The Policy Team and Certification staff are gearing up for the release of proposed changes to the National Organic Program (NOP). While the official rule, called the Strengthening Organic Enforcement proposed rule, is not out yet, the NOP has released a pre-published draft and other resources on their website.
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) released an official proposed rule for Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE). The proposed changes will constitute the most significant changes to organic regulations since the creation of the NOP.
Among other changes, the proposed rule will:
Without the additional oversight provided by the certification process, uncertified handlers are a source of potential fraud in the organic supply chain. Beginning in late 2017, CCOF increased oversight of uncertified handlers by verifying additional audit trail records during inspections and with an Uncertified Handler Affidavit (UHA). The UHA helps us determine if an uncertified handler is legitimately excluded from certification. This change is in line with National Organic Program expectations and other certifiers’ reviews of supply chains.
On April 25, 2014 the National Organic Program released a proposed guidance document regarding Substances Used in Postharvest Handling of Organic Products. This guidance addresses the materials that may be used in on-farm or other immediate postharvest situations. This guidance clarifies some confusion between what materials, such as diatomaceous earth or carbon dioxide, could be used in what contexts in a postharvest setting. Comments are due by June 24.
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.
Earlier this year, the National Organic Program published a final rule renewing over 200 listings on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances that were scheduled to expire this year. The rule also made changes to the substances listed below.
On June 12, 2012, the TTB announced that a copy of the organic certificate is no longer required to accompany any Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) application for alcohol beverages labeled as “100% Organic,” “Organic,” and “Made with Organic (specific ingredients).” You are now only required to submit a copy of the approved label with the “CCOF approved” stamp, along with your COLA application.
A recently released NOP notice may require you to take action! Please review the labeling changes carefully and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (831) 423-2263 if you have questions.
By January 1, 2014, all package labels for organic products must state "Certified Organic by CCOF" BELOW the name and contact information for your operation.
Improvements for Materials Tracking and Approvals Continue: We have heard loud and clear that one of our clients’ biggest frustrations with the certification process is the paperwork surrounding input materials approval. In response, CCOF has been undergoing a materials evolution focused on making the process more efficient and less burdensome. We hope that you will find these changes to be positive, and welcome your feedback at any time!