Certifying Processing and Handling

Processor/Handler Certification: Processing is any modification of a raw agricultural product. Handling is to sell, process or package agricultural products. The NOP standard requires processors and handlers of organic products to be certified.  (Distributors of packaged organic product and final retailers are typically exempted from organic certification.)

You will want to read:
Practice Manual  This is an 85-page PDF to read online or to download.  If you prefer, you can receive a paper copy in the mail, plus any forms you may need.  Call 568-6030 to order

We urge anyone interested in certifying their processing or handling operation to first speak with Joan Cheetham (568-6034; jcheetham@mofga.org) or Katy Green (kgreen@mofga.org; 568-6033).  It will be a time saver.

There are instances when a farm operation will need to complete a handling plan; these include on-farm poultry slaughtering and other value-added products (e.g., bottling milk or fermenting vegetables).  We also offer an On-Farm Processing form for simplified on-farm processing.  Please contact us so we can direct you to the appropriate form.

Below are the forms you will need to certify a processing and handling operation:

  1. Organic Handling Plan
  2. Multi-ingredient Product Profile  Use this form to detail the composition, processing, and label category of each multi-ingredient organic product you make.  If you offer only single ingredient products, you need the next form and not this one.
  3. Single-ingredient Product Profile.  Use this form to detail the processing and labeling of each single-ingredient organic product you make.
  4. Materials List.  Use this form to identify all the materials and inputs you use in the operation of your processing facility.  Cleaning agents, filtering aids, disinfectants, pest control materials, and equipment lubricants are among the materials that must be identified and approved.
  5. Fees Form 2018
  6. Rebate (Cost Share) Explanation (instructional)
  7. Endorsement Form for Processors and Handlers
  8. International Export Supplement – if you intend to export your finished products to Canada, the EU, Japan, Korea, Switzerland or Taiwan
  9. National List Annotation Verification.  This form is for ingredients or processing aids  that must meet additional specifications.
  10. Excluded Methods Verification Form.  This form is for non-organic ingredients (which are only allowed under special circumstances) that must also be made without the use of excluded methods (genetically modified organism, ionizing radiation, sewage sludge).
  11. Verification of Organic Status for Retail Organic Ingredient Purchases Form.  This is for instances where organic ingredient is purchased from bulk bins at a retail establishment.

Specialty Section: Slaughterhouses. Organic meats that bear an Organic label must be processed in a certified organic slaughterhouse.  We encourage organic livestock producers to work with their slaughterhouses on becoming certified.  Here is a helpful information document as well as a custom supplemental form just for this purpose.