Organic Certification

Americert Organic is a USDA accredited certifying agent under the USDA National Organic Program. We operate throughout the United States and internationally. When you are ready to apply for organic certification, please use the forms listed below for your operation type. If you are in the initial stages of investigating organic certification but not ready to apply for certification at this time, please review the certification fact sheet put together by the USDA National Organic Program and then scroll to the bottom of this page and review the resource listings. The USDA NOP organic regulations can be viewed here.

 

Organic Certification for Handlers, Distributors, Manufacturers and Brokers:

Please contact Americert International if you have questions about the certification process, or to receive an individualized estimate of the costs of certification for your operation. To obtain an estimate please complete the  Request for Estimate form  and send it to use via email, fax, or postal mail.

When you are ready to apply for certification, please download the following forms. These are in Adobe PDF format and may be completed on your computer and either saved and emailed to Americert or printed and mailed or faxed to Americert when they are complete. Please note that fees are due at the time of submission of your application.

1.Request for Estimate Form

2.Handler Plan and Application

3. Organic Product Profile

4. Appendices form--download this one only if upon filling out the application form, the instructions direct you to complete the appendices form.

Please contact the Americert office if you have any questions about the forms, form submission, or what is required to commence the certification process.

 

Organic Certification for Farms, Growers, and Crop Producers:

Please contact Americert International if you have questions about the certification process, or to receive an individualized estimate of the costs of certification for your operation. To obtain an estimate, please download and complete the Request for Estimate Form then send it back via email, fax, or postal mail. We will get you an individualized quote immediately.

When you are ready to apply for certification, please download the following forms. These are in Adobe PDF format and may be completed on your computer and either saved and emailed to Americert or printed and mailed or faxed to Americert when they are complete. Please note that fees are due at the time of submission of your application.

1.Request for Estimate Form

2. Grower Plan and Application

3. Field History Form.

4. Appendices form--download this one only if upon filling out the application form, the instructions direct you to complete the appendices form.

Please contact the Americert office if you have any questions about the forms, form submission, or what is required to commence the certification process.

 

Resources for Organic Operations and  Applicants

USDA National Organic Program (NOP) Created Resources:

Websites:

www.ams.usda.gov/nop-main home page of the USDA NOP program.

View the Organic Regulations here.

Resources to Download:

2014 Americert Guidance on Labeling: Avoiding Common Errors in Labeling.

USDA NOP Organic Labeling Guidance 09.15.12: Explains what has to be certified, the three label claims available to certified operations, and what can and cannot appear on labels.

USDA NOP Certification Fact Sheet 09.15.12: Explains the certification process and what can be certified.

USDA NOP-Is Organic and Option for Me? 09.15.12: A good overview of organic production and certification.

USDA Organic 101 Webinar: What does the USDA organic label mean? How does the USDA support it? What are the requirements? How is the program operated? How does one get certified?

USDA Organic 201 Webinar: How are the standards and certification governed and enforced? What is the role of organic system plans? What do the organic standards require? How is monitoring and enforcement conducted?

 

National Sustainable Agriculture  Information Service/ATTRA:

Also known as ATTRA, the NSAIS provides a bounty of resources for organic operations and those interested in organic agriculture.

https://attra.ncat.org/organic.html-Main webpage with many great resources.

https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/organic_seed/-Organic Seed Source Directory

https://attra.ncat.org/risk_management/srmgateway.html-Organic Resource Directory for Southern Organic Farmers

Selected resources for download:

Crops:

ATTRA Overview of Organic Crop Regulations- /media/AA/AU/americertorganic-com/downloads/240593/ATTRA_Overview_of_Organic_Crop_Requirements.pdf

ATTRA Organic Crops Compliance Workbook- /media/AA/AU/americertorganic-com/downloads/240603/ATTRA_crops_compliance_workbook.pdf

ATTRA Crop Compliance Checklist for Organic Producers- /media/AA/AU/americertorganic-com/downloads/240613/ATTRA_compliance_checklist_for_organic_producers.pdf

