacts’ tab.

Under the title ‘Has these Certification Contacts’ you can view the listed contacts for your operation as well as their individual information (phone, fax, email).

Contacts designated with a red shirt in the ‘... Read more

Organic inspections confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before you are certified and every year after for as long as you remain certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice. A CCOF-qualified inspector will conduct the inspection in an efficient... Read more

There are dozens of reasons to choose CCOF for your organic certification. Learn why CCOF should be your choice for certification or browse our website for more information.

Livestock producer

Temporary confinement of organic animals is allowed for specific reasons. These reasons are described in §205.239. All periods of confinement must be documented. Confinement records will be reviewed at annual inspections.

Yes, breeding bulls, animals denied pasture in accordance with temporary confinement allowances (§ 205.239(b)(1-8), and slaughter stock in the finishing phase are exempt from the 30% dry matter intake (DMI) requirement. Bulls cannot be sold, labeled or represented as organically produced if they are denied pasture. Those animals... Read more

No, specific details about space requirements are not regulated at this point in time. The living conditions you provide must accommodate the health and natural behavior of the animals and include year-round access to the outdoors, exercise areas, fresh air, direct sunlight, shade, and shelter. Appropriate clean, dry bedding must be provided, and any shelter provided must be constructed to... Read more

Yes, other allowed medical treatments include vitamins, minerals, probiotics, herbal remedies, and electrolytes. All health care materials must be listed in your Organic System Plan (OSP).

Use MyCCOF: Materials Search to find and add materials approved for use in organic production or to request the review of a material you would like to... Read more

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

Yes! To export to Switzerland, your product must be certified equivalent with EEC 834/2007. To verify your equivalence, you must enroll in CCOF’s International Standard Program. You will be required to complete an import application with your Swiss importer, which will be verified by the Swiss government. Please be aware that this... Read more

Yes! Both the EU and Canada now have equivalency agreements with the US to simplify trade of organic products. If your product meets the relevant critical variances for each market; you will be able to export to them. Our EU and Canada pages will help you determine the steps to take, and our... Read more

Non-organic breeder stock must be managed organically during the last third of gestation when the offspring are to be raised as organic livestock. They must also be managed organically while lactating and providing milk to their offspring. During other times, non-organic breeder stock does not need to be managed in accordance with organic standards.

If organic and non-organic animals are pastured in the same field, they must be clearly identified in a manner that will prevent commingling of the final organic product (meat, milk, etc.).

No, organic animals may only be fed certified organic feed, including pasture; however, dairy operations that are in their third year of organic management may feed crops and forage from land that is in its final year of transition during the 12 months immediately prior to the sale of organic milk. This allowance is provided to reduce the financial burden to dairy farms that want to... Read more

It depends. A dairy animal that has been under continuous organic management since the last third of gestation may be sold as organic slaughter stock only if it has never been treated with antibiotics or ivermectin, all of which must be clearly documented. Please note that if you intend to sell animals as slaughter stock, you should indicate this in your Organic System Plan and have slaughter... Read more

Yes, you may store organic and non-organic feed in the same area ONLY if there is clear identification and labeling of feed and you ensure there is no commingling of the organic feed and non-organic feed.

Yes, our clients can transfer parcels, in the certification program, between CCOF certified operations without having to reapply. Simply complete the parcel transfer form and return it to us for each parcel transferred. You will be billed for the service at the time of submission. Parcel transfers must be submitted within one month... Read more

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

No, once an organic animal is treated with any prohibited material, including antibiotics, it can never be brought back to organic production.

Any animal treated with antibiotics will lose its organic status and can never return to organic production, even if the animal is managed organically and remains on the organic farm. You must ensure that animals treated with prohibited materials,... Read more

To market your final product as organic, all slaughter and processing facilities must be certified organic. Contact facilities directly to determine if they have an organic certificate. In cases where a facility does not have an organic certificate, you may not use the facility unless it is inspected by CCOF on behalf of your operation. To be inspected by CCOF, the facility and its practices... Read more

Yes! The use of compost is encouraged. The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) both maintain lists of approved compost suppliers. You can also use... Read more

At this time, the only synthetic parasiticides allowed for organic producers are ivermectin, moxidectin, and fenbendazole. You may only use these synthetic drugs for emergency treatment of dairy animals and breeder stock. Animals to be sold as organic slaughter stock may never be treated with these materials. Plant-based, herbal de-wormers and other non-synthetic materials are also allowed as... Read more

Yes, CCOF certification confers the ability to use either the CCOF seal or the USDA seal (or both) on products sold as “100% Organic” and “Organic.” The USDA seal may not be used on products labeled as “Made with Organic (list of specific ingredients).” USDA National Organic Program standards define the... Read more

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.

Seeds treated with prohibited materials are not allowed. Look to the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) or the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) lists of allowed materials to find seed treatments that are approved. Our... Read more

Your MyCCOF account allows you to view invoice descriptions and outstanding balances for your operation!

From within MyCCOF, navigate to the ‘Invoices’ tab for your operation and view past and present balances.

Once in the ‘Invoices’ tab you can view your Account Status, Description of an Invoice as well as any outstanding balances.*

*Note: hard copies of... Read more

Yes, non-organic animals can graze on certified organic land without affecting the land’s certification. If organic and non-organic animals are pastured in the same field, they must be clearly identified in a manner that will prevent commingling of the final organic product (meat, milk, etc.).

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

CCOF provides organic certification only for crops and products made from them. We do not certify farm inputs and non-organic processing aids.

Inputs and processing aids are reviewed and listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)  and the... Read more

Many allowed feed supplements and additives are not certified organic. These include products that contain primarily vitamins and minerals. Any agricultural ingredients, such as grains or molasses, in feed additives or supplements must be organic. Feed additives and supplements may not contain genetically modified organisms or mammalian or poultry slaughter byproducts. All feed additives and... 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, you are required by USDA organic requirements to report all materials you use, including fertilizers, pest control materials, processing aids, livestock health care materials, and other materials. We have made it easy for you to view the materials we have approved for your operation by listing them on your Organic System Plan (OSP) Materials List.   You can view and print your OSP Materials... Read more

Yes! We understand that you may be pressed for time or require certification by a certain deadline. In these cases, we are pleased to pull out all the stops and provide expedited services that meet your deadline. Please consider our Expedited Certification Program application if you are short on time. In many cases we... Read more

Yes, CCOF offers two programs designed to verify your compliance with a variety of international standards, including those for EU member states, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, and others. Which program you should enroll in depends on which markets you are shipping to and whether your product is shipped from the US or from... Read more

Yes! MyCCOF is the first of its kind online organic certification management system. MyCCOF is free for all clients and provides access to records, bills, inspection reports, certificates, and more. Our website also offers a wealth of forms, payment options, and other tools... 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

The onsite inspection is an integral part of organic certification. The inspector bills CCOF for the time and expenses of each inspection and CCOF in turn bills the inspected party. The costs of inspections vary widely. Usually, the major cost factor is the scope and complexity of an operation. Other factors may include the producer's knowledge of applicable organic standards, previous issues... Read more

You may only use products that are certified organic, OMRI or WSDA-listed, or approved by CCOF. If you wish to use any product that is not certified organic or OMRI or WSDA approved, you must receive CCOF approval prior to use. You should always ensure that your approved list of materials, also known as your Organic System Plan (OSP) Materials List, includes all products you use or plan to... Read more

CCOF does not maintain a complete list of certified organic slaughter facilities. It is best to contact facilities directly to determine if they have a valid organic certificate. You can search for CCOF certified facilities by using CCOF’s online directory. Keep in mind that facilities certified by other organic certification agencies are not included in these results... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can view your operation contact information. Within MyCCOF, to view contact information for your operation, navigate to the desired Company Record from the ‘Company Data List.’  

