National Organic Program (NOP) & National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)

Organic Standards and Regulations

As one of the first entities certifying organic, CCOF has played a critical role in developing the uniform standards governing organic. Organic is a strictly defined term regulated under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA). OFPA established the organic national standards and created the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) to regulate and enforce organic products.

National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) makes recommendations to the Secretary of USDA on standards and materials allowed under the NOP. The NOSB provides recommendations on compliance, accreditation, certification, and policy development in organic food and agriculture. The board meets twice a year to discuss and vote on recommendations, proposals, and discussion documents. The NOSB is made up of 15 volunteers who represent the breadth of the organic community, including farmers, processors, retailers, scientists, and consumers.

NOSB’s process is truly democratic and requires public input and insight. Stakeholders and members of the public have multiple opportunities to submit written and oral comments to the board. Comments are carefully considered by NOSB and help them form their recommendations to the NOP, where final decisions are made. To see NOSB meeting materials, agendas, and information, visit the NOSB meetings website.  

CCOF at Work  

CCOF actively participates in the standards-making process, advocating with our members for strong, clear, enforceable standards for organic food and farming. We also encourage farmers, businesses, and interested organic consumers to weigh in on issues by promoting commenting and other advocacy opportunities. We publish NOP and NOSB commenting opportunities on the CCOF blog. By working together, we can make a difference and ensure that the voice of organic is heard loud and clear.