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About Us

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OCIA International is one of the world’s oldest, largest and most trusted leaders in the organic certification industry. A nonprofit, member-owned, agricultural organization, OCIA is dedicated to providing the highest quality organic certification services and access to global organic markets.

Our Mission

As providers and consumers of certified organic production, we are committed to environmentally sound stewardship.

  • To accomplish this mission and foster confidence in OCIA’s certifications, OCIA lists the following purposes in Article 1 of the OCIA Bylaws:
  • To provide organic crop improvement through professional development of organic farmers and processors, including technical assistance, education information, publications, and research.
  • To establish and maintain a farmer-owned and farmer-controlled organization providing impartial third-party certification as a prerequisite for certification licensing of organic food at all stages of production, processing and distribution.
  • To guarantee the neutrality and integrity of an OCIA-certified organic certification mark.
  • To establish uniform standards and bylaws, which govern production, processing, manufacturing, and practices for trade, and which define the identity and quality of organic foods.
  • To clarify and promote the image of organic products with the OCIA-certified organic mark.

History of OCIA

In the depression years of the dustbowl, farmers started meeting informally to share their mutual farming experience. Having no technical support to enhance the development of their profession, they formed the first “crop improvement” associations. The principles were simple: farmers are the experts on their lands; having regular meetings as opportunities to share their experiences with such techniques and trials, they could acquire the basics of adapted technology.

In the mid-seventies the notion of organic agriculture began circulating within a group of pioneers. A certain parallel was noted between the technological situation of the nineteen-twenties and the challenge of the new organic “movement”. Work started on the idea of an “organic” crop improvement association, which was envisioned as farmers working together to facilitate the development and the transfer of technical expertise. In the early eighties, certification guidelines were formulated which eventually formed the basis of OCIA’s certification program. After few years, a small number of farm groups (chapters) formed independently and assumed the leadership of a combined crop improvement/certification program.

Thus, in the fall of 1985, in Albany, New York, a diverse group of farmers met and structured the concept of a “farmer owned and farmer controlled”association. This initial meeting set the cornerstone of what was to become one of the foremost organic certification agencies in the world.

During those early years, OCIA became well rooted in many farming communities in Canada and the United States. Two important events occurred in 1988. First, the OCIA program took on an international identity when a group of Peruvian farmers joined the organization attracted by the concepts of farmer-to-farmer networking and crop improvement. Second, OCIA International was incorporated as a non-profit organization in the state of Pennsylvania, USA. From then on, the program expanded throughout Latin America. In the early nineties, membership from Europe and Asia added further dimensions to the international body.

In January 1997, OCIA moved the International Office from Bellfontaine, Ohio to Lincoln, Nebraska, which provides easy access to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s sustainable agriculture program.

Today, OCIA is an industry leader and one of the world’s largest organic certification agencies. OCIA has thousands of members in North, Central and South America, Africa, Europe and the Pacific Rim. From its humble beginnings, to locations all over the world, OCIA continues to be committed to providing members the highest quality organic certification, as well as access to global organic marketplace.

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CONFIRM SUBMISSION

Thank you for submitting your organic certification application! OCIA looks forward to working with you.

For applicants who are new or currently under suspension, please see the end of the page for some important notes.

An estimate for your 2021 certification and inspection fees was sent with the login information. Please promptly send payment to the address on the invoice. If you are a new applicant, OCIA will not review your file until payment is received.

If you are submitting hardcopies of any supporting documents, please mail them to the address on the invoice. Failure to submit required supporting documents may lead to delays in the review.

Once a complete file is received, OCIA will complete a pre-inspection review. During this process, OCIA will contact you if additional information is needed. Please respond to any communication from OCIA in a timely manner.

Please contact OCIA International if you have any questions.

New applicants: Please be reminded that as a new applicant, your operation currently cannot label or sell product as organic. If organic certification is granted, an organic certificate will be issued and product can then be sold as organic.

For farm operations, the inspector must see your crop in the field, so check-strips must be left in all fields requested for certification if any harvest occurs prior to inspection. For hay fields, any hay harvested prior to inspection cannot be certified as organic.

For suspended operations: Please be aware that no product can be sold as “organic” while suspended and previous product is no longer “organic.” For farm operations, any crops currently in storage are no longer organic and must be sold conventionally. Only crops harvested after reinstatement, if it is granted, may be sold as “organic.” Any crops harvested from fields prior to reinstatement must be sold conventionally.

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CONFIRMAR LA SOLICITUD

¡Gracias por enviar su solicitud de certificación orgánica! OCIA espera trabajar con usted. Para los solicitantes que son nuevos o están actualmente suspendidos, consulte el final de la página para conocer información importante.

Se le envió un estimado de los honorarios de certificación e inspección 2021 con la información de inicio de sesión. Envíe puntualmente el pago a la dirección que figura en la factura. Si usted es un nuevo solicitante, OCIA no revisará su expediente hasta que se reciba el pago.

Si envía copias impresas de cualquier documento de respaldo, envíelas por correo a la dirección que figura en la factura. Se podrá producir demoras en la revisión si no se envían los documentos de respaldo necesarios,.

Una vez que se recibe un expediente completo, OCIA llevará a cabo una revisión de preinspección. Durante este proceso, OCIA se comunicará con usted si necesita información adicional. Responda a cualquier comunicación de OCIA de manera oportuna.

Póngase en contacto con OCIA International si tiene alguna pregunta.

Para los solicitantes nuevos: recuerde que, como solicitante nuevo, su operación actualmente no puede etiquetar o vender productos como orgánicos. Si se otorga la certificación orgánica, se emitirá un certificado orgánico y el producto se podrá vender como orgánico.

Para las operaciones agrícolas, el inspector debe ver su cultivo en el campo, por lo que si se produce alguna cosecha antes de la inspección, se deben dejar franjas o surcos de verificación en todos los campos solicitados para la certificación. Para los campos de heno, cualquier heno cosechado antes de la inspección no puede certificarse como orgánico.

Para operaciones suspendidas: tenga en cuenta que ningún producto puede venderse como "orgánico" mientras está suspendido y que el producto anterior ya no es "orgánico". Para las operaciones agrícolas, cualquier cultivo actualmente almacenado ya no es orgánico y debe venderse de manera convencional. Solo los cultivos cosechados después del restablecimiento, si se otorga, pueden venderse como "orgánicos". Cualquier cultivo cosechado de los campos antes de la reinstalación debe venderse de manera convencional ".

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Submission Successful

Thank you for submitting your organic certification application! OCIA looks forward to working with you.

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Envío exitoso

¡Gracias por enviar su solicitud de certificación orgánica! OCIA espera trabajar con usted.

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Confirm Renewal Submission

Please make sure to save all your previous year entries for your records before proceeding. By clicking “Yes, I would like to Proceed”, some entries will be reset for renewal submission.

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