FAQs by recordkeeping help and templates

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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:

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Recordkeeping and organization are important aspects of certification, so we've created helpful documents and sample forms to assist our clients with these challenges. Our Organic Farm Certification Support Package and...

Although retailers are exempt from the requirement of being certified, they must still keep sufficient records demonstrating compliance to the standards. Records should include date of purchase, source, quantities, and organic certificates listing the specifics for organic products you purchase. Records should also include documentation of methods used for prevention of commingling and contact...