  The ‘Company Data List’ will show all Operations that you are currently a contact for. From here you can choose which company record will automatically open when you sign into your MyCCOF account... Read more

CCOF wants to help you address marketplace problems and complaints. Under the National Organic Program, all products marketed as organic must be certified. If you witness organic products being mislabeled or fraudulently identified, you are highly encouraged to report the problem. Reporting is the best way to stop fraudulent practices.

The Short Answer

If the complaint involves a CCOF... Read more

CCOF certification offers comprehensive services at a minimal cost to our clients. We understand that keeping certification costs down is important to our clients. The following tips are great ways to save time and money:

Have your paperwork organized and prepared for your annual inspections. Respond to CCOF Request for Information letters in a timely manner to avoid noncompliance fees.... Read more

As an Accredited Certification Agency (ACA), CCOF cannot provide consulting assistance to meet organic certification issues. However, as a service to our members and others, CCOF maintains a list of organic consultants who are available to assist with certification and regulatory compliance issues.... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can access your Inspection Report. From within MyCCOF, click on the ‘Inspection Status’ tab. This will show all current and past inspections for your operation.

 

To get a copy of your Inspection report, click on the inspection you wish to view in the grid to highlight it.

 

Scroll to the bottom of the page. Click the ‘Documents’ tab... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can see all letters from the CCOF office. From within MyCCOF, navigate to the ‘Files’ tab to get a copy of your letters from CCOF.

Here you can view outgoing correspondence from CCOF regarding your Operation. The “Date” column will match the date on a specific letter. The “Subject” column will tell you the type of correspondence.

To access a copy of a... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can access information for your upcoming inspection. From within MyCCOF, navigate to the “Inspection Status” tab to locate information on inspections.

Here you can view all past and present inspections for the operation as well as the Season, Inspection Type, and Inspector.

To locate Inspector Contact information click on the icon next to the Inspector... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can instantly download copies of your certification certificates. From within MyCCOF, click on the ‘Certificates’ tab to locate copies of your Certificates.

Here you will be able to view, download, and print copies of your Certificates and Client Profiles.    The ‘Description’ column will tell you the Certificate type. The ‘Year’ column will tell you which year the... Read more

In the simplest terms, certification involves an application, review, inspection, compliance with any standards issues, and, finally, certification. The detailed steps to organic certification are outlined for you.

How the process works:

In your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), you explain what you do, how you do it, and what you use to... Read more

After your inspection CCOF will review the inspection report and respond to you as soon as possible. You will receive one of three review results:

Compliant: No further action is required as a result of this inspection
An updated certificate has been created and can be found online. You may have other outstanding items related to other inspections or processes. Visit your Action... Read more

Most materials containing inert ingredients do not specify which list these ingredients are on. Organic production allows only EPA List 4 synthetic inerts in pesticides. Verification from the manufacturer that synthetic inert ingredients, contained in pesticides, are on List 4 is needed to demonstrate compliance. Often times manufacturers are unwilling to disclose the identity of inerts, but... Read more

There are 2 ways to login to MyCCOF to access your certification information.

1) Visit the CCOF homepage and click on the ‘My Account’ tab at the top. From here you can log in to MyCCOF.

2) Navigate to the MyCCOF website http://www.myccof.org... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can update your operation contacts and their contact information. From within MyCCOF, to update information regarding your operation including contacts, click the ‘Client Update’ button in the ‘Contacts’ tab. 

After clicking a CCOF Client Update PDF will be available for you to save to your computer.    Here you can update information including adding a contact,... Read more

Before making any changes to your operation, you must update your OSP. Visit our Forms and Documents page to find the forms that you need to update. Submit your fully completed forms to ccof@ccof.org. Please do not submit partially completed forms! Certification... Read more

Yes, you may store organic and non-organic feed in the same area ONLY if there is clear identification and labeling of feed and you ensure there is no commingling of the organic feed and non-organic feed.

Livestock health care is largely based on preventive practices such as balanced nutrition and reduction of stress through exercise, freedom of movement, and appropriate housing. Vaccines and other veterinary biologics are allowed, as well herbal preparations, and a... Read more

Once updates have been submitted it take an average of 7 days for CCOF to review the following highly time sensitive items:

New crop input materials (i.e. pest control, fertilizer, soil amendment, etc.) Updated labels for existing products Adding additional acreages (subsequent inspection required) Adding an additional facility or equipment (subsequent inspection required)

Once updates... Read more

Certification typically requires six to 10 weeks; less for special cases. We generally recommend that you begin the process at least 90 days before harvest or launch of your organic line.

The length of time depends on a number of factors:

How complete the application is when submitted The complexity of your operation How quickly you respond to any requests for information that... Read more

Animals must be allowed to graze whenever pasture is available. Local geography and climate will determine the number of days that pasture is actually available in a given area but organic ruminants must graze for at least 120 days per year. Oftentimes organic animals will graze 365 days per year. If irrigation water is available to your operation, it must be used to extend the length of the... Read more

CCOF certification is priced to provide superior value and to allow new farms, processors, and other businesses to easily enter the organic marketplace. Ongoing certification costs are based on an annual fee and the cost of the annual inspection. There is also a one-time, non-refundable application fee.

Small farms and processors are routinely certified for between $600 and $1,200.... Read more

To simplify the process and organize requests of this type, CCOF requires that you provide a completed External Client Inquiry Form to CCOF; submit it to ccof@ccof.org or via fax: (831) 423-4528.

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

On-farm slaughter activities can be included as part of your Organic System Plan. CCOF will review your slaughter practices, including animal handling practices, and inspect this portion of your operation annually. In some cases, your operation may be required to comply with additional USDA requirements for slaughter operations. You will need to contact the USDA for more information. If you... Read more

Under the National Organic Program standards you may not withhold treatment from a sick animal in order to preserve its organic status. Any and all treatments, including antibiotics, must be used to return an animal to health and all medical treatments must be recorded.

Being compliant to the USDA/MAFF export arrangement allows you to ship your product to an importer certified to JAS, the organic standard in Japan. Be sure to request a Japan export certificate, or TM-11, from CCOF to accompany every consignment/ shipment. See the “What is an Export Certificate? How do I request one?” FAQ for... Read more

Yes! We maintain a list of organic consultants and organic agricultural advisors who are available to assist with certification and regulatory compliance issues. We understand that choosing materials appropriate for your specific situation can be challenging. Our staff is available to verify if a specific material is... Read more

The purpose of organic inspections is to confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before it is certified and every year after as long as it remains certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice.

An excellent, low-cost resource titled Preparing for... 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... Read more

Fillable forms are versions of frequently used and/or modified documents that are available in electronic format for easy editing. Each form is a Microsoft word document formatted and locked to allow you to easily enter your data. Available forms include material review requests, annual certification contracts, parcel transfer, withdrawal and additional acreage documents. For processors,... Read more

Under the NOP there are specific requirements for the use of raw manure.

Raw animal manure must be composted unless it is:

Applied to land used for a crop not intended for human consumption. Incorporated into the soil no less than 120 days prior to the harvest of a product whose edible portion has direct contact with the soil surface or soil particles (such as lettuce).... 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

 

As of June 1, 2012, the process for shipping organic product from the US to the EU is dramatically simplified under the terms of the US/ EU Equivalency Arrangement.      

