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Standards of Conduct

Our team is writing to notify all clients of an addition to our Organic Certification Manual titled Standards of Conduct. QCS is committed to conducting its business affairs with the highest standards of honesty and integrity. As such, this policy aims to ensure a safe workplace and professional experience for all QCS personnel and clients.

We thank you for your partnership in making this safe environment possible for everyone. Please refer to pg. 9 of the Organic Certification Manual for more information. To download the updated version of this document in English or Spanish, please visit https://qcsinfo.org/resources.


On-Farm Processing Update

This message is to notify you of an update in the Organic Grower Plan and fee structure for activities that constitute On-Farm Processing of certified organic crops. If your operation produces product ingredients on-farm under the same ownership and management as the farm operation, this update may apply to you. On-Farm Processing activities:

  • Sanitizing, curing, drying, dehydrating, cutting, grinding, shelling, de-hulling, de-pulping, ripening, mixing raw agricultural ingredients, crushing to extract oil
  • use of handling equipment such as a sorting machine, shaker table, or gravity separator
  • packaging raw agricultural products into retail containers using a packing line or packing equipment
  • Consist entirely of certified organic ingredients/products that are produced on that farm

If you find your activities are now categorized as On-Farm Processing, at the time of your next annual renewal, you must complete the On-Farm Processing section of the OGP and are subject to $180 On-Farm Processing fee. All activities must be described in the organic plan in sufficient detail to evaluate compliance. Examples of Post-Harvest activities that are not subject to the updated fee structure:

  • Crop storage;
  • Washing crops in water only;
  • Field packing into retail or wholesale containers;
  • Packing crops into retail or wholesale containers in an on-site packing shed without the use of a packing line or other sorting or packing equipment;
  • Adding an inoculant and storing crops for silage;
  • Fermenting fruit or vegetable pulp for seed saving

Our Grower-Livestock fee structure has been updated to clarify what activities constitute the simple On-Farm Processing of organic crops. In contrast, operations that conduct complex processing are not eligible for On-Farm Processing and must instead submit the Organic Handling Plan (OHP) and applicable Handler/Processor Certification fee.

Some examples of these activities include:

  • Include any complex processing activities such as baking, churning, extracting, slaughtering, distilling, eviscerating, preserving, freezing, canning, jarring, and/or aseptic packaging
  • Use any ingredients that are not produced on-farm

Please reach out with any questions at qcs@qcsinfo.org.


Legal Name Reminder for QCS Clients

QCS is writing to remind you that organic certificates must show the legal name of the certified operation.  If your operation’s name is not a sole proprietorship (certified under an individual person’s legal name), QCS will need to verify documentation of the legal entity name during the 2022 renewal cycle.  This applies to any operation that is certified as a corporation, partnership, company, association or operating under a fictitious name (doing business as, DBA).

Please see the chart below for the documentation that should be submitted with your next Organic System Plan renewal application.

Entity type Required documentation
 Sole Proprietorship operating under an individual name None
 Sole Proprietorship operating under an entity or fictitious name (DBA)* Entity name or fictitious name filing, if applicable in your state
 Partnership Partnership agreement and entity/fictitious name filing
 Limited Liability Company (LLC) Articles of Organization
 Corporation Articles of Incorporation
 Other (describe): Describe:

*Registering a fictitious name or DBA is often a simple process that can be completed online with your states’ Division of Corporations, or corporation commission. If you are operating under fictitious name in a state that does not require DBA filing, both the legal name of the sole proprietor and the DBA will need to appear on the certificate. States that do not require DBA filings for sole proprietorships: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions at qcs@qcsinfo.org.


New Organic Product Profile Released

The QCS team has developed an exciting new Organic Product Profile template for processors/handlers who are currently applying for or maintaining organic certification with QCS. This Excel workbook is a supplement to the Organic Handler/Processor Plan (OHP) and aims to increase the functionality and user-friendliness of OHP sections 2, 3A, and 3B by allowing producers to organize the requested information – their list of products requested for certification, list of organic ingredients & suppliers, and multi-ingredient product recipes – in one easy-to-update location.

To download the Template with an example, click here!

For a full tutorial, click the link below!


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