Using a co-packer

A co-packer — also known as a co-manufacturer — processes products for different companies based on individual specifications and can vary in size and scope. Co-packers provide services such as ingredient sourcing, packaging, labeling, manufacturing, product development and distribution.

Only operations that physically manufacture, process, package/re-pack, or label/re-label organic products are required to obtain organic certification. If you contract someone else to produce organic products for you, and only sell the finished packaged and labeled product, you do not require certification. Your co-packer or custom manufacturer is required to be certified.

Labels for USDA National Organic Program certified products must identify the handler and the certifier on the ingredient panel. If your label states “Certified organic by Oregon Tilth” below your handler information — and the handler is not certified by OTCO — you will need a Private Label Agreement.


As an uncertified brand owner, even if your label says “Certified organic by Oregon Tilth,” that does not mean you are certified, or that you can take your product to a separate manufacturer and use the same label without submitting labels to their certifier for compliance.

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