If you are shipping NOP certified product that has final packaging or processing in the US to an EU member state, all you need is to:

Be enrolled in the CCOF... Read more

CCOF believes in being responsive and service oriented, We encourage clients to engage in open dialogue regarding organic certification issues because your complete satisfaction is our goal. CCOF wants to provide options should you disagree with a CCOF policy, service issue, or certification decision that relates to your business.

In these cases you are encouraged to contact the CCOF... Read more

If you forget your Username or Password for MyCCOF, navigate to the MyCCOF login page by clicking on ‘My Account’ at the top of the CCOF website and click the ‘Forgot your password?’ link in the MyCCOF login area. 

  From this screen, enter your Email. If the entered data matches with an existing account, you will get an email with your username and password. For additional help email... Read more

U.S. farmers and ranchers, agricultural educators, and farmer-assistance organizations can get answers about specific farming practices from ATTRA. Ask an expert.

Need outside help? CCOF cannot actively consult with our clients regarding organic certification compliance. We do offer a list of... Read more

Many operations assume that if they pay their fees they are not required to complete the contract. This is not true. Organic regulations require that all operations complete a Continuation of Certification contract, so failure to complete it will result in suspension of certification. Operations that only pay their fees or only complete their contract will force us to issue a Notice of... Read more

No problem. CCOF will assist currently certified operations to recertify by waiving the one-time application fee.

To receive the fee waiver, complete the Certification Transfer Form and submit it to CCOF with your application and valid certificate from your current certifier. Contact us today... Read more

“CN” means “combined nomenclature.” A CN code is a customs/tariff designation required in box 13 of export certificates for the EU. CN codes are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Disclaimer: While CCOF can assist in determining CN codes, the accuracy of... Read more

A ruminant is a mammal that digests plant-based food by initially softening it within the animal's first compartment of the stomach, principally through bacterial actions, then regurgitating the semi-digested mass, now known as... Read more

Transaction certificates may accompany shipments of organic product when an export certificate is not required and the importer requires further documentation of the compliance to NOP standards. A transaction certificate may be used to export to countries other than Japan, Taiwan, the EU member states, and Switzerland. They can also be used for domestic transactions. You can request a... Read more

Every shipment of certified organic product to the EU, Japan, Taiwan, and Switzerland must be accompanied by an export certificate issued by CCOF. These certificates contain transaction-specific details, such as the lot number(s), net weight, and the unique serial number given to each export certificate. Your consignee (importer or freight consolidator) will require an original export... Read more

Dry matter is what remains after all of the water is evaporated out of a feed: grain and fresh or dried forages. Fresh pasture has high water content and will have a lower percentage of dry matter than an equivalent weight of dryer feed, such as hay or grain. Dry matter is an indicator of the amount of nutrients that are available to the animal in a particular feed. Livestock need to consume... Read more

MyCCOF, our client-wide online organic certification management tool, makes certification easier for you. Use MyCCOF to monitor certification and renewals, access key documents, and track the inspection and certification process. You can even track invoices and pay bills online.

CCOF has long been a leader and innovator in organic certification.... Read more

Transitioned animals are dairy animals that were “transitioned” to organic status through one year of organic management. This method of transitioning animals is only allowed for new dairy operations and is a one-time allowance. Animals that were transitioned to organic may never be sold as organic slaughter stock nor used as replacement animals by existing organic operations. Animals that... Read more

The certification application is called an Organic System Plan (OSP). A complete OSP is required by the National Organic Program (NOP). The OSP is a detailed description of the practices and procedures used by your operation to produce organic goods. Clients update their OSP as changes occur.

CCOF has developed a straightforward, comprehensive OSP as part of our organic certification... Read more

Renewal to the certification program happens in January, annually. Clients are sent a certification renewal contract and an invoice for annual fees in November which are due January 1.

The Annual Certification Renewal Contract requires the following information to be submitted to CCOF: Updates on any pending requests for information or noncompliance issues. Updated OSP, detailing any... Read more

We make it easy for our clients to find out if a farm input is allowed. You can use OMRI and WSDA listed products as long as applicable restrictions are followed. Do you want to use a material that is not listed by OMRI or WSDA? We will review any non-listed material. All you need to do is submit a... Read more

Organic operations must keep records of all activities and transactions. Such records may include:

Input Records: Planting of seeds and applications of fertilizers or other materials must be documented. Animal Origin or Birth Records: Birth records must link organic calves to breeder stock and include birth dates or approximate birth dates. Medical Treatment Records: Treatments must be... Read more

Recordkeeping and organization are important aspects of certification so we have created helpful documents and sample forms to assist our clients with these challenges. Our Complete Organic Farm Certification Support Package provides a convenient collection of sample forms... Read more

Recordkeeping and organization are important aspects of certification so we have created helpful documents and sample forms to assist our clients with these challenges.  Our Complete Organic Farm Certification Support Package provides a convenient collection of sample forms... Read more

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) (7 CFR Part 205) is CCOF’s primary certification standard. Copies of the USDA NOP standards are available to download or purchase. All application packets sent by U.S. mail include a copy of the USDA NOP standards.

We provide additional services as needed for... 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

Before the Inspection: Organic System Plan (OSP): This is the central document of organic certification. The OSP must be completed before the inspection. The inspector will compare your OSP with their observations, interview, and audit of records. An excellent OSP includes all applicable sections and thoroughly answered questions, with all required attachments (labels, parcel maps, land history... Read more

Any time you are considering a change to your organic production, you must update your Organic System Plan before making any changes and submit the update to ccof@ccof.org for review. Updating your OSP before making changes helps your operation avoid a Notice of Noncompliance and possible... Read more

The National Organic Standards delineate the requirements for certifying livestock beginning at section 205.236. CCOF also provides links to variety of information sources on our certification Support Resources page.

In MyCCOF, you can view your authorized contacts for your operation. From within MyCCOF, view authorized contacts for your operation by navigating to the ‘Contacts’ tab.

Under the title ‘Has these Certification Contacts’ you can view the listed contacts for your operation as well as their individual information (phone, fax, email).

Contacts designated with a red shirt in the ‘... Read more

Visit our Organic Seed Resources page for details on seed requirements or our list of seed suppliers who carry organic seed.

Your diligence in sourcing organic seed helps to strengthen the organic seed sector.

Crops intended for human consumption and whose edible portion has direct contact with the soil surface or soil particles require a 120 day pre-harvest interval (PHI). A 90 day PHI is required for those crops whose edible portion does not come in contact with soil particles (i.e. orchard fruit). How the crop is grown and harvested with regards to soil contact will determine which pre-harvest... Read more

Organic inspections confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before you are certified and every year after for as long as you remain certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice. A CCOF-qualified inspector will conduct the inspection in an efficient... Read more

There are dozens of reasons to choose CCOF for your organic certification. Learn why CCOF should be your choice for certification or browse our website for more information.

