OPT Grass-Fed Organic Certification
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 is an optional service and built upon, but separate from, organic certification.
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. OTCO-certified organic farmers and handlers are eligible to receive a flat rate fee ($350) in addition to annual certification and inspection fees.
Use of the OPT Certified Grass-Fed Organic seal on any labeling, packaging or marketing materials other than the OPT Certificate, requires a completed and signed licensing agreement with OPT. See the seal section for more information.
General Requirements for all operations:
- Must be certified organic to USDA NOP standards by OTCO. If not already certified, Operations may seek USDA NOP and OPT Grass-Fed certification concurrently
- Must be inspected annually, normally in conjunction with the organic inspection
- Must implement sufficient segregation practices for the grass-fed supply chain and ensure prevention of contamination and commingling
Producer General Requirements:
- Be certified by an animal welfare program approved by OPT — currently, Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) is the approved program
- Establish a minimum 150 day grazing season
- A minimum of 60 percent of an animal’s dry matter intake (DMI) must come from grazing throughout the grazing season
- Maximize the use of animal harvested forage in each animal’s diet and reduce the use of grain supplements
- Supplementation with specific feedstuffs, as identified in the Standard, when necessary to maintain nutritional stability and optimal rumen welfare
Livestock operations wishing to apply for OPT Certified Grass-Fed Organic certification must complete the Certified Grass-Fed Organic Livestock Plan (OPT-L) addendum, and operations further processing (including on-farm certified handling and processing) livestock products must complete the Certified Grass-Fed Organic Product Plan (OPT-P).
Certification is valid for one year and available for renewal upon inspection.