Certification Support Resources
Our support resources help you develop your Organic System Plan, maintain your recordkeeping systems, and find needed assistance. If you have a specific question or want a basic overview of organic certification, our Frequently Asked Questions are a great place to start.
One of the key challenges for organic farmers and processors is ensuring that all materials used in their operations comply with NOP requirements. This process includes selecting organic seed, using allowed inputs or processing aids, and providing the required access to pasture for livestock. The following resources will help you stay in compliance.
Organic Seed Resources
Our organic seed resources explain the requirements for using organic seed, the procedures for documenting your seed search if you aren’t able to find the type of seed you need, and provide contact information for companies selling organic seed.
Organic Ingredient Sources
Our searchable online directory is a good place to find certified organic ingredients for your products. You’ll find other sources listed on the ingredient sources resource page.
How to Find Out if a Farm or Livestock Input is Allowed
Read our flyer on how to find out if farm or livestock input is allowed and be sure to follow the outlined steps and get CCOF approval before using any materials. You may also want to review our liquid fertilizer information.
Our natural resources conservation information helps farmers develop the Natural Resources section of their OSP.
Pasture Rule Compliance
There are specific rules for livestock operations concerning pasture access and grazing for ruminant animals. Our Pasture Rule tools and resources will help you determine how to stay compliant.
Recordkeeping is an essential part of organic certification. Our Recordkeeping Tools can help you build an effective system that fits your operation.
OSP Walk-Through Service
Get yourself or your staff up to speed on maintaining your OSP as quickly as possible with CCOF’s new OSP Walk-Through Service. Walk-throughs are led by a CCOF Certification Specialist and can be customized for your specific operation. Learn more and register for a walk-through today!
Growers can refer to the following:
- Recordkeeping tools
- Biodiversity & Natural Resource Cost-Based Monitoring Log
- Biodiversity & Natural Resource Monitoring Log
- Sample Input Record (Organic Farm Input Report)
- Affidavit of Land History
- Neighbor Notification and Drift Prevention Letter
- Organic Labeling guides and resources
- Food Safety Services for Organic Farms
- Farmers’ Market Best Practices Guidelines
Handlers can refer to the following:
- Organic Labeling guides and resources
- Sample Equipment Cleaning Log
- Sample Handler Audit Trail
- Recordkeeping tools
CCOF Certification Tips
Maintaining organic certification isn't always easy, so we developed these handy tips on certain aspects of certification.
- Certification Tips for Growers and Handlers
- Certification Tips for Livestock Operations
- Introduction to Livestock Certification
- Allowed Livestock Medications
- How to Develop Compliant Organic Labels
- Organic Labeling Guidelines
Need more certification help?
Organic Consultants and Ag Advisors
CCOF cannot actively consult our clients regarding organic certification compliance. To assist you, we provide a list of Organic Consultants and Organic Ag Advisors as a resource to any company or farm seeking assistance with developing an Organic System Plan or other operational or regulatory matters. The listed agricultural advisors; supporting members; and regulatory, processing, and organic consultants are provided courtesy of CCOF.
The National Organic Program (NOP) has developed a helpful website with fact sheets and sends out an e-newsletter to alert certified operations and certifiers of changes to organic standards. Sign up for the Organic Insider to hear about updates at the same time as CCOF!
CCOF is a subscriber to the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), which publishes materials information to make it easier for certified clients to research materials for use on/in certified operations. While these material lists are no longer formal CCOF manuals, the OMRI Generic Materials and Product Lists service as additional guidance documents to CCOF clients. Clients may request a copy of the OMRI lists from us.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture also reviews and lists products allowed on/in organic operations. Access WSDA materials information.
ATTRA (National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service) provides a wealth of organic farming and processing information, as well as sample documentation forms and a special Ask an Expert forum. Find out how ATTRA can get you the help you need.
Labeling requirements for alcoholic beverages (wine, beer, and spirits) are regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Labels for certified organic alcoholic beverages must be pre-approved by CCOF before they are submitted to the TTB for final approval. You can find requirements and labeling guidelines on the TTB website.
Are you trying to figure out how to price your produce? Check out Rodale Institute’s Organic Price Report.
The Western Region Organic Farming Compliance Handbook provides resources to new and currently certified organic farms and agricultural professionals. This important resource contains sample forms, certification readiness checklists, and helpful explanations of a variety of issues relating to organic standards and the certification process.
Are you trying to decide if organic is right for you? The Organic Trade Association's (OTA) How to Go Organic website provides information for producers and processors on specific issues from a wide variety of sources to help you find answers to your questions and determine what’s needed to get started.
Determining the nutrient value of cover crops, fertilizers, and compost doesn’t have to be hit-or-miss, thanks to Oregon State University’s Organic Fertilizer and Cover Crop Calculator. Developed by OSU’s Small Farms Extension Team, the free online Excel calculator will help you design well-balanced and cost-effective nutrient management programs for your farm.
If you are in the Midwest and need assistance with pre-certification business planning and preparation, the nonprofit Organic Processing Institute is a good resource. They help farmers and processors by facilitating technical assistance, networking, and education to ensure sustainable business success.
Do you need legal help? Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG) is a nonprofit law center dedicated to providing legal services and support to family farmers and their communities in order to help keep family farmers on the land.