Grower

Yes, breeding bulls, animals denied pasture in accordance with temporary confinement allowances (§ 205.239(b)(1-8), and slaughter stock in the finishing phase are exempt from the 30% dry matter intake (DMI) requirement. Bulls cannot be sold, labeled or represented as organically produced if they are denied pasture. Those animals... Read more

Yes! To export to Switzerland, your product must be certified equivalent with EEC 834/2007. To verify your equivalence, you must enroll in CCOF’s International Standard Program. You will be required to complete an import application with your Swiss importer, which will be verified by the Swiss government. Please be aware that this... Read more

Yes! Both the EU and Canada now have equivalency agreements with the US to simplify trade of organic products. If your product meets the relevant critical variances for each market; you will be able to export to them. Our EU and Canada pages will help you determine the steps to take, and our... Read more

No, organic animals may only be fed certified organic feed, including pasture; however, dairy operations that are in their third year of organic management may feed crops and forage from land that is in its final year of transition during the 12 months immediately prior to the sale of organic milk. This allowance is provided to reduce the financial burden to dairy farms that want to... Read more

Yes, our clients can transfer parcels, in the certification program, between CCOF certified operations without having to reapply. Simply complete the parcel transfer form and return it to us for each parcel transferred. You will be billed for the service at the time of submission. Parcel transfers must be submitted within one month... Read more

Yes! The use of compost is encouraged. The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) both maintain lists of approved compost suppliers. You can also use... Read more

Yes, CCOF certification confers the ability to use either the CCOF seal or the USDA seal (or both) on products sold as “100% Organic” and “Organic.” The USDA seal may not be used on products labeled as “Made with Organic (list of specific ingredients).” USDA National Organic Program standards define the... Read more

Seeds treated with prohibited materials are not allowed. Look to the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) or the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) lists of allowed materials to find seed treatments that are approved. Our... Read more

Your MyCCOF account allows you to view invoice descriptions and outstanding balances for your operation!

From within MyCCOF, navigate to the ‘Invoices’ tab for your operation and view past and present balances.

Once in the ‘Invoices’ tab you can view your Account Status, Description of an Invoice as well as any outstanding balances.*

*Note: hard copies of... Read more

Yes, non-organic animals can graze on certified organic land without affecting the land’s certification. If organic and non-organic animals are pastured in the same field, they must be clearly identified in a manner that will prevent commingling of the final organic product (meat, milk, etc.).

CCOF provides organic certification only for crops and products made from them. We do not certify farm inputs and non-organic processing aids.

Inputs and processing aids are reviewed and listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)  and the... 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, you are required by USDA organic requirements to report all materials you use, including fertilizers, pest control materials, processing aids, livestock health care materials, and other materials. We have made it easy for you to view the materials we have approved for your operation by listing them on your Organic System Plan (OSP) Materials List.   You can view and print your OSP Materials... 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

Yes! We understand that you may be pressed for time or require certification by a certain deadline. In these cases, we are pleased to pull out all the stops and provide expedited services that meet your deadline. Please consider our Expedited Certification Program application if you are short on time. In many cases we... Read more

Yes, "Certified Transitional" is a status granted to growers who are transitioning their crops from conventional to organic. To achieve “Certified Transitional” status, operations must be inspected and demonstrate compliance with all requirements for certified organic production except the three year transition time. To sell a crop as “Certified Transitional,” the grower must wait until one... Read more

Yes, CCOF offers two programs designed to verify your compliance with a variety of international standards, including those for EU member states, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, and others. Which program you should enroll in depends on which markets you are shipping to and whether your product is shipped from the US or from... Read more

Yes! MyCCOF is the first of its kind online organic certification management system. MyCCOF is free for all clients and provides access to records, bills, inspection reports, certificates, and more. Our website also offers a wealth of forms, payment options, and other tools... Read more

The onsite inspection is an integral part of organic certification. The inspector bills CCOF for the time and expenses of each inspection and CCOF in turn bills the inspected party. The costs of inspections vary widely. Usually, the major cost factor is the scope and complexity of an operation. Other factors may include the producer's knowledge of applicable organic standards, previous issues... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can view your operation contact information. Within MyCCOF, to view contact information for your operation, navigate to the desired Company Record from the ‘Company Data List.’  

  The ‘Company Data List’ will show all Operations that you are currently a contact for. From here you can choose which company record will automatically open when you sign into your MyCCOF account... Read more

CCOF wants to help you address marketplace problems and complaints. Under the National Organic Program, all products marketed as organic must be certified. If you witness organic products being mislabeled or fraudulently identified, you are highly encouraged to report the problem. Reporting is the best way to stop fraudulent practices.

The Short Answer

If the complaint involves a CCOF... Read more

CCOF certification offers comprehensive services at a minimal cost to our clients. We understand that keeping certification costs down is important to our clients. The following tips are great ways to save time and money:

Have your paperwork organized and prepared for your annual inspections. Respond to CCOF Request for Information letters in a timely manner to avoid noncompliance fees.... Read more

As an Accredited Certification Agency (ACA), CCOF cannot provide consulting assistance to meet organic certification issues. However, as a service to our members and others, CCOF maintains a list of organic consultants who are available to assist with certification and regulatory compliance issues.... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can access your Inspection Report. From within MyCCOF, click on the ‘Inspection Status’ tab. This will show all current and past inspections for your operation.

 

To get a copy of your Inspection report, click on the inspection you wish to view in the grid to highlight it.

 

Scroll to the bottom of the page. Click the ‘Documents’ tab... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can see all letters from the CCOF office. From within MyCCOF, navigate to the ‘Files’ tab to get a copy of your letters from CCOF.

Here you can view outgoing correspondence from CCOF regarding your Operation. The “Date” column will match the date on a specific letter. The “Subject” column will tell you the type of correspondence.

To access a copy of a... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can access information for your upcoming inspection. From within MyCCOF, navigate to the “Inspection Status” tab to locate information on inspections.

Here you can view all past and present inspections for the operation as well as the Season, Inspection Type, and Inspector.

To locate Inspector Contact information click on the icon next to the Inspector... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can instantly download copies of your certification certificates. From within MyCCOF, click on the ‘Certificates’ tab to locate copies of your Certificates.

Here you will be able to view, download, and print copies of your Certificates and Client Profiles.    The ‘Description’ column will tell you the Certificate type. The ‘Year’ column will tell you which year the... Read more

In the simplest terms, certification involves an application, review, inspection, compliance with any standards issues, and, finally, certification. The detailed steps to organic certification are outlined for you.

How the process works:

In your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), you explain what you do, how you do it, and what you use to... Read more

After your inspection CCOF will review the inspection report and respond to you as soon as possible. You will receive one of three review results:

Compliant: No further action is required as a result of this inspection
An updated certificate has been created and can be found online. You may have other outstanding items related to other inspections or processes. Visit your Action... Read more

Most materials containing inert ingredients do not specify which list these ingredients are on. Organic production allows only EPA List 4 synthetic inerts in pesticides. Verification from the manufacturer that synthetic inert ingredients, contained in pesticides, are on List 4 is needed to demonstrate compliance. Often times manufacturers are unwilling to disclose the identity of inerts, but... Read more

There are 2 ways to login to MyCCOF to access your certification information.

1) Visit the CCOF homepage and click on the ‘My Account’ tab at the top. From here you can log in to MyCCOF.

2) Navigate to the MyCCOF website http://www.myccof.org... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can update your operation contacts and their contact information. From within MyCCOF, to update information regarding your operation including contacts, click the ‘Client Update’ button in the ‘Contacts’ tab. 

