FAQs by inspections

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New to organic certification or looking to become certified and not sure where to start? You might find these FAQ topics most useful:

Yes. CCOF conducts GMO testing of at risk commodities under the periodic residue testing requirement of the USDA National Organic Program. Testing for presence of GMOs is a helpful tool in determining whether a prevention strategy is effective. Organic production is a whole systems approach to agriculture that uses prevention strategies—monitored through the certification process—to ensure...

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...

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...

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...

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;...

CCOF offers inspection preparation letters for each operation type. You can prepare for your inspection by reviewing the appropriate pre-inspection letter that applies to your operation.

Review CCOF’s...

Yes. To be eligible for the CCOF Certified Transitional program you must submit an application, including completing an Organic System Plan (OSP), and undergo the annual inspection and review process.

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...

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...

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...

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...