Food Safety Certification

Many farmers and processors are already being asked to be certified to one of the existing third party food safety standards by retail buyers like Costco or Walmart. We anticipate that the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules will mean more companies will be pursuing food safety assessment and/or certification. Even if law does not require it, assessment and/or certification may be required in order for farmers and processors to be able to sell their product! We at CCOF have heard loud and clear from our producer members that they want to comply with the requirements of FSMA but are concerned about the cost, time, and paperwork burden of dealing with another certification program.

Our board of directors has asked us to explore the options of offering a food safety certification program in conjunction with our organic certification. We believe that CCOF could offer a food safety certification program with high integrity for organic producers that not only respects and encourages organic systems, but also streamlines the paperwork and inspection process.

Does your organic farm need GFSI-benchmarked food safety certification? If so, we are ready to help. We are launching our new GLOBALG.A.P. field-level food safety certification program and looking for farming operations to participate in our pilot program.

Your operation is encouraged to enroll in the 2013 pilot program at this time if your operation is:

  • CCOF-certified organic
  • only organic acreage
  • located within a three-hour drive of the Monterey Bay area
  • currently food safety certified (PrimusGFS, NSF Ag, or other)

GLOBALG.A.P. has different levels of certification programs to meet the needs of different buyers. Be sure to talk to your buyers to determine which level of certification you need!

CCOF is able to offer certification to the following GLOBALG.A.P. standards:

  • IFA 4.0 Crops Base: Integrated Farm Assurance – GFSI benchmarked. Top-level program. Important for exports.
  • PSS: Produce Safety Standard – GFSI-benchmarked but includes ONLY food safety standards. Subset of IFA.
  • Harmonized Standard (U.S. only) – Not yet GFSI-benchmarked. Developed by the United Fresh working group.
  • LocalG.A.P. (previously known as Primary Farm Assurance, or PFA) – Not GFSI-benchmarked. Simplified standard with Basic/Foundation and Intermediate levels. A stepping stone to full IFA or PSS certification.

Apply for the GLOBALG.A.P. field-level food safety certification program.

Please review the CCOF GLOBALG.A.P. Certification Program Manual for more information about eligibility for the program, its benefits, and requierements associated with enrollment.

Producing safe food is a priority for organic and conventional producers alike. To help our members stay apprised of issues that may affect them, we monitor food safety laws and regulations, comment on them, and provide regular updates. Learn more about food safety regulations and our work in this area.