Organic certification is a rigorous, multi-step process:
a) Companies must submit a detailed application, outlining the nature of their operation, the production/handling processes they use, and the products they produce. This is called an Organic Systems Plan.
b) Certifiers perform announced and unannounced on-site inspections, during which determine whether companies are in compliance with the National Organic Program. They compare companies’ Organic Systems Plans to practices and procedures that are followed on-site.
c) Certifiers audit companies’ records (i.e.: of purchases, inputs, ingredients), tracing products from their starting ingredients to their final stages of processing/production.
d) Companies are issued an official certificate affirming their organic certification.
*Photo courtesy of CCOF