Aug 12, 2020
California Certified Organic Farmers get highest possible performance rating
CCOF is the leading organic certifier in North America, headquartered in Santa Cruz, California, but certifying organic businesses across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Complementing their organic certification offerings, CCOF also provides GFSI benchmarked food safety certifications to GLOBALG.A.P.’s Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) standards. GLOBALG.A.P. is a global organization “with a crucial objective: safe, sustainable agriculture worldwide. We set voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products around the globe.”
“There’s a lot of overlap between organic and food safety requirements,” says Jacob Guth, director of food safety for CCOF. With a long history in organic, CCOF brings an important perspective to the food safety arena. “Since 1973, CCOF has been the gold standard in organic certification. We are glad to see the maturation of our GFSI offerings being acknowledged by GLOBALG.A.P.,” adds Guth.
“It’s just nice to have both our organic certification and our food safety certification under one roof,” says Colin Archipley of Archi’s Acres. Archi’s Acres is a USDA certified organic greenhouse operation certified by CCOF that grows living basil, cut kale, chard, and other produce.
“Growers trust us and know we approach certification with a high level of diligence and integrity,” says Guth. CCOF hand-picks and cultivates their food safety auditors to ensure the highest levels of integrity and quality of work, which is reflected in the high KPI score they recently received. Many CCOF inspectors can conduct one, combined organic and food safety inspection. “It’s a long day, but it’s one day of inspections instead of two. This saves us crucial time,” Archipley explains.
CCOF also offers and hosts a variety of food safety trainings and webinars to familiarize growers and produce handlers with GFSI and federal food safety requirements. The comprehensive trainings instill the key elements for building a food safety plan, including how to create the necessary documents, how to train personnel in food safety, and how to successfully host a food safety audit. Find out more about upcoming workshops and recordings of previous webinars through CCOF’s Organic Training Institute at www.ccof.org/oti.
CCOF has over 40 years of experience working directly with farmers and producers, guiding them through the steps of organic certification and ensuring that they meet all required standards for organic. The organization applies the same principles to their food safety program, helping organic growers access new markets. The end result brings more organic food to everyone’s table, increasing access to healthy, organic food nationwide.
To learn more about CCOF’s food safety services, visit www.ccof.org/food-safety.