ATTRA Model Recordkeeping Forms and Documentation for Organic Crop Producers- /media/AA/AU/americertorganic-com/downloads/240623/ATTRA_documentationforms_for_crop_and_livestock.pdf

ATTRA Model Forms, Letters, and Documentation for Organic Crop Producers- /media/AA/AU/americertorganic-com/downloads/240633/ATTRA_Forms__Docs_and_Sample_Letters_for_OrganicProducers.pdf

ATTRA Materials Review and Allowed Inputs Guide-/media/AA/AU/americertorganic-com/downloads/240643/ATTRA_Organic_Materials_Compliance_Guide.pdf

Handlers:

ATTRA Overview of Organic Handler Regulations-/media/AA/AU/americertorganic-com/downloads/240653/ATTRA_Overview_of_Organic_Handling_Requirements.pdf

ATTRA Organic Handler Compliance Checklist-/media/AA/AU/americertorganic-com/downloads/240663/ATTRA_compliance_checklist_for_organic_handlers.pdf

 

Other Websites of Note:

OMRI-The Organic Materials Review Institute is a not for profit organization that reviews brand name products for compliance with the USDA National Organic Program regulations and maintains a list of products by brand name and their status under the USDA NOP organic regulations. They also provide a searchable index for the status of generic inputs. OMRI is one the most persuasive and recognized resources for the status of allowed, prohibited, and restricted materials under the USDA NOP organic regualtions. It is a good place to start in trying to identify brand name products for use in organic agriculture. Just because a product is not listed in OMRI does not mean it is not allowed. Please always contact your certifier for a definitive decision on whether a product is allowed, prohibited, or restricted under the USDA NOP. And never use a product until you have requested approval for the product use from your certifier.

Washington State Department of Agriculture-WSDA maintains another well respected list of approved materials under the USDA NOP. It is a good place to start in trying to identify brand name products for use in organic agriculture. Just because a product is not listed by WSDA does not mean it is not allowed. Please always contact your certifier for a definitive decision on whether a product is allowed, prohibited, or restricted under the USDA NOP. And never use a product until you have requested approval for the product use from your certifier.



ANNUAL UPDATE FORMS AND PROCEDURES 


The USDA National Organic Program, through its "Sound and Sensible" initiative, has encouraged accredited certifiers to simply the process of certified operations submitting their annual updates, so as to reduce the paperwork burden associated with organic certification. In accordance with the "Sound and Sensible" approach, Americert International has made some modifications to the renewal process and forms, and in particular has created a simplified annual update form for operations renewing their certification annually. The new handler update and grower update forms require that operations verify no changes to aspects of their operation which have not changed, rather than submitting all of the original paperwork again. This simplified update process should cut in half the number of pages of forms to be completed each year. Under the new process, each operation type should:


For Handlers:

NOTE: You will need Adobe Reader to open the form. Also please note that if you open it in your browser it will not function properly--you will need to download it and then open it in Adobe Reader in order to be able to type into and save the form.

Complete the annual update form, complete, and submit it back to Americert with the following attachments:

1. Complete the Organic Handler Update Form

2.Completed Organic Product Profiles for each product for which certification is sought.

3. Copies of updated supplier certificates.

4. Any attachments reflecting revisions or changes to the handler plan since last year.

5. Copies of labels for each product for which certification is sought, unless there have been no changes.

6. Annual renewal fees.


For Growers:

NOTE: You will need Adobe Reader to open the form. Also please note that if you open it in your browser it will not function properly--you will need to download it and then open it in Adobe Reader in order to be able to type into and save the form.

1. Complete the Grower Annual Update form, complete, and submit it back to Americert with the following attachments:

2. Any attachments reflecting revisions or changes to the grower plan since last year.

3. Copies of labels for each product for which certification is sought, unless there have been no changes.

4. Annual renewal fees.

You will need a copy of your last approved organic system plan to complete the update form. Please contact Americert International if you need a copy of the last approved system plan.

  

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