FAQs by getting started

These terms are used interchangeably by CCOF. You are a handler if you process products or if you merely arrange for the sale and purchase of already-packed product. All non-grower operations are handlers. Anyone who sells, processes, or packages agricultural products is considered a handler and “Handler” will appear on your organic certificate.

Yes, CCOF certification confers the ability to use either the CCOF seal or the USDA seal (or both) on products sold as “100% Organic” and “Organic.” The USDA seal may not be used on products labeled as “Made with Organic (list of specific ingredients).” USDA National Organic Program standards define the labeling requirements for certified organic products.

Since 1973, the CCOF seal has... Read more

CCOF provides organic certification only for crops and products made from them. We do not certify farm inputs and non-organic processing aids.

Inputs and processing aids are reviewed and listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)  and the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
 

The following individuals and businesses operating in the state of California must annually register with the State Organic Program:

Every person engaged in the production, handling, or processing of raw agricultural products sold as organic Retailers that are engaged in the production of products sold as organic Retailers that are engaged in the processing, as defined by the NOP, of... Read more

Yes! We understand that you may be pressed for time or require certification by a certain deadline. In these cases, we are pleased to pull out all the stops and provide expedited services that meet your deadline. Please consider our Expedited Certification Program application if you are short on time. In many cases we have reduced the timeline by several weeks and ensured the client's success... Read more

Yes! MyCCOF is the first of its kind online organic certification management system. MyCCOF is free for all clients and provides access to records, bills, inspection reports, certificates, and more. Our website also offers a wealth of forms, payment options, and other tools to support your certification and trade association needs. We are truly committed to saving you time by providing online... Read more

CCOF wants to help you address marketplace problems and complaints. Under the National Organic Program, all products marketed as organic must be certified. If you witness organic products being mislabeled or fraudulently identified, you are highly encouraged to report the problem. Reporting is the best way to stop fraudulent practices.

The Short Answer

If the complaint involves a CCOF... Read more

As an Accredited Certification Agency (ACA), CCOF cannot provide consulting assistance to meet organic certification issues. However, as a service to our members and others, CCOF maintains a list of organic consultants who are available to assist with certification and regulatory compliance issues. The list also includes organic agricultural advisors who are members of the CCOF Trade... Read more

In the simplest terms, certification involves an application, review, inspection, compliance with any standards issues, and, finally, certification. The detailed steps to organic certification are outlined for you.

How the process works:

In your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), you explain what you do, how you do it, and what you use to do it.

During the initial... Read more

Before making any changes to your operation, you must update your OSP. Visit our Forms and Documents page to find the forms that you need to update. Submit your fully completed forms to ccof@ccof.org. Please do not submit partially completed forms! Certification staff will review your updates and let you know if additional information is required. Please allow as much time as possible for... Read more

CCOF certification is priced to provide superior value and to allow new farms, processors, and other businesses to easily enter the organic marketplace. Ongoing certification costs are based on an annual fee and the cost of the annual inspection. There is also a one-time, non-refundable application fee.

Small farms and processors are routinely certified for between $600 and $1,200.... Read more

The purpose of organic inspections is to confirm that your operation meets the NOP standards and regulations both before it is certified and every year after as long as it remains certified. Inspectors do this by confirming that what you say in your application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), is what you are doing in practice.

An excellent, low-cost resource titled Preparing for... Read more

Fillable forms are versions of frequently used and/or modified documents that are available in electronic format for easy editing. Each form is a Microsoft word document formatted and locked to allow you to easily enter your data. Available forms include material review requests, annual certification contracts, parcel transfer, withdrawal and additional acreage documents. For processors,... Read more

MyCCOF, our client-wide online organic certification management tool, makes certification easier for you. Use MyCCOF to monitor certification and renewals, access key documents, and track the inspection and certification process. You can even track invoices and pay bills online.

CCOF has long been a leader and innovator in organic certification. MyCCOF, our client-wide online organic... Read more

The certification application is called an Organic System Plan (OSP). A complete OSP is required by the National Organic Program (NOP). The OSP is a detailed description of the practices and procedures used by your operation to produce organic goods. Clients update their OSP as changes occur.

CCOF has developed a straightforward, comprehensive OSP as part of our organic certification... Read more

An amendment to an existing registration is required when an operation has one or more of the following changes to their registration:

Addition of new facilities or growing locations in California Change of ownership Addition of production acreage A  change/addition of operation type(s).

A registrant shall notify the Department of any change in the information reported on the... Read more

Any time you are considering a change to your organic production, you must update your Organic System Plan before making any changes and submit the update to ccof@ccof.org for review. Updating your OSP before making changes helps your operation avoid a Notice of Noncompliance and possible suspension of your certification. This includes changes to the following:

Change in management or... Read more

There are dozens of reasons to choose CCOF for your organic certification. Learn why CCOF should be your choice for certification or browse our website for more information.