Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA)

CERTIFIER: Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA)

WEB SITEocia.org
NOP INFORMATIONorganic.ams.usda.gov/integrity/CP/CertifierProfilePage.aspx?cid=64
HEADQUARTERSLincoln, NE
US CERTIFIED OPERATION LOCATIONSAK, 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 SCOPESCROPS, 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

CriteriaComments
Hydroponic DetailsHas policy against certifying hydroponics.
Material ReviewOCIA accepts and reviews materials according to NOP standards.
Fee StructureProducers are given estimates for the inspection and fee structure can be viewed online.
InspectorsInspectors must be qualified in the area they are inspecting (e.g. crops, handling, etc.) with education or experience. Training is required.
ImportsRequires an audit trail for any imports when reviewing operations that import products.
Farm SizesTends to certify small and mid-sized farms.
Outdoor Access for PoultryPorches are not allowed as the only outdoor access for poultry.
Pasture AccessPasture must continue to meet the definition of pasture in the standards (it cannot be overgrazed or in poor condition).
Livestock AlterationsAlterations allowed are based on NOP standards.
Origin of LivestockOCIA 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 LivestockNo antibiotic use allowed.
InspectionsUnannounced inspections are based on risk to organic integrity, complaints, or other investigations. Random inspections also occur to fulfill 5 percent requirement.
ResidueTesting Residue testing is based on risk to organic integrity, complaints, or other investigations.
Producer Support ServicesOCIA membership maintains local chapters, which allow networking with experienced farmers.