PCO is a USDA-accredited organic certifying agency that educates and certifies growers, processors and handlers of organic crops, wild crops, livestock and livestock products in the contiguous United States. PCO is also proud to be an accredited certifying agent for OPT Certified Grass-Fed Organic Certification, which is a separate program that builds upon upon the organic standards.
PCO certifies operations in accordance with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) regulations, a set of rules for the production, handling, and labeling of organic agricultural products in the United States. The NOP also maintains a handbook of additional guidance and instructions for those who own, manage, or certify organic operations to assist in complying with the regulations. Additional resources and information about organic certification can be found on the USDA AMS website.
Great certifying agency that is small enough to have a personal feeling, but large enough to give you great service.Meghan Klotzbach,
VP Sales, Marketing & Operations,
Mother Earth, LLC
To become certified, an organic producer, processor or handler must develop, implement and maintain an Organic System Plan. That’s where PCO comes in. We provide the information and forms that help guide producers, processors or handlers in developing an Organic System Plan.
Once PCO approves an organic system plan, PCO will send a qualified organic inspector to perform an onsite evaluation of the organic operation. Then, based on our review of the Organic System Plan, inspection report and related documents, PCO determines whether the operation meets the requirements of organic certification. Once certified, an Organic System Plan update and inspection is required annually to continue certification.
Organic certification is not a guarantee of quality or purity of the product. Rather, it is evidence of the operation’s adherence to a prescribed system of agriculture and food production that involves the building and enhancing of the soil naturally, protection of the environment, humane treatment of animals, and avoidance of toxic synthetic substances.
The total process takes 6-12 weeks and PCO is your guide along the way. If you are not ready to apply, consider our Transition Services, which will include PCO support during your transition period.
If you would like to begin the application process or receive additional information about PCO’s certification program, complete the PCO Application Form. We will send you a packet of information via postal mail or email as per your request. There is no charge to receive application paperwork.PCO Application Form