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OTCO provides certification services for operations that produce crops and livestock, or handle organic products. Each broad category features established classes of certification to address the unique attributes and activities of different operations. A single operation may be certified under more than one category and class of certification, depending on the scope of its activities. The standards are available on the USDA NOP website.
Farms producing agricultural and horticultural crops, wild harvested crops, as well as pasture areas used for livestock grazing.
Farms with livestock production practices and animals, including end products for sale such as meat, eggs, and milk.
Processors and handlers
Processors of organic foods, co-packers, packers, brokers, wholesalers, distributors, and marketers of organic food products.
Restaurants and retailers
Retail stores and restaurants that sell organic products to the consumer, either as fresh produce, packaged goods, or ready-to-eat meals.
OTCO is pleased to offer transitional certification services. This service acts as a stepping stone, assisting farmers throughout the transformation from non-organic to organic production. Visit our Help Center to learn more about transitional certification and how it can help with the transition process. Land use records must document a minimum of nine months without any use of prohibited materials to be eligible for application. Certification can only be granted once land is free of prohibited materials for one year. Once certified, you will be subject to review and inspection just like all current organic certified clients. After three years, and with the approval of an Organic System Plan, you are eligible for organic certification.
Two options are available for organic certification of personal care products. Personal care products making organic claims such as “100% organic,” “organic” and “made with organic” are eligible for review under the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). However, NOP regulations do not apply to some personal care products such as soaps and lotions, which have non-food ingredients and require different manufacturing processes than food products. For those products, OTCO provides certification services for the NSF/ANSI 305 Organic Personal Care Products standard to certify products that contain a minimum of 70 percent organic ingredients. These standards are available for purchase at the NSF website.
OTCO certifies to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), an organic fiber certification program dedicated to fiber and textile handling and production. The standard defines requirements to ensure organic status of textile to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer, including harvesting of raw materials, environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing, and labeling. All phases of textile production — and all facilities — require evaluation by an organic certifier for traceability and compliance with organic standards.
OTCO, in partnership with Salmon-Safe, provides Salmon-Safe certification to organic farmers — crop and livestock — that further protect biodiversity and aquatic habitat while helping to redefine the practice of ecologically sustainable agriculture. OTCO-certified farmers are eligible to receive a flat fee ($95) assessment for Salmon-Safe certification during an annual organic inspection. For farms, we co-developed an overlay standard that addresses riparian area management, irrigation water use, pest management and erosion control criteria that are either not covered or are covered only indirectly, under organic certification.Certification is valid for three years.
Salmon-Safe website Application Instructions
OTCO has partnered with The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation to create Bee Better Certified™. The certification program identifies and celebrates farmers and businesses that adopt farm management practices that support pollinators. We evaluate and certify farms based on the amount and quality of habitat created as well as the incorporation of pest management strategies aimed at protecting crop pollinators. Bee Better Certified™ is good for three years; however, the program requires well-documented annual updates.
Bee Better Certified™ website
OTCO, in cooperation with Earth Claims LLC, and The Organic Plus Trust (OPT) provides OPT Certified Grass-Fed Organic certification to organic farmers and handlers with Grass-Fed livestock products.
OPT Certified Grass-Fed Organic identifies farmers and businesses who are maximizing the use of pasture grazing, minimizing grain in all forms and maximizing animal well being. The program is underpinned by the National Organic Program (NOP) and builds upon the existing requirements. Certification is valid for one year and available for renewal upon inspection.
Our know-how and credibility in organic certification are valued and known beyond the U.S., reaching into Canada, the EU, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and other countries. OTCO provides technical assistance and services to help certified organic clients access export opportunities for raw and processed organic products to international markets. We offer an integrated approach to deliver your operation clear and practical support in navigating individual country requirements.
Our Help Center is filled with FAQs, guides, blank forms, and other tools to help you manage your certification services with ease.
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