Additional OTCO certification services
OTCO has partnered with The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation to create Bee Better Certified™.
Bee Better Certified™ certification 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. Learn more about Bee Better Certified™ fees.
Bee Better Certified™ is available to both conventional and organic operations.
OTCO, in partnership with Salmon-Safe, provides Salmon-Safe certification to organic farmers and handlers that further protect biodiversity and aquatic habitat while helping to redefine the practice of ecologically sustainable agriculture.
Salmon-Safe certification is an optional service and independent of organic certification.
OTCO-certified organic farmers — crop and livestock — are eligible to receive a flat fee ($95) assessment for Salmon-Safe certification to occur during your annual organic inspection. 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 covered only indirectly, under organic certification.
Certification is valid for three years and available for renewal upon inspection.
#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.
#NSF/ANSI 305 Personal Care standard
NSF/ANSI 305 Personal Care standard is a private, specific organic standard for personal care products. The standard was developed to encourage greater participation in the manufacturing of personal care products using organically grown ingredients. Additionally, the standard addresses issues around chemical processes, terminology, commercial availability of ingredients, product composition, ingredient calculations, and labeling.
A NSF/ANSI 305 certified product must contain at least 70 percent organic content (by weight) to qualify for certification.
The NSF/ANSI 305 standard is the only U.S. national standard for personal care products to make “contains organic ingredients” claims. To become certified to this standard, personal care product operators must undergo a thorough evaluation and review by an accredited third-party certifier like OTCO.
NSF/ANSI 305 follows the same guiding principles as the USDA NOP:
- Protect the environment
- Avoid the use of toxic ingredients in the manufacturing of organic products
- Ensure traceability and organic integrity
NSF/ANSI 305 products make use of organic agricultural ingredients and non-GMO ingredients, provide assurances that manufacturing and storage is free from contamination or commingling, require quality recordkeeping to ensure traceability of ingredients, and only use environmentally benign processing methods for non-organic ingredients.
#Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a comprehensive certification service for any step throughout the textile supply chain.
A product can only carry a GOTS label if all steps in its supply chain are inspected and approved. This includes the organic certification of the raw materials. GOTS identifies the organic content in a final product in five different ways:
1. “Organic” is considered equal to or greater than 95 percent organic materials, with the additional five percent of materials meeting all GOTS requirements
2. “Made with ___ percent organic materials” is considered equal to or greater than 70 percent organic materials, with up to 30 percent of added materials meeting all GOTS requirements
3. “Organic in conversion” is considered equal to or greater than 95 percent of transitional materials used as defined by GOTS requirements
4. “Made with ___ percent organic in conversion” is considered equal to or greater than 70 percent transitional materials, with up to 30 percent of added materials meeting all GOTS requirements
5. “Converted materials label” covers all products that contain a component — the material can be labeled, not the whole product — of GOTS-certified organic material (e.g., furniture, stroller, etc.)
Who needs GOTS certification
All the steps in the supply chain — for a GOTS-certified end product — must be certified (e.g., ginning, wool scouring, cut and sew operations, mattress manufacturers, etc.). Additionally, anyone who trades in GOTS goods over 5,000 Euro a year, as well as repackages or relabels products, must be certified.
Retailers are not required to be certified but can apply.
Some examples of GOTS-certified operations: cotton gin, garnetter, spinner, knitter, weaver, wool carder, dyehouse, wet processing facilities, importer/trader, and distribution warehouses where garments are folded, bagged, and labeled.