Organic Certification: The Process
STEP 1: Request an Application Package from Organic Certifiers
You can request an application package by choosing one of the following options:
- Click the “Get Certified” tab on our website and complete the prompts
- Email our Sales & Marketing Coordinator, Molly, at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call us at 805-684-6494
STEP 2: Submit your completed application documents & deposit
You can submit your documents choosing one of the following options:
- Email documents to our Sales & Marketing Coordinator, Molly, at email@example.com
- Mail documents to Organic Certifiers 6500 Casitas Pass Rd, Ventura, CA 93001
- Fax documents to (805) 684-2767
You can submit your deposit choosing one of the following options:
- Use the “Pay” tab on our website
- Mail a check to Organic Certifiers Inc. 6500 Casitas Pass Rd, Ventura, CA 93001
STEP 3: Organic Certifiers reviews your application
Organic Certifiers pairs you with a Certification Specialist from our team of qualified individuals. Your Certification Specialist (CS) is your main contact at Organic Certifiers who provides one-on-one assistance with navigating your certification.
The CS will conduct the initial review of the application materials you submitted to ensure that the practices are described in sufficient detail and the operation appears eligible. He/She/They will follow up with you if any additional information is required prior to proceeding to the inspection step.
As a USDA accredited certification agency (ACA) we cannot advise you on how to comply with the regulations but rather we confirm if you operate in compliance with the regulations. Let us know if you would like any resources to an outside consultant who can provide additional guidance for your scope.
STEP 4: An inspector visits your site(s)
After the initial review is complete, the applicant is assigned to inspection. One of our contracted inspectors will reach out to schedule a date/time visit your location. The inspector will make observations to verify the practices stated in the application are being followed.
STEP 5: Inspection Report & Final Review
Once the on-site inspection is complete, the inspector submits the Inspection Report to Organic Certifiers, at which point, our Final Review Team will review all documents to verify compliance. Once the Final Review Team has completed their assessment of your ability to comply with the program, you will receive the Inspection Report along with the Notice of Decision, via email. The Notice of Decision may contain a list of requests that must be resolved within 30 days of issuance of the Notice.
Your Certification Specialist (CS) will be available to assist you in resolving the requests (if any). Once all requests (if any) have been resolved, a Notice of Resolution is issued. Resolution of the requests (if any) in the Notice of Decision will confirm your ability to comply with the National Organic Program.
STEP 6: Organic Certificate is issued
Upon final approval and payment of the invoice, Organic Certifiers will generate your Organic Certificate and the process is complete.
How long does the process take? Approx. 2-3 months
The certification process takes approximately 2-3 months to complete from the time you submit a complete Application Package (including deposit). The speed of the process can be affected by how complete the application is when submitted, how complex your organic operation is, and/or how quickly you respond to requests for information during the review process.
We offer an expedite service to complete certification in approximately 4-6 weeks for an additional fee. Please contact us for more information about our prices.
*Due to COVID-19, the timeline may be impacted!
Organic Certification is ongoing and must be renewed annually. Your renewal or anniversary date will be displayed on your certificate. We will send you courtesy reminders when it is time to begin the process over again.
In order to initiate the renewal of organic certification, you will need to complete these two tasks:
1. Complete the provided Annual Update Summary form indicating whether or not there are any changes to your operation
2. Submit payment for the next certification cycle
Your Certification Specialist will be available to answer questions you may have about your renewal. If you decide you do not want to renew, you will need to complete a Voluntary Surrender form to properly exit the National Organic Program and avoid adverse penalties.
As a friendly reminder, Organic Certifiers is required by the National Organic Program to randomly select operators for unannounced inspections and pull samples for residue analysis throughout the year.
Watch the Introduction to Organic Certification Video Below:
We hope to become your USDA Organic Certification partner!
Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Call (805) 684-6494 or email firstname.lastname@example.org