Self-Attestation Removed from U.S. – Canada Organic Equivalence

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has clarified their import policy for USDA certified organic products traded under the United States-Canada Organic Equivalence Arrangement (USCOEA). 

As of April 30, 2020, all certified USDA organic products imported to Canada must be accompanied by an organic certificate that includes the following attestation statement: “Certified in accordance with the terms of the U.S. – Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement.” 

MyCCOF Action Item Tracker – Respond to CCOF Requests

As of March 1, 2020, only action items that require a direct response are available in MyCCOF Action Item Tracker (Tracker). This change has been implemented to streamline Tracker and make the response process easier for you. 

You may have additional guidance or requests that must be demonstrated at your next inspection that are no longer displayed in Tracker. These items still require your attention and are available on your current Compliance Report. Always refer to your Compliance Report for a complete picture of your compliance standing.

NOP Releases Policy Memo on Container Production and Land Use History

Jenny Tucker, the deputy administrator of the USDA National Organic Program, released a policy memo on June 3, 2019 regarding land use history requirements for container based production systems. This memo clarified that all container systems “including hydroponic and other pot-based systems with or without soil must meet land requirements of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the USDA organic regulations.” The regulations require that land must not have prohibited materials applied for three years prior to the harvest of an organic crop.

New FAQs for Certified Co-Packers and Private Label Owners

If you process products for a Private Label Owner or use a CCOF Certified Co-Packer to process your certified organic products, take a look at our new FAQs for details about which forms you’ll need to submit to CCOF for review.

What do I need to send to CCOF if I am a private label owner and my products are processed by a certified co-packer?

Be Prepared for Additional Review of Uncertified Handlers

Without the additional oversight provided by the certification process, uncertified handlers are a source of potential fraud in the organic supply chain. Beginning in late 2017, CCOF increased oversight of uncertified handlers by verifying additional audit trail records during inspections and with an Uncertified Handler Affidavit (UHA). The UHA helps us determine if an uncertified handler is legitimately excluded from certification. This change is in line with National Organic Program expectations and other certifiers’ reviews of supply chains.

Reviewing Websites Now a Bigger Part of Inspections and Certification

As organic operations and the internet have matured, we are now faced with many businesses that have a website or whose entire sales and marketing are based on an online presence. We are adopting a new approach toward the websites of certified operations to ensure a level playing field and avoid consumer confusion.

Unknown Inputs Status Must Be Resolved or Removed From Your List

During material re-reviews, CCOF may not be able to determine the status of a material. Often this is because the manufacturer is unresponsive or the material is no longer in production. However, it is also possible that the material no longer meets organic standards.
When CCOF is unable to make a compliance determination regarding a material, it is classified as “Unknown” on your OSP-Materials List (OSP-ML).

Service Providers' Role in Organic Integrity

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. CCOF has a flexible approach to certification of certain types of service providers. This approach relies on the service provider’s system for verifying certification status of incoming crops or products.