After clicking a CCOF Client Update PDF will be available for you to save to your computer.    Here you can update information including adding a contact,... Read more

Before making any changes to your operation, you must update your OSP. Visit our Forms and Documents page to find the forms that you need to update. Submit your fully completed forms to ccof@ccof.org. Please do not submit partially completed forms! Certification... Read more

Once updates have been submitted it take an average of 7 days for CCOF to review the following highly time sensitive items:

New crop input materials (i.e. pest control, fertilizer, soil amendment, etc.) Updated labels for existing products Adding additional acreages (subsequent inspection required) Adding an additional facility or equipment (subsequent inspection required)

Once updates... Read more

Certification typically requires six to 10 weeks; less for special cases. We generally recommend that you begin the process at least 90 days before harvest or launch of your organic line.

The length of time depends on a number of factors:

How complete the application is when submitted The complexity of your operation How quickly you respond to any requests for information that... Read more

Animals must be allowed to graze whenever pasture is available. Local geography and climate will determine the number of days that pasture is actually available in a given area but organic ruminants must graze for at least 120 days per year. Oftentimes organic animals will graze 365 days per year. If irrigation water is available to your operation, it must be used to extend the length of the... Read more

CCOF certification is priced to provide superior value and to allow new farms, processors, and other businesses to easily enter the organic marketplace. Ongoing certification costs are based on an annual fee and the cost of the annual inspection. There is also a one-time, non-refundable application fee.

Small farms and processors are routinely certified for between $600 and $1,200.... Read more

To simplify the process and organize requests of this type, CCOF requires that you provide a completed External Client Inquiry Form to CCOF; submit it to ccof@ccof.org or via fax: (831) 423-4528.

Yes, as long as you use inputs, such as potting soil, pesticides and fertilizers, allowed under organic standards.  Treated wood is not allowed in contact with plants or soil.

Yes! We are proud to announce that CCOF has achieved provisional approval from GLOBALG.A.P. as of July 19, 2013. See the list of approved GLOBALG.A.P. certifiers. We anticipate obtaining full program accreditation through ANSI in... Read more

Being compliant to the USDA/MAFF export arrangement allows you to ship your product to an importer certified to JAS, the organic standard in Japan. Be sure to request a Japan export certificate, or TM-11, from CCOF to accompany every consignment/ shipment. See the “What is an Export Certificate? How do I request one?” FAQ for... Read more

Yes! We maintain a list of organic consultants and organic agricultural advisors who are available to assist with certification and regulatory compliance issues. We understand that choosing materials appropriate for your specific situation can be challenging. Our staff is available to verify if a specific material is... Read more

The purpose of organic inspections is to confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before it is certified and every year after as long as it remains certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice.

An excellent, low-cost resource titled Preparing for... 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... Read more

Fillable forms are versions of frequently used and/or modified documents that are available in electronic format for easy editing. Each form is a Microsoft word document formatted and locked to allow you to easily enter your data. Available forms include material review requests, annual certification contracts, parcel transfer, withdrawal and additional acreage documents. For processors,... Read more

GLOBALG.A.P. has different levels of certification programs to meet the needs of different buyers. Be sure to talk to your buyers to determine which level of certification you need!

We are able to offer certification to the following GLOBALG.A.P. standards:

IFA 4.0 Crops Base: Integrated Farm Assurance – GFSI benchmarked. Top-level program. Important for exports. PSS: Produce... Read more

The land requirements for wild crops are the same as managed crops. Verification that the land has been free from prohibited substances for a period of three years prior to harvest of the wild crop is required. CCOF Organic System Plan section G2.0 covers the land use history requirements and the documentation needed for... Read more

Under the NOP there are specific requirements for the use of raw manure.

Raw animal manure must be composted unless it is:

Applied to land used for a crop not intended for human consumption. Incorporated into the soil no less than 120 days prior to the harvest of a product whose edible portion has direct contact with the soil surface or soil particles (such as lettuce).... 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

 

As of June 1, 2012, the process for shipping organic product from the US to the EU is dramatically simplified under the terms of the US/ EU Equivalency Arrangement.      

If you are shipping NOP certified product that has final packaging or processing in the US to an EU member state, all you need is to:

Be enrolled in the CCOF... Read more

CCOF believes in being responsive and service oriented, We encourage clients to engage in open dialogue regarding organic certification issues because your complete satisfaction is our goal. CCOF wants to provide options should you disagree with a CCOF policy, service issue, or certification decision that relates to your business.

In these cases you are encouraged to contact the CCOF... Read more

If you forget your Username or Password for MyCCOF, navigate to the MyCCOF login page by clicking on ‘My Account’ at the top of the CCOF website and click the ‘Forgot your password?’ link in the MyCCOF login area. 

  From this screen, enter your Email. If the entered data matches with an existing account, you will get an email with your username and password. For additional help email... Read more

U.S. farmers and ranchers, agricultural educators, and farmer-assistance organizations can get answers about specific farming practices from ATTRA. Ask an expert.

Need outside help? CCOF cannot actively consult with our clients regarding organic certification compliance. We do offer a list of... Read more

Many operations assume that if they pay their fees they are not required to complete the contract. This is not true. Organic regulations require that all operations complete a Continuation of Certification contract, so failure to complete it will result in suspension of certification. Operations that only pay their fees or only complete their contract will force us to issue a Notice of... Read more

No problem. CCOF will assist currently certified operations to recertify by waiving the one-time application fee.

To receive the fee waiver, complete the Certification Transfer Form and submit it to CCOF with your application and valid certificate from your current certifier. Contact us today... Read more

Growers must verify that third parties, who provide non-organic seed or planting stock, have searched for organic seed. CCOF must be able to verify that a commercial availability search was conducted for all non-organic seed or planting stock. If a buyer provides you with non-organic seed or planting stock you must obtain documentation from the buyer that demonstrates a search for organic... Read more

“CN” means “combined nomenclature.” A CN code is a customs/tariff designation required in box 13 of export certificates for the EU. CN codes are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Disclaimer: While CCOF can assist in determining CN codes, the accuracy of... Read more

Transaction certificates may accompany shipments of organic product when an export certificate is not required and the importer requires further documentation of the compliance to NOP standards. A transaction certificate may be used to export to countries other than Japan, Taiwan, the EU member states, and Switzerland. They can also be used for domestic transactions. You can request a... Read more

A wild crop is a plant or portion of a plant that is collected or harvested from a site that is not maintained under cultivation or other agricultural management. This means that in order for a crop to be considered wild it cannot be watered, fed or otherwise managed. In order to certify a wild crop as organic it must be harvested in a manner that ensures that such harvesting or gathering... Read more

Every shipment of certified organic product to the EU, Japan, Taiwan, and Switzerland must be accompanied by an export certificate issued by CCOF. These certificates contain transaction-specific details, such as the lot number(s), net weight, and the unique serial number given to each export certificate. Your consignee (importer or freight consolidator) will require an original export... Read more

Dry matter is what remains after all of the water is evaporated out of a feed: grain and fresh or dried forages. Fresh pasture has high water content and will have a lower percentage of dry matter than an equivalent weight of dryer feed, such as hay or grain. Dry matter is an indicator of the amount of nutrients that are available to the animal in a particular feed. Livestock need to consume... Read more

MyCCOF, our client-wide online organic certification management tool, makes certification easier for you. Use MyCCOF to monitor certification and renewals, access key documents, and track the inspection and certification process. You can even track invoices and pay bills online.

CCOF has long been a leader and innovator in organic certification.... Read more

The certification application is called an Organic System Plan (OSP). A complete OSP is required by the National Organic Program (NOP). The OSP is a detailed description of the practices and procedures used by your operation to produce organic goods. Clients update their OSP as changes occur.

