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Remove Unused Materials Today to Help CCOF Serve You

CCOF must periodically review materials to ensure that they have not changed formulation and continue to be appropriate for use in organic production. You can help CCOF reduce costs and wasted effort by removing materials from your OSP that you no longer use or do not plan to use.

Requirements for Imported Grain, Bean, and Seed Shipments

Updated August 23, 2017

On May 11, 2017, CCOF Certification Services notified handlers, importers, and others of new requirements for seeking approval for imported grain shipments. Our goal is to help ensure the integrity of organic trade, which is also shared below.

Additionally, the NOP has recently provided a training and resource list regarding organic integrity in the supply chain.

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.

Update on Hydroponic/Container Production

In recent years we have seen an increase in the number and complexity of container-based agricultural production systems. These production systems were addressed by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in 2010 in their recommendation regarding Terrestrial Plants in Containers and Enclosures. This recommendation advised a prohibition on hydroponic and aeroponic systems, but was never finalized into official standards. In the interim a wide spectrum of container production has continued to evolve ranging from transplants, to rooftop gardens, to commercial crop production.

UPDATE: NOP Guidance on Seeds, Annual Seedlings, and Planting Stock

Update: This is an update to the version published in our E-Newsletter on 3/11/13

On February 28, the NOP issued a final guidance on Seeds, Annual Seedlings, and Planting Stock in Organic Crop Production as part of the National Organic Program Handbook. Included with the guidance is a NOP response to the comments it received on this topic in 2011.

Updates Made to NOP Standards Manual

The USDA has published Final Rules that, effective November 3, 2013, update the USDA organic regulations. These three changes are about materials allowed for use in organic handling and processing. We have updated our NOP Standards Manual to reflect these changes. Download our updated manual.

CCOF Applauds USDA Announcement of Organic Equivalence Agreement with Japan

(September 25, 2013) Santa Cruz, CA - USDA and Japan announced Thursday at Natural Products Expo East a new organic equivalency agreement, finalizing many years of perseverance toward equivalence without critical variances. As of January 1, 2014, the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries will recognize the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) as equivalent to Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS). CCOF engaged early in the agreement process, representing our more than 2,600 members by hosting visits with Japanese officials here in the United States.

Actualización sobre el Programa para México

El sector orgánico en México continúa evolucionando y creciendo. CCOF recientemente asistió a una reunión para los certificadoras orgánicos aprobadas por el gobierno mexicano para certificar bajo las normas orgánicas de México (LPO). La reunión se llevó a cabo en Oaxaca con el SENASICA/SAGARPA y las agencias que supervisan el programa orgánico de México. Las operaciones inscritas en el Programa de Cumplimiento de CCOF para México, deben estar al tanto de las siguientes actualizaciones:

Addressing Seed Purity – Part 1 of 2

This post was written by Kristina Hubbard, director of advocacy and communications for Organic Seed Alliance. She recently published an article in Agriculture and Human Values entitled, "Confronting coexistence in the United States: organic agriculture, genetic engineering, and the case of Roundup Read alfalfa."

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