recordkeeping help and templates

What sort of records should retailers maintain to demonstrate compliance with the regulations?

Although retailers are exempt from the requirement of being certified, they must still keep sufficient records demonstrating compliance to the standards. Records should include date of purchase, source, quantities, and organic certificates listing the specifics for organic products you purchase. Records should also include documentation of methods used for prevention of commingling and contact with prohibited substances, such as sanitizers, pest control materials, and non-organic products. Records are very important if the organic status of a product sold by you is ever questioned.

What resources are available to help me with my certification and recordkeeping?

Recordkeeping and organization are important aspects of certification, so we've created helpful documents and sample forms to assist our clients with these challenges. Our Organic Farm Certification Support Package and Organic Handler Certification Support Package provide collections of recordkeeping templates, designed to help you understand organic certification requirements and maintain the appropriate records.

What is a lot number?

A lot number is a tracking system that links the organic product back to the farmer or incoming ingredient. The lot numbering system provides critical information regarding the origin of the products being used by processors/handlers, especially in the age of increased food safety requirements.

Both incoming and outgoing products should include lot numbers to allow both recall and ingredient tracking throughout the system. Common outgoing lot numbers include production dates, roasting or best by dates, and sequential numbering systems.

What is an Audit Trail?

The best way to imagine an audit trail is to think of a food safety product recall. If you found out that a specific lot of an organic ingredient was contaminated, you would use your recordkeeping system to determine which final batches of product that ingredient went into. An audit trail is the collection of documents that would allow you to do that.

“Audit trail” includes all records of purchases, internal movement, and sales of inputs, ingredients, intermediates, and final products. Have these records organized and accessible.