Look Out for a New Rule that will Significantly Change the National Organic Program

The Policy Team and Certification staff are gearing up for the release of proposed changes to the National Organic Program (NOP). While the official rule, called the Strengthening Organic Enforcement proposed rule, is not out yet, the NOP has released a pre-published draft and other resources on their website.

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.

Strengthening Oversight of Uncertified Handlers in the Supply Chain - Uncertified Handler Affidavit

This is advance notification of an update that will print in our next magazine. Additionally, an action item will appear for all potentially affected CCOF-certified operations. If you source from uncertified brokers, traders, wholesalers, or distributers, submit an Uncertified Handler Affdavit (UHA)  for each uncertified supplier at or before your next inspection and be prepared for additional audit trail verification during inspection.

Postharvest Handling Draft Guidance is Open for Comment

On April 25, 2014 the National Organic Program released a proposed guidance document regarding Substances Used in Postharvest Handling of Organic Products. This guidance addresses the materials that may be used in on-farm or other immediate postharvest situations. This guidance clarifies some confusion between what materials, such as diatomaceous earth or carbon dioxide, could be used in what contexts in a postharvest setting. Comments are due by June 24.

Less Paperwork for Alcohol Beverage Producers!

On June 12, 2012, the TTB announced that a copy of the organic certificate is no longer required to accompany any Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) application for alcohol beverages labeled as “100% Organic,” “Organic,” and “Made with Organic (specific ingredients).” You are now only required to submit a copy of the approved label with the “CCOF approved” stamp, along with your COLA application.