CCOF has developed a straightforward, comprehensive OSP as part of our organic certification... Read more

Renewal to the certification program happens in January, annually. Clients are sent a certification renewal contract and an invoice for annual fees in November which are due January 1.

The Annual Certification Renewal Contract requires the following information to be submitted to CCOF: Updates on any pending requests for information or noncompliance issues. Updated OSP, detailing any... Read more

We make it easy for our clients to find out if a farm input is allowed. You can use OMRI and WSDA listed products as long as applicable restrictions are followed. Do you want to use a material that is not listed by OMRI or WSDA? We will review any non-listed material. All you need to do is submit a... Read more

Recordkeeping and organization are important aspects of certification so we have created helpful documents and sample forms to assist our clients with these challenges. Our Complete Organic Farm Certification Support Package provides a convenient collection of sample forms... Read more

Recordkeeping and organization are important aspects of certification so we have created helpful documents and sample forms to assist our clients with these challenges.  Our Complete Organic Farm Certification Support Package provides a convenient collection of sample forms... Read more

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) (7 CFR Part 205) is CCOF’s primary certification standard. Copies of the USDA NOP standards are available to download or purchase. All application packets sent by U.S. mail include a copy of the USDA NOP standards.

We provide additional services as needed for... 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

Before the Inspection: Organic System Plan (OSP): This is the central document of organic certification. The OSP must be completed before the inspection. The inspector will compare your OSP with their observations, interview, and audit of records. An excellent OSP includes all applicable sections and thoroughly answered questions, with all required attachments (labels, parcel maps, land history... Read more

The Global Food Safety Initiative is an international nonprofit umbrella organization that “benchmarks” (deems equivalent) food safety standards. Retailers or buyers that require food safety certification from their suppliers generally require that the certification standard be GFSI-benchmarked. The CCOF GLOBALG.A.P. program is GFSI-... Read more

GLOBALG.A.P. is a stakeholder-driven nonprofit organization based in Germany that sets food safety standards for farmers. There are over 120,000 farms worldwide certified to GLOBALG.A.P. standards.

Any time you are considering a change to your organic production, you must update your Organic System Plan before making any changes and submit the update to ccof@ccof.org for review. Updating your OSP before making changes helps your operation avoid a Notice of Noncompliance and possible... 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... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can view your authorized contacts for your operation. From within MyCCOF, view authorized contacts for your operation by navigating to the ‘Contacts’ tab.

Under the title ‘Has these Certification Contacts’ you can view the listed contacts for your operation as well as their individual information (phone, fax, email).

Contacts designated with a red shirt in the ‘... Read more

Visit our Organic Seed Resources page for details on seed requirements or our list of seed suppliers who carry organic seed.

Your diligence in sourcing organic seed helps to strengthen the organic seed sector.

Crops intended for human consumption and whose edible portion has direct contact with the soil surface or soil particles require a 120 day pre-harvest interval (PHI). A 90 day PHI is required for those crops whose edible portion does not come in contact with soil particles (i.e. orchard fruit). How the crop is grown and harvested with regards to soil contact will determine which pre-harvest... Read more

Organic inspections confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before you are certified and every year after for as long as you remain certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice. A CCOF-qualified inspector will conduct the inspection in an efficient... Read more

Many farmers and processors are already being asked to be certified to one of the existing third party food safety standards by retail buyers like Costco or Walmart. We anticipate that the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules will mean more companies will be pursuing food safety assessment and/or certification. Even if law does not require it, assessment and/or... Read more

There are dozens of reasons to choose CCOF for your organic certification. Learn why CCOF should be your choice for certification or browse our website for more information.

Because your buyer requires you to have GFSI-benchmarked food safety certification for some or all of your organic crops. CCOF is one of the most trusted names in certification, with over 40 years of commitment to the organic farming community. We seek to provide a cost effective program that will allow organic farmers to succeed as food safety certification becomes increasingly required by... Read more

Processor located in Canada

Yes! To export to Switzerland, your product must be certified equivalent with EEC 834/2007. To verify your equivalence, you must enroll in CCOF’s International Standard Program. You will be required to complete an import application with your Swiss importer, which will be verified by the Swiss government. Please be aware that this... Read more

Yes! Both the EU and Canada now have equivalency agreements with the US to simplify trade of organic products. If your product meets the relevant critical variances for each market; you will be able to export to them. Our EU and Canada pages will help you determine the steps to take, and our... Read more

Yes, as long as adequate measures are taken to distinguish organic from non-organic and storage practices do not pose a commingling or contamination risk for organic ingredients. You do not have to have a physical barrier in place, but adequate separation and labeling should be in place to protect the organic product.

Yes, you can use off-site storage facilities to store and distribute your products without having that location inspected or certified. Off-site storage facilities and distribution centers are not required to be certified as long as the products are packaged or otherwise enclosed in a container prior to being received or acquired. The product must remain in the same package and may not be... Read more

Yes, CCOF certification confers the ability to use either the CCOF seal or the USDA seal (or both) on products sold as “100% Organic” and “Organic.” The USDA seal may not be used on products labeled as “Made with Organic (list of specific ingredients).” USDA National Organic Program standards define the... Read more

Your MyCCOF account allows you to view invoice descriptions and outstanding balances for your operation!

From within MyCCOF, navigate to the ‘Invoices’ tab for your operation and view past and present balances.

Once in the ‘Invoices’ tab you can view your Account Status, Description of an Invoice as well as any outstanding balances.*

*Note: hard copies of... Read more

Yes, you are required by USDA organic requirements to report all materials you use, including fertilizers, pest control materials, processing aids, livestock health care materials, and other materials. We have made it easy for you to view the materials we have approved for your operation by listing them on your Organic System Plan (OSP) Materials List.   You can view and print your OSP Materials... Read more

Yes! We understand that you may be pressed for time or require certification by a certain deadline. In these cases, we are pleased to pull out all the stops and provide expedited services that meet your deadline. Please consider our Expedited Certification Program application if you are short on time. In many cases we... Read more

Yes, CCOF offers two programs designed to verify your compliance with a variety of international standards, including those for EU member states, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, and others. Which program you should enroll in depends on which markets you are shipping to and whether your product is shipped from the US or from... Read more

Yes! MyCCOF is the first of its kind online organic certification management system. MyCCOF is free for all clients and provides access to records, bills, inspection reports, certificates, and more. Our website also offers a wealth of forms, payment options, and other tools... Read more

The onsite inspection is an integral part of organic certification. The inspector bills CCOF for the time and expenses of each inspection and CCOF in turn bills the inspected party. The costs of inspections vary widely. Usually, the major cost factor is the scope and complexity of an operation. Other factors may include the producer's knowledge of applicable organic standards, previous issues... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can view your operation contact information. Within MyCCOF, to view contact information for your operation, navigate to the desired Company Record from the ‘Company Data List.’  

  The ‘Company Data List’ will show all Operations that you are currently a contact for. From here you can choose which company record will automatically open when you sign into your MyCCOF account... Read more

CCOF wants to help you address marketplace problems and complaints. Under the National Organic Program, all products marketed as organic must be certified. If you witness organic products being mislabeled or fraudulently identified, you are highly encouraged to report the problem. Reporting is the best way to stop fraudulent practices.

