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Meet CCOF’s New Chief Certification Officer

by Lulu Garcia |

Dear CCOF members,

I hope you enjoyed reading about a few members of our incredible team here at CCOF in the fall issue of Certified Organic as much as I enjoy seeing each of them every day. The individuals you met in this issue’s article are just a small sampling of the many people at CCOF working every day to support our members and advance organic. You can meet some of them in person at trade shows and agricultural events across the country—we love seeing our members in person, so come say hello when you are at those events! 

Earlier this year, I took the helm of CCOF Certification Services, LLC as the new chief certification officer. My journey with CCOF started back in 2007, when I joined the CCOF family as a farm certification specialist fresh out of the University of California, Santa Cruz’s agroecology program. I grew up on a small farm in the Sierra foothills where my family grows grapes and produces delicious wines. I feel it is important to stay connected to my roots, and I do this by tending my own garden and helping at the winery whenever possible. I have learned so much in the last 12 years at CCOF, and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead certification services in this new role.          

As the organic movement continues to grow and evolve, we’re staying ahead of the curve by strengthening our vision for the future of CCOF and organic certification. Innovations across the industry are changing how organic food is produced and purchased. Fraud, climate change, consumer confusion, and divisive narratives about organic are some of the challenges we face. I believe it is important that CCOF stay grounded in our rich history yet still be able to adapt to the growing needs of our members so we can realize our vision of a world where organic is the norm.   

One area that we will keep investing in is technology for our members that helps make organic certification manageable and accessible. We’re constantly looking for ways to streamline MyCCOF, our online certification management tool (visit for more information), where members can already track and respond to certification requests with just a few clicks. 

Our ultimate goal is to uphold and strengthen the integrity of organic certification while also meeting the needs of organic businesses who are doing the work of bringing healthy organic products to consumers around the world. We’re always looking for better ways to serve our members, so please don’t hesitate to give us feedback on how we can better meet your needs.

Thank you for joining us in advancing organic agriculture for a healthy world!

April Crittenden
Chief Certification Officer