CERTIFIER: Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA)

WEB SITE ocia.org
NOP INFORMATION organic.ams.usda.gov/integrity/CP/CertifierProfilePage.aspx?cid=64
HEADQUARTERS Lincoln, NE
US CERTIFIED OPERATION LOCATIONS AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WY
ACCREDITED SCOPES CROPS, HANDLING, LIVESTOCK, WILD CROPS

OCIA was very transparent and open in our survey, in stark contrast to the majority of US certifiers. They do not have suspect practices in the areas of hydroponics and livestock. We consider OCIA to be one of the most farmer-centric certifiers in the country. One of the original nonprofits founded by farmers they are still run in a democratic process by their membership.

CERTIFIER STANDING: Greenlighted as ethical

Criteria Comments
Hydroponic Details Has policy against certifying hydroponics.
Material Review OCIA accepts and reviews materials according to NOP standards.
Fee Structure Producers are given estimates for the inspection and fee structure can be viewed online.
Inspectors Inspectors must be qualified in the area they are inspecting (e.g. crops, handling, etc.) with education or experience. Training is required.
Imports Requires an audit trail for any imports when reviewing operations that import products.
Farm Sizes Tends to certify small and mid-sized farms.
Outdoor Access for Poultry Porches are not allowed as the only outdoor access for poultry.
Pasture Access Pasture must continue to meet the definition of pasture in the standards (it cannot be overgrazed or in poor condition).
Livestock Alterations Alterations allowed are based on NOP standards.
Origin of Livestock OCIA does not certify operations that purchase converted conventional cattle. Any new animals brought onto a dairy must have been managed organically since the last third of gestation.
Antibiotics in Livestock No antibiotic use allowed.
Inspections Unannounced inspections are based on risk to organic integrity, complaints, or other investigations. Random inspections also occur to fulfill 5 percent requirement.
Residue Testing Residue testing is based on risk to organic integrity, complaints, or other investigations.
Producer Support Services OCIA membership maintains local chapters, which allow networking with experienced farmers.