FAQs by materials and inputs

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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:

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, 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,...

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...

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...

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...

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 use...

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...

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...

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 compliant; however...

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)....

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...

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...

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...

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 and...

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...

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...