How to Get Certified

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Are you thinking about getting certified organic but don’t know where to start? Impacted by the Strengthening Organic Rule and need to get certified? Don’t worry! Our support resources and friendly staff will assist you every step of the way. Our application form asks the right questions to ensure that you receive a packet customized with all the forms you need for organic certification.

Still need some convincing? Let us tell you why CCOF is the choice for organic certification.

So how is it done? In the simplest terms, organic certification involves an application, review, inspection, compliance review with the organic standards, and finally, certification for those who meet all the standards. CCOF provides resources and assistance along the way, so if you have questions, please review our FAQs, check out Certification Help, or just ask!

The Steps to Organic Certification

1. Submit application—your Organic System Plan (OSP)

The CCOF certification application, called an Organic System Plan (OSP), guides you through the required organic standards and helps you describe your organic practices. Get started now!

Your application includes a one-time $350 application fee. If you have any questions or require clarification, please don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our certification FAQs.

Certification typically requires 12 weeks or longer. Need certification fast? We can help with our Expedited Certification Program. This program guarantees expedited processing of your application and the following steps.

2. CCOF reviews application and OSP

A CCOF certification specialist will review your application to assess whether you are ready to move forward with organic certification, and will let you know if anything is missing or if you need to provide more clarification. We will arrange your onsite inspection and determine your annual certification fee once your OSP has been reviewed and accepted.

3. Inspection

The purpose of the inspection is to verify that what is detailed in your OSP is happening in practice. This is where your hard work pays off. All certified operations are inspected a minimum of once per year to ensure the integrity of your production. The inspector will submit your inspection report to the CCOF office for final review.

4. CCOF reviews inspection report

CCOF certification specialists will review the inspection report alongside your OSP for compliance and accuracy. Our staff will let you know of any issues or requests for further information.

5. Certification decision

Upon successful completion of the review process, you will receive a letter from CCOF informing you of your certification status and any requirements for ongoing certification.

6. Annual renewal contract and inspection

Each year your certification will be renewed and annual certification fees are due. To remain certified in good standing, every operation must be re-inspected annually and continue to update CCOF of any OSP changes, new labels, or other changes to your operation. Inspection costs are billed separately following your annual inspection. Questions about your certification? Contact your Certification Service Specialist.

We will continue to help you maintain and expand your certification and business as long as you remain certified by CCOF. Read more about why we are your choice for certification.

Want more information? Our certification FAQs are a great place to start.