I provide services, what do I need to do when processing for other organic operations?
Service providers such as nut hullers and coolers are a critical part of the organic supply chain, ensuring that organic producers have certified locations to handle their crops or products. Service providers must verify the organic status of incoming crops or products. While a customer may have brought in organic product in the past, many operations are mixed or may have transitional parcels, meaning that not all product from the same customer is certified organic. Or a customer may have had their certification suspended or revoked since they last requested services. Although it may appear that treating all crops as organic is harmless, it creates the potential for fraud in the supply chain when records generated by you, the service provider, indicate that a crop was handled organically if the original crop is not certified organic.
Service providers are responsible for verifying the organic status of each incoming shipment of crops or products prior to processing or handling as organic by doing the following:
- Documents received with shipments must list organic status and parcel or lot number for product received.
- Documents showing organic status must be from the customer or farm (not be created by the service provider). The supplier of the product must make the organic claim independently to you.
- Service providers must verify that the parcel or product you received is on the producer's current organic certificate.
CCOF will verify at inspection that service providers compare the parcel or lot number received to the producer’s current organic certificate. If a service provider does not verify organic status, you may be held responsible for processing non-organic product as organic and receive a noncompliance. Product mixed with non-organic product may lose organic status and there may be potential for civil penalties.