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Intensive Grazing Prior to Harvest Intervals

Effective June 1, 2015, CCOF will require that orchards and other crops no longer utilize intensive grazing within 90 days of harvest of a crop where the edible portion does not touch soil or soil particles. This interpretation of existing raw manure restrictions is being phased in during 2015—with an expectation that growers update their practices and organic system plans by June 1, 2015—to ensure compliance during the 2015 production year and beyond.

NOP Gives Two Year Extension on "Certified Organic By CCOF" Placement Label Changes

In October 2012 CCOF notified clients that all package labels for organic products must state "Certified Organic by CCOF" BELOW the name and contact information for your operation. The deadline for changing labels that do not comply was January 1, 2014. This deadline has been extended to January 1, 2016.

If the statement "Certified Organic by CCOF" is anywhere else on your label, such as next to your company name, above it, near it, etc., you will need to change your labels by January 1, 2016.

NOP Instruction Forces Changes for CCOF Operations

Updated May 14, 2014: On February 13, 2014, the National Organic Program (NOP) released Instruction Document 4009: Who Needs to be Certified, and accompanying Questions and Answers. This Instruction clarified what parts of CCOF-certified members’ OSPs and stages of production require independent certification.

NOP Strengthens Organic Standards

On August 14, 2014, the National Organic Program (NOP) published instruction 4012 “Use of Brand or Company Names Containing the Word ‘Organic’.” This instruction document is directed at certifiers and clarifies an area of potential confusion while indicating the NOP’s expectations and standards interpretations regarding product labeling.

Practices, Not Paperwork Initiative

In the last six months CCOF has been in an ongoing dialogue with the National Organic Program (NOP) and USDA about issues we see in the certification and accreditation process that are overly reliant on paperwork and unnecessarily drive up costs. We are concerned that small operators may be leaving the NOP due to both the difficult paperwork and costs of organic certification.

Program Manual Updates

CCOF has recently revised important sections of the CCOF Certification Program Manual. These changes include the following:

Prórroga en Proceso de la Fecha de Implementación para las Normas Orgánicas Mexicanas

El gobierno de México recientemente publicó una noticia de propuesta prórroga para la implementación completa de los estándares orgánicos mexicanos. La prórroga propuesta extendería el plazo de implementación para productos orgánicos importados a México de países que se encuentran en discusiones sobre la equivalencia, como los Estados Unidos. El público puede emitir sus comentarios sobre la prórroga propuesta aquí.

Significant Changes to Certification Manual - All CCOF Clients Affected

We have made some substantial changes to our Certification Services Program Manual.

These changes affect all CCOF clients, and you will be asked on your 2014 Continuation of Certification Contract (renewal contract) to verify that you agree to the policies described in this manual. In brief, the changes include:

The Future of Chlorine

The National Organic Program (NOP) recently announced an important clarification to the use of chlorine in organic production systems. This may require operational changes for some CCOF clients who use chlorine for postharvest washing of crops. The NOP now requires that a potable water rinse follows chlorine used in postharvest water at more than 4 parts per million (ppm). CCOF was previously able to approve the use of chlorine at levels above 4 ppm in postharvest usage because of industry confusion over the meaning of the word "residual" in the regulations.

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