The Short Answer

If the complaint involves a CCOF... Read more

CCOF certification offers comprehensive services at a minimal cost to our clients. We understand that keeping certification costs down is important to our clients. The following tips are great ways to save time and money:

Have your paperwork organized and prepared for your annual inspections. Respond to CCOF Request for Information letters in a timely manner to avoid noncompliance fees.... Read more

As an Accredited Certification Agency (ACA), CCOF cannot provide consulting assistance to meet organic certification issues. However, as a service to our members and others, CCOF maintains a list of organic consultants who are available to assist with certification and regulatory compliance issues.... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can access your Inspection Report. From within MyCCOF, click on the ‘Inspection Status’ tab. This will show all current and past inspections for your operation.

 

To get a copy of your Inspection report, click on the inspection you wish to view in the grid to highlight it.

 

Scroll to the bottom of the page. Click the ‘Documents’ tab... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can see all letters from the CCOF office. From within MyCCOF, navigate to the ‘Files’ tab to get a copy of your letters from CCOF.

Here you can view outgoing correspondence from CCOF regarding your Operation. The “Date” column will match the date on a specific letter. The “Subject” column will tell you the type of correspondence.

To access a copy of a... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can access information for your upcoming inspection. From within MyCCOF, navigate to the “Inspection Status” tab to locate information on inspections.

Here you can view all past and present inspections for the operation as well as the Season, Inspection Type, and Inspector.

To locate Inspector Contact information click on the icon next to the Inspector... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can instantly download copies of your certification certificates. From within MyCCOF, click on the ‘Certificates’ tab to locate copies of your Certificates.

Here you will be able to view, download, and print copies of your Certificates and Client Profiles.    The ‘Description’ column will tell you the Certificate type. The ‘Year’ column will tell you which year the... Read more

In the simplest terms, certification involves an application, review, inspection, compliance with any standards issues, and, finally, certification. The detailed steps to organic certification are outlined for you.

How the process works:

In your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), you explain what you do, how you do it, and what you use to... Read more

After your inspection CCOF will review the inspection report and respond to you as soon as possible. You will receive one of three review results:

Compliant: No further action is required as a result of this inspection
An updated certificate has been created and can be found online. You may have other outstanding items related to other inspections or processes. Visit your Action... Read more

There are 2 ways to login to MyCCOF to access your certification information.

1) Visit the CCOF homepage and click on the ‘My Account’ tab at the top. From here you can log in to MyCCOF.

2) Navigate to the MyCCOF website http://www.myccof.org... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can update your operation contacts and their contact information. From within MyCCOF, to update information regarding your operation including contacts, click the ‘Client Update’ button in the ‘Contacts’ tab. 

After clicking a CCOF Client Update PDF will be available for you to save to your computer.    Here you can update information including adding a contact,... Read more

Before making any changes to your operation, you must update your OSP. Visit our Forms and Documents page to find the forms that you need to update. Submit your fully completed forms to ccof@ccof.org. Please do not submit partially completed forms! Certification... Read more

Once updates have been submitted it take an average of 7 days for CCOF to review the following highly time sensitive items:

New crop input materials (i.e. pest control, fertilizer, soil amendment, etc.) Updated labels for existing products Adding additional acreages (subsequent inspection required) Adding an additional facility or equipment (subsequent inspection required)

Once updates... Read more

Certification typically requires six to 10 weeks; less for special cases. We generally recommend that you begin the process at least 90 days before harvest or launch of your organic line.

The length of time depends on a number of factors:

How complete the application is when submitted The complexity of your operation How quickly you respond to any requests for information that... Read more

CCOF certification is priced to provide superior value and to allow new farms, processors, and other businesses to easily enter the organic marketplace. Ongoing certification costs are based on an annual fee and the cost of the annual inspection. There is also a one-time, non-refundable application fee.

Small farms and processors are routinely certified for between $600 and $1,200.... Read more

To simplify the process and organize requests of this type, CCOF requires that you provide a completed External Client Inquiry Form to CCOF; submit it to ccof@ccof.org or via fax: (831) 423-4528.

No, products that restrict organic claims to the ingredient listing only are exempt from the requirements of certification. However, the manufacturer needs to maintain documentation that the organic ingredients identified are organic and certified according to the regulations. Manufacturers should request and maintain on file current copies of organic certificates for each organic ingredient... Read more

Being compliant to the USDA/MAFF export arrangement allows you to ship your product to an importer certified to JAS, the organic standard in Japan. Be sure to request a Japan export certificate, or TM-11, from CCOF to accompany every consignment/ shipment. See the “What is an Export Certificate? How do I request one?” FAQ for... Read more

The purpose of organic inspections is to confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before it is certified and every year after as long as it remains certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice.

An excellent, low-cost resource titled Preparing for... Read more

Fillable forms are versions of frequently used and/or modified documents that are available in electronic format for easy editing. Each form is a Microsoft word document formatted and locked to allow you to easily enter your data. Available forms include material review requests, annual certification contracts, parcel transfer, withdrawal and additional acreage documents. For processors,... Read more

 

As of June 1, 2012, the process for shipping organic product from the US to the EU is dramatically simplified under the terms of the US/ EU Equivalency Arrangement.      

If you are shipping NOP certified product that has final packaging or processing in the US to an EU member state, all you need is to:

Be enrolled in the CCOF... Read more

CCOF believes in being responsive and service oriented, We encourage clients to engage in open dialogue regarding organic certification issues because your complete satisfaction is our goal. CCOF wants to provide options should you disagree with a CCOF policy, service issue, or certification decision that relates to your business.

In these cases you are encouraged to contact the CCOF... Read more

If you forget your Username or Password for MyCCOF, navigate to the MyCCOF login page by clicking on ‘My Account’ at the top of the CCOF website and click the ‘Forgot your password?’ link in the MyCCOF login area. 

  From this screen, enter your Email. If the entered data matches with an existing account, you will get an email with your username and password. For additional help email... Read more

Many operations assume that if they pay their fees they are not required to complete the contract. This is not true. Organic regulations require that all operations complete a Continuation of Certification contract, so failure to complete it will result in suspension of certification. Operations that only pay their fees or only complete their contract will force us to issue a Notice of... Read more

No problem. CCOF will assist currently certified operations to recertify by waiving the one-time application fee.

To receive the fee waiver, complete the Certification Transfer Form and submit it to CCOF with your application and valid certificate from your current certifier. Contact us today... Read more

“CN” means “combined nomenclature.” A CN code is a customs/tariff designation required in box 13 of export certificates for the EU. CN codes are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Disclaimer: While CCOF can assist in determining CN codes, the accuracy of... Read more

Transaction certificates may accompany shipments of organic product when an export certificate is not required and the importer requires further documentation of the compliance to NOP standards. A transaction certificate may be used to export to countries other than Japan, Taiwan, the EU member states, and Switzerland. They can also be used for domestic transactions. You can request a... Read more

Every shipment of certified organic product to the EU, Japan, Taiwan, and Switzerland must be accompanied by an export certificate issued by CCOF. These certificates contain transaction-specific details, such as the lot number(s), net weight, and the unique serial number given to each export certificate. Your consignee (importer or freight consolidator) will require an original export... Read more

MyCCOF, our client-wide online organic certification management tool, makes certification easier for you. Use MyCCOF to monitor certification and renewals, access key documents, and track the inspection and certification process. You can even track invoices and pay bills online.

CCOF has long been a leader and innovator in organic certification.... Read more

The certification application is called an Organic System Plan (OSP). A complete OSP is required by the National Organic Program (NOP). The OSP is a detailed description of the practices and procedures used by your operation to produce organic goods. Clients update their OSP as changes occur.

CCOF has developed a straightforward, comprehensive OSP as part of our organic certification... Read more

Renewal to the certification program happens in January, annually. Clients are sent a certification renewal contract and an invoice for annual fees in November which are due January 1.

