The National Organic Program requires that producers search for organic strawberry starts prior to using non-organic starts. CCOF is aware that organic strawberry starts are commercially available from Innovative Organic Nursery.
As a process-based standard, we are committed to continual improvement and the use of commercially available seed, starts, and ingredients as intended in the letter and spirit of organic. This helps ensure a robust organic ecosystem and supports our shared efforts to meet consumer expectations. When a single viable source exists for a given product or ingredient, it is inappropriate for searches to not include that source prior to the selection and purchase of a non-organic alternative.
In order to ensure appropriate compliance, operations must include this known source of organic starts in their commercial availability search for 2019 production. During inspections, we will be verifying that strawberry producers are contacting providers of organic strawberry starts, including Innovative Organic Nursery, to source organic versions in the appropriate form, quality, and quantity. Please retain documentation of your search in the form of notes or records provided by the nursery itself.