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. The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 requires certification agencies to perform residue testing of organic product. Such testing acts as a deterrent to fraud and helps to prove to organic customers that the standards are upheld and that organic really does mean something. CCOF is granted the authority to collect samples for testing by the National Organic Program regulations section 205....
Yes. CCOF is required to conduct unannounced inspections by our accreditors, USDA ISO-65 and USDA NOP. Unannounced inspections encourage all certified clients to comply with the regulations. It shows that certified producers and processors are doing their best to comply with the regulations and willing to prove it. It proves to organic customers that the standards are upheld and that organic...
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 non-...
A CCOF Certification Specialist will review the inspection report for compliance with the standards. The review will likely be completed within 1-3 months after your inspection (or within 5 business days for Expedited inspections, or 30 days for priority inspection such as New Applications). Once the review is complete, CCOF will send you a Compliance Report with the results, along with a new...
A CCOF Certification Specialist will review the inspection report for compliance with the standards. The review will likely be completed within 1-3 months after your inspection (or within 5 business days for Expedited inspections, or 30 days for priority inspection such as New Applications). Please remember that we can provide a copy of your certificate at any time, or you can download a copy...
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. Ask the inspector what they want to see, who they want to talk to, and what records and copies to have ready. Line up people and inspection sites. Determine...
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 an organic inspection 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 Organic...
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. “Audit trail” includes all records of...
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 manner...