Guides and Resources for Organic Certification

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Organic Certification Procedures Manual

Procedures manual for organic certification.

Introduction to Organic Certification

This video was created by Organic Certifiers to explain the organic certification process in the simplest terms possible and in under five minutes.  If you are interested in obtaining organic certification for the first time – this video will explain how to get started.

Guide to Organic Certification

This guide is an overview of organic certification.

Guide for Organic Crop Producers

New farmers, and farmers experienced in conventional agriculture, often find that obtaining organic certification for their crops is quite challenging. This guide is intended to help lead farmers through the organic certification process.

Organic Pre-Certification Process

This video is for crop producers who are obtaining certification for the first time.  It guides you through the pre-certification process and the paperwork involved.

Guide for Organic Processors

This publication is intended primarily as a guide for farmers who wish to add value to their organic crops through processing. It does not include the farm practices that are required to grow organic crops, raise organic livestock, or obtain organic certification for a farm.

Organic Cleaner and Sanitizer Guidance 

Cleaning and sanitizing is an important part of an organic system plan. The purpose of this document is to provide a brief overview of the typical cleaning/sanitizing process in an organic handling operation and what cleaners and sanitizers may be used. This document answers common questions about cleaning food contact surfaces and equipment.

Guide for Livestock Producers

This guide is an overview of the process of becoming certified organic. It is designed to explain the USDA organic regulations as they apply to livestock producers.

DMI Calculation Worksheet

This worksheet is to help calculate Dry Matter Intake (DMI) for ruminant producers. (dairy cows, beef cows, sheep, and goats).

Dry Matter Demand Tables

A guide to determining the dry matter demand for ruminants in different stages of life.

Guide for Conventional Farmers Transitioning to Organic Certification

This guide describes the recommended steps involved when a conventional farm wants to transition to organic practices.

NOP-Instruction-Responsibilities of Operations Changing Certifying Agents

This instruction document establishes U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) guidance and procedure for certified operations and accredited certifying agents (ACA) when certified operations change to a new ACA.

Labeling Organic Products

Organic products have strict production and labeling requirements, here is a guide to help organic producers meet these requirements.

Placement of Certification Statement

Clarification on the use and placement of certifier’s name in labeling.

Organic Integrity Database 

Find a specific certified organic operation or search for an operation with specific characteristics (ie. location, product, certifer, etc.).

The National Organic Program

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) administers the organic program in the US. You will find links to standards, appeals information, and lists of organic information maintained by the USDA

Sound and Sensible Resources 

This is a series of resource materials, created by the NOP. aimed at identifying and removing barriers to certification and streamlining the certification process.

OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute)

Founded in 1997, the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) provides organic certifiers, growers, manufacturers, and suppliers an independent review of products intended for use in certified organic production, handling, and processing. OMRI is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. When companies apply, OMRI reviews their products against the National Organic Standards. Acceptable products are OMRI Listed® and appear on the OMRI Products List. OMRI also provides subscribers and certifiers guidance on the acceptability of various material inputs in general under the National Organic Program.

Organic Trade Association

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America. OTA’s mission is to promote and protect organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public, and the economy. OTA envisions organic products becoming a significant part of everyday life, enhancing people’s lives and the environment.

The Organic Standard

The Organic Standard is an international monthly journal that enables individuals and organizations to keep up-to-date on developments concerning worldwide standards and certification issues in the organic sector.

All Organic Links

A list of many resources on the WEB for Organic information.

GMO Information Resource

The Organic & Non-GMO Report is the only monthly newsletter that provides information you need to respond to the challenges of genetically modified (GM) foods.

Organic Seed Finder

The purpose of this site is to allow organic seed vendors and potential customers to find one another.

CDFA Registration

Please visit the CDFA website to register your crop operation for the state organic program.

CDPH Registration

Please visit the CDPH website to register your handling/processing operation for the state organic program.

Cost Share Program

This is a general overview of the Cost Share Program which allows operations to be reimbursed for certification fees.

CDFA Cost Share Program

For California organic operations, you may apply here for reimbursement of up to 75% of certification fees ($750 max).

Organic Cosmetics Fact Sheet

This fact sheet is very useful in understanding the regulations for organic cosmetics.

USDA Organic Standard

Theses are the organic regulations according to the National Organic Program. This also includes the USDA National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.