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CCOF Certified Transitional Program

Farming new ground? Don’t wait until the end of the three-year transition time—start your transition to organic today to ensure success and compliance with organic standards. As the demand for organic products grows, CCOF’s Certified Transitional program provides a stepping stone towards organic certification for farm operations.

Transitional certification provides recognition for your efforts to farm more sustainably during the three-year transition period. Expand your markets with this new program. Talk with your buyers to determine if they can market your CCOF Certified Transitional crops.

Transitional vs Organic

As you work through your land’s three-year transition period and implement organic practices, CCOF will verify your compliance to the organic regulations helping to prepare you for full organic certification. An operation is eligible for the CCOF Certified Transitional program if:

  • The land has been free from prohibited materials for at least one year.
  • The operation is actively enrolled with CCOF under an approved Organic System Plan (OSP).
  • The USDA organic standards are met except the requirement for land to complete three years free from prohibited materials.


Operations may apply with CCOF at any point during the three-year transition period. Once enrolled in the program, a transitional operation will undergo annual inspection and review. Certified transitional products may not be labeled, sold, represented, or modified by the word “organic.”

Support for Transitional Growers

Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP)

The Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) is a nationwide initiative to provide mentorship, technical assistance, and wrap-around support to transitioning and existing organic producers.

Organic Self-Assessment

Our self-assessment will help you understand how close you are to beginning the certification process. Take it to see how ready your operation is for organic certification. Once completed, you can submit your self-assessment with any CCOF certification application and receive a $100 discount on your application fee.

Organic Checklist

Our 10 step checklist for transitioning to certified organic will help you quickly understand the steps to becoming organic. Available in English, Spanish, and Hmong

USDA Organic Regulations

If you haven't already read the USDA organic regulations, that would be a good next step. Together, the assessment and the regulations will help you understand how the requirements apply to the way you currently farm and what changes you might need to make to your growing practices in order to comply. The USDA organic regulations are available in searchable PDF format.

Economic Barriers to Transition

CCOF compiled a report on economic barriers to transition that synthesized discussions from two focus groups held in June 2015. Read the Report on Economic Barriers to Organic Transition to learn more about what the focus groups identified as the biggest challenges for farmers considering organic transition.
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Additional Resources

To be certified, organic land must be free of prohibited fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides for at least three years. The following resources can help you determine if a material is safe to apply on your parcel.