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Transition to organic with OCIA International

Transition to Organic: The Certification Process

There has never been a better time to transition a conventional agricultural operation to organic. Despite a challenging economy, the organic market continues to see robust year after year. Why? Consumers have more access to information than ever. They want safe, tasteful food produced in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Below, you’ll find information about the transition process. If you have questions, reach out using the contact form at the bottom of this page! You don’t have to transition your operation alone, because OCIA International is here to support you every step of the way.

Freshly harvested organic carrots

Transition to


Transitioning your conventional operation to an organic operation can be an intimidating process.

We’re here to demystify the process, so you can confidently tackle whatever challenges lie ahead.

Adopt Organic Practices

Consult the National List to ensure you no longer use prohibited substances. Remember that, in general, organic regulations prohibit the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides for crops, and prohibit the use of antibiotics in livestock.

Submit Application

Create an Organic System Plan (OSP) and submit with application and fees to OCIA International certifying agent. You can find organic regulations for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Canadian Organic Regime (COR), Japan Agricutural Standards and more HERE

Application Review

After receiving your application, one of our certifying agents will verify the information included in your application is sufficient and that your practices comply with regulations.


An inspector will complete an on-site inspection to confirm accuracy of your submitted OSP and compliance with regulations. It is helpful to have record keeping documents, maps, etc. easily available to ensure a smooth inspection. 


After your inspection, one of our certifying agents reviews both your application and the inspector’s report to ensure your operation complies with organic regulations.


If your operation meets all organic regulations, a certifying agent will issue an organic certificate. Congragulations! Continued certification requires the annual submission of an updated Organic System Plan (OSP) and an annual inspection. 

Please note that organic certification regulations require the following:

      • A three-year transition period is required for non-organic crop operations. During the transition period, the operation must refrain from using prohibited inputs like prohibited fertilizers and pesticides.
      • Livestock must be raised organically from the third trimester of gestations.
      • Poultry must be raised organically beginning the second day of life.
      • Dairy animals must be raised organically for at least one year before milk and milk products may be sold as organic.

The transition to organic can be overhwelming. Learn more about organic practices and the organic journeys of OCIA organic operators below.

Putting Health First: Askegaard Organic Farm

Putting Health First: Askegaard Organic Farm

For couple Mike and Barb Askegaard of Askegaard Organic Farm, organic farming provided a way to balance health in all aspects of their lives- their family, their customers, and the environment.   “We decided to certify as organic because we saw the negative effects...

read more
Challenges in the Organic Certification Process

Challenges in the Organic Certification Process

Transitioning a conventional operation to organic can at times feel like a daunting task filled with insurmountable obstacles. While it’s easy to become discouraged, many of the challenges associated with organic certification can be overcome with planning, ingenuity, and perseverance.

read more
Man standing in field.

Contact us today! -- OCIA Contact Form

OCIA International main contact form.

Please select the scope of the operation you would like certified. If you would like to certify under multiple scopes (ex: crops and livestock) please select "Other" and explain in your message.
If "Yes", please explain in your message.
Please let us know what's on your mind. Have a question for us? Ask away.

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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 2023 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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¡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 2023 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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Asegúrese de guardar todas las entradas del año previo para sus registros antes de continuar. Al hacer clic en "Sí, me gustaría continuar", algunas entradas se restablecerán para el envío de su renovación.

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Please update Certification Application

Please make sure to update your Certfication Application before proceeding with the renewal updates.

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