CCOF evaluates inspection billing rates periodically to ensure we can provide excellent service, pay our inspectors competitive rates, and keep up with rising costs. The last increase to our inspection rates was a 10 percent increase in 2020. Travel rates have not increased since 2016, when an 11.5 percent increase was implemented. For 2023, we are raising rates 5–6 percent, which is more modest than in the past and is well below inflation since the last increase. Effective January 1, 2023, CCOF inspection billing rates will be the following:
We’ve removed the requirement for a signature on our Inspection Exit Interview Forms. The use of a signature was developed by CCOF, outside of the NOP regulations, and proved difficult in our fully-electronic inspection and review system. By submitting the exit interview to CCOF, our inspectors verify that the information is correct to their best knowledge. After your inspection the inspector will either leave a paper version with you or email an electronic version.
La certificación orgánica es parte integral del sistema agroalimentario, un servicio esencial. Durante una pandemia de salud pública con órdenes generalizadas de permanecer en casa, CCOF utilizará técnicas novedosas de inspección para continuar brindando servicios esenciales del sistema alimentario mientras se adhiere a las prácticas de distanciamiento social recomendadas por las agencias gubernamentales de salud. Todas las operaciones certificadas deben estar preparadas para inspección, deben mantener registros requeridos y deben tener un plan de sistema orgánico actualizado.
Organic certification is part of the critical infrastructure of food and agriculture, an essential service. During a public health pandemic with widespread stay-at-home orders, CCOF is using novel inspection techniques to continue providing essential food system services while adhering to social distancing practices as recommended by government health agencies. All certified operations should remain inspection-ready and maintain required records and a current organic system plan.
Organic certification and food safety certification are part of the critical infrastructure of food and agriculture, an essential service. Inspections are a critical part of the certification process, and we are frequently evaluating how we can safely conduct them during this time of pandemic restrictions.
Effective today, all CCOF organic inspections occurring in the United States are postponed with the exception of those necessary for new certifications with production within 60 days (i.e., new applications, add acreages, new facilities). Inspections for new certifications supports essential business infrastructure for our clients. These inspections may occur under the following conditions:
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.
To ensure continued consumer trust in the integrity of the organic label, CCOF constantly looks for ways to address fraud. One method we began in 2018 is cross-check auditing of CCOF-certified operations. A cross-check is a review of audit trail records across multiple producers or handlers to compare what was reported as grown and sold as organic to what was purchased, received, or processed as organic by another operation. Cross-checks are similar to in/out mass balance.
The winter months are when organic producers are busy pouring over seed catalogs, considering planting schedules and reviewing land or sales contracts. While not at the very top of the list of things to do, scheduling annual organic and food safety inspections also deserves attention. CCOF would like to help!
Organic producers are busy and have a lot going on, especially during harvest. Overlapping regulations and requirements for a modern farm and all the inspections that result have many producers experiencing “audit fatigue.” Since the inception of CCOF’s food safety program, organic growers have been asking for a combined food safety and organic inspection to reduce the amount of time these inspections take them away from what they love to do: work their farms.