CCOF Certification Services (CCOF CS) must ensure that every certified operation is inspected at least annually. With the high numbers of inspections that we coordinate, a given operation will typically have their annual inspections anywhere between seven and 16 months apart. Independent inspectors and inspection operations staff strive to plan and schedule efficient trips, which frequently requires scheduling multiple inspections per trip in order to substantially reduce the travel cost billed to each operation. Our inspection operations team bundles inspections in efficient groupings, then inspectors plan their trips as economically as possible and contact clients to secure appointments.
1. Be flexible! For routine inspections, CCOF CS tries to reasonably accommodate client scheduling preferences. However, the more flexible and accommodating you can be to the inspector’s desired appointment date and time, the better the chance that the inspector will be able to assemble a travel schedule that optimizes the travel cost per client.
2. Stay in touch. Scheduling inspections requires two-way communication. Timely communication is key for your inspector to be able to successfully optimize travel plans. The sooner you return their email or phone call, the less expensive your prep time charges and travel charges are likely to be. Once the time and date are confirmed by both you and the inspector, the inspector will usually work in other inspections around it. Therefore, cancelling or changing an inspection appointment is likely to disrupt the flow and efficiency of an entire inspection trip, affecting not only you, but also all the other clients involved.
3. Keep your contact information up to date. Check your MyCCOF page to review and update your contact information, or update it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your operation name/ code in the subject line. Provide details about the email address(es) and/or phone number(s) you need to update, and indicate which are the primary or first choices. We will capture and update this information so it is available to inspectors when they attempt to contact you.
The majority of CCOF CS operations cooperate in a timely manner to schedule inspections. In order to encourage cooperative and reliable scheduling, and to recoup a portion of costs associated with scheduling disruptions, CCOF may charge for time and expenses incurred plus a $50 penalty for inspections cancelled by the client with less than 48 hours’ notice. Additionally, at the second request to schedule an inspection, the client has five working days to respond, or CCOF CS may bill a $50 penalty. Continued failure to schedule an inspection results in a notice of noncompliance that must be resolved to maintain certification.
Inspections provide the backbone of credibility for your organic certification. This value is reflected in their expense and effort. Inspector travel and prep time impacts the final cost. By being flexible and responsive when scheduling your inspection, and by keeping your inspection appointments, you’ll be able to keep your inspection travel costs as low as possible.