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What is a CN number?

“CN” means “combined nomenclature.” A CN code is a customs/tariff designation required in box 13 of export certificates for the EU. CN codes are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Disclaimer: While CCOF can assist in determining CN codes, the accuracy of CN codes used on export certificates is ultimately the responsibility of the client.

What is a lot number?

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 ingredient tracking throughout the system. Common outgoing lot numbers include production dates, roasting or best by dates, and sequential numbering systems.

What is an Audit Trail?

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 purchases, internal movement, and sales of inputs, ingredients, intermediates, and final products. Have these records organized and accessible.

What is MyCCOF?

MyCCOF, our client-wide online organic certification management tool, makes certification easier for you. With MyCCOF you can easily monitor your certification and renewals, access key documents, and track the inspection and certification process. Plus, pay bills, track your CCOF-certified suppliers, and search and add materials to your Organic System Plan (OSP).

What is the 'National List' for processed products?

The National List is the list of non-organic materials you are allowed to use as ingredients, additives, or processing aids in your organic products. For processors this includes materials such as yeast, citric acid, baking soda, diatomaceous earth, and others. Only non-organic ingredients and processing aids included on the National List may be used in and on your products. CCOF must approve the use of all ingredients and processing aids prior to use to protect you from inadvertent and costly mistakes. 

What is the Organic System Plan (OSP)?

The organic certification application is called an Organic System Plan (OSP). A complete OSP is required by the National Organic Program (NOP). The OSP is a detailed description of the practices and procedures used by your operation to produce organic goods. Operations must update their OSP as changes occur.

CCOF has developed a straightforward, comprehensive OSP as part of our organic certification application. The OSP leads you through the organic standards, and addresses common production questions and concerns.

What is the renewal process?

CCOF Organic Certification Renewal occurs every year in January. Clients are sent an Annual Renewal Contract and an invoice for the annual certification program fees in November, which are both due January 1 of the following year.

The Annual Certification Renewal Contract requires the following information to be submitted to CCOF:

What MUST be on my certified organic product label?

Each organic ingredient must be identified as "Organic" on the ingredient statement of products labeled as "Organic," or "Made with Organic (specified ingredients)."

The certifying agent must be identified by name ("California Certified Organic Farmers" or “CCOF”) on the information panel, beneath the name of the handler or distributor, and preceded by the statement, "Certified organic by...", or a similar phrase.

For more details visit our labeling and logos page!

 

What non-organic ingredients can I use in my product labeled “Made with Organic (specific ingredients)?”

Products labeled “Made with organic…” may contain up to 30% non-organic ingredients. Non-organic ingredients must either be agricultural or on section 205.605 of the National List.

What non-organic ingredients/materials can I use in or on my organic processed product?

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 Washington State Department of Agriculture. All materials must be approved by CCOF before use.

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