The Annual Certification Renewal Contract requires the following information to be submitted to CCOF: Updates on any pending requests for information or noncompliance issues. Updated OSP, detailing any... Read more

Products labeled “Made with organic…” may contain up to 30% non-organic ingredients. Non-organic ingredients must either be agricultural or on section 205.605 of the National List. Any nonagricultural ingredient or processing aid that does not appear on section 205.605 is prohibited in all organic products, including those labeled as “... Read more

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) (7 CFR Part 205) is CCOF’s primary certification standard. Copies of the USDA NOP standards are available to download or purchase. All application packets sent by U.S. mail include a copy of the USDA NOP standards.

We provide additional services as needed for... Read more

This list details the most common situations that require you to send information or documentation to CCOF, and what type of information you'll need to send. Read through this list and contact your Certification Service Specialist with additional questions.    I want to change something in my Organic System Plan (OSP), what should I send? Update your OSP forms and send them to CCOF for review... Read more
Before the Inspection: Organic System Plan (OSP): This is the central document of organic certification. The OSP must be completed before the inspection. The inspector will compare your OSP with their observations, interview, and audit of records. An excellent OSP includes all applicable sections and thoroughly answered questions, with all required attachments (labels, parcel maps, land history... Read more

Any time you are considering a change to your organic production, you must update your Organic System Plan before making any changes and submit the update to ccof@ccof.org for review. Updating your OSP before making changes helps your operation avoid a Notice of Noncompliance and possible... Read more

In MyCCOF, you can view your authorized contacts for your operation. From within MyCCOF, view authorized contacts for your operation by navigating to the ‘Contacts’ tab.

Under the title ‘Has these Certification Contacts’ you can view the listed contacts for your operation as well as their individual information (phone, fax, email).

Contacts designated with a red shirt in the ‘... Read more

Organic inspections confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before you are certified and every year after for as long as you remain certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice. A CCOF-qualified inspector will conduct the inspection in an efficient... Read more

There are dozens of reasons to choose CCOF for your organic certification. Learn why CCOF should be your choice for certification or browse our website for more information.

I am not an organic operation

Yes! To export to Switzerland, your product must be certified equivalent with EEC 834/2007. To verify your equivalence, you must enroll in CCOF’s International Standard Program. You will be required to complete an import application with your Swiss importer, which will be verified by the Swiss government. Please be aware that this... Read more

Yes, CCOF certification confers the ability to use either the CCOF seal or the USDA seal (or both) on products sold as “100% Organic” and “Organic.” The USDA seal may not be used on products labeled as “Made with Organic (list of specific ingredients).” USDA National Organic Program standards define the... Read more

Yes! We understand that you may be pressed for time or require certification by a certain deadline. In these cases, we are pleased to pull out all the stops and provide expedited services that meet your deadline. Please consider our Expedited Certification Program application if you are short on time. In many cases we... Read more

Yes, CCOF offers two programs designed to verify your compliance with a variety of international standards, including those for EU member states, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, and others. Which program you should enroll in depends on which markets you are shipping to and whether your product is shipped from the US or from... Read more

CCOF wants to help you address marketplace problems and complaints. Under the National Organic Program, all products marketed as organic must be certified. If you witness organic products being mislabeled or fraudulently identified, you are highly encouraged to report the problem. Reporting is the best way to stop fraudulent practices.

The Short Answer

If the complaint involves a CCOF... Read more

CCOF certification offers comprehensive services at a minimal cost to our clients. We understand that keeping certification costs down is important to our clients. The following tips are great ways to save time and money:

Have your paperwork organized and prepared for your annual inspections. Respond to CCOF Request for Information letters in a timely manner to avoid noncompliance fees.... Read more

As an Accredited Certification Agency (ACA), CCOF cannot provide consulting assistance to meet organic certification issues. However, as a service to our members and others, CCOF maintains a list of organic consultants who are available to assist with certification and regulatory compliance issues.... Read more

In the simplest terms, certification involves an application, review, inspection, compliance with any standards issues, and, finally, certification. The detailed steps to organic certification are outlined for you.

How the process works:

In your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), you explain what you do, how you do it, and what you use to... Read more

After your inspection CCOF will review the inspection report and respond to you as soon as possible. You will receive one of three review results:

Compliant: No further action is required as a result of this inspection
An updated certificate has been created and can be found online. You may have other outstanding items related to other inspections or processes. Visit your Action... Read more

Before making any changes to your operation, you must update your OSP. Visit our Forms and Documents page to find the forms that you need to update. Submit your fully completed forms to ccof@ccof.org. Please do not submit partially completed forms! Certification... Read more

Certification typically requires six to 10 weeks; less for special cases. We generally recommend that you begin the process at least 90 days before harvest or launch of your organic line.

The length of time depends on a number of factors:

How complete the application is when submitted The complexity of your operation How quickly you respond to any requests for information that... Read more

CCOF certification is priced to provide superior value and to allow new farms, processors, and other businesses to easily enter the organic marketplace. Ongoing certification costs are based on an annual fee and the cost of the annual inspection. There is also a one-time, non-refundable application fee.

Small farms and processors are routinely certified for between $600 and $1,200.... Read more

To simplify the process and organize requests of this type, CCOF requires that you provide a completed External Client Inquiry Form to CCOF; submit it to ccof@ccof.org or via fax: (831) 423-4528.

The purpose of organic inspections is to confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before it is certified and every year after as long as it remains certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice.

An excellent, low-cost resource titled Preparing for... Read more

CCOF believes in being responsive and service oriented, We encourage clients to engage in open dialogue regarding organic certification issues because your complete satisfaction is our goal. CCOF wants to provide options should you disagree with a CCOF policy, service issue, or certification decision that relates to your business.

In these cases you are encouraged to contact the CCOF... Read more

No problem. CCOF will assist currently certified operations to recertify by waiving the one-time application fee.

To receive the fee waiver, complete the Certification Transfer Form and submit it to CCOF with your application and valid certificate from your current certifier. Contact us today... Read more

“CN” means “combined nomenclature.” A CN code is a customs/tariff designation required in box 13 of export certificates for the EU. CN codes are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Disclaimer: While CCOF can assist in determining CN codes, the accuracy of... Read more

The certification application is called an Organic System Plan (OSP). A complete OSP is required by the National Organic Program (NOP). The OSP is a detailed description of the practices and procedures used by your operation to produce organic goods. Clients update their OSP as changes occur.

CCOF has developed a straightforward, comprehensive OSP as part of our organic certification... Read more

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) (7 CFR Part 205) is CCOF’s primary certification standard. Copies of the USDA NOP standards are available to download or purchase. All application packets sent by U.S. mail include a copy of the USDA NOP standards.

We provide additional services as needed for... Read more

Any time you are considering a change to your organic production, you must update your Organic System Plan before making any changes and submit the update to ccof@ccof.org for review. Updating your OSP before making changes helps your operation avoid a Notice of Noncompliance and possible... 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... Read more

Organic inspections confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before you are certified and every year after for as long as you remain certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice. A CCOF-qualified inspector will conduct the inspection in an efficient... Read more

There are dozens of reasons to choose CCOF for your organic certification. Learn why CCOF should be your choice for certification or browse our website for more information.

On average, it takes 30 days from the date of inspection to respond to highly time sensitive inspections such as new production, land, or products, or major issues.

On average, it takes 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;... Read more