USDA clarifies California organic certification requirements

USDA clarifies California organic certification requirements

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program recently clarified updated regulations in California to allow certifiers to issue approval faster.

Certifiers won’t have to wait for the state organic program’s registration to be complete, according to a notice from the USDA.

A policy change at the California State Organic Program (co-administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Department of Public Health) requires:

  • Organic producers/handlers of raw agricultural products in California must register with the CDFA;
  • Organic processors with facilities in the state must register with the CDPH;
  • Organic producers, handlers and processors that are not required to register with the CDPH (under the California Health and Safety Code — such as handlers of processed meat and dairy), must register with the CDFA;
  • Organic processors must provide proof of registration or proof an application has been submitted to the CFPH; and
  • Certifiers in the state must register with the CDFA.

The USDA’s policy memo clarifies that operations can provide proof they’ve registered with the CDPH, and can receive USDA organic certifications without waiting for the California organic program’s registration to be complete, according to the notice.

Related stories:

Albertsons exec to speak in Organic Produce Summit session

Homegrown Organic adds sales account managers

Homegrown Organic imports Chilean blueberries