At IOS, we have performed thousands of processing and handling inspections on two continents. We are genuinely passionate about growing the organic marketplace while keeping the supply chain robust, auditable and dependable. We thrive on finding solutions that make it easy and achievable for you to comply with the regulations while growing the organic marketplace and maintaining consumer trust.
By drawing on our nearly 30 years of experience in organic certification and inspection, we are able to offer you a unique bundle of services tailored to your operation(s). These include:
Help choosing the right certifier. We know the certification landscape. Because were are familiar with and/or have worked for most of the larger North American certifiers, we can help choose the certifier that works best for your company, based on your type of operation, what other certified entities are located near you (this often allows a certifier to share inspection costs with your neighbors), and how fast you need to be certified. The best certifier for a vegetable packer/broker in the Southwest may not be the best choice for a distillery in the Midwest.
Preparing your Organic System Plan. Once you’ve decided on a certification agency, the first step in the process involves completing the application, referred to as the “Organic System Plan,” or “OSP.” Don’t worry if you don’t understand the language and terminology of organic certification. We do! And we can write your OSP so that the certifier will quickly understand everything they need to know about your operation and your ability to comply with the regulations. Depending on the certifier you decide to contract, the application can be completed online, in a paper version or a fillable pdf. We also can help you choose allowable sanitizers, pest control measures and SOPs so your team and facility can be compliant when the inspector arrives.
Working with you to create document systems. We can help you to create document systems that allow you to comply with organic record keeping requirements without any additional work. We believe that the ideal organic record keeping system is one that you and your employees are actually going to use, or ideally already using! We further believe that this system should help you comply with all your other regulatory requirements at the same time, including GMPs, FSMA, FDA, labeling laws, etc. We are constantly striving to prevent clients from having to reinvent the wheel!
Sourcing organic ingredients, helping in the formulation of new products. We know the organic marketplace. We know what’s available and who has it. We can also quickly tell your team whether or not the ingredients they’re planning to use will be allowed or not. Wanting to produce a product in the 100% organic category? Did you know you can’t use a filter aid like activated carbon or diatomaceous earth? Need to justify your use of a non-organic agricultural ingredient, like celery seed powder, that appears on §205.606? Don't worry if you’re confused. We won’t be! We know the ins and outs of organic regulations.
Providing training to you or your team. Organic certification is confusing. We get that. We’ve been working with the US organic regulation, both as inspectors and reviewers, since it came out in 2001, and were working with the Argentine and Costa Rican regulation before that! We can help you and your employees understand not just what you need to do, but why and what the certifier is seeking to confirm. We can provide training in person, or via webinar, tailored to your particular operation. By law your certifier cannot help you overcome the barriers to organic certification, but we can, and it’s what we love to do!
Being there through the inspection and beyond. At IOS we’ve performed thousands of organic inspections. We know what an inspector is going to look for and we can help you get ready, get your records in order, and better understand the certification process. Depending on your needs, we can even attend the inspection to help explain your system to the inspector. After the inspection, if there are any issues (we like to prevent these before the inspection if possible), we can help you quickly resolve these so you can get back to work!
Label and product formulation review. Once you’re certified, let us help you roll out new products. We can quickly review your proposed labels and product formulations to see if they’re compliant. We can correct issues rapidly, before you send these to your certifier for review and potentially wait weeks for a response.
Help responding to “Noncompliances.” Despite your conscientious best efforts, sometimes things go wrong and your certifier issues you a “Request for Information” or even a “Noncompliance.” Don't worry, these things can normally be resolved fairly quickly. We’ve seen and issued a lot of Noncompliances over the years and we generally know what a certifier needs to see in order to resolve the problem. Because we also work as certification reviewers and inspectors, we speak the language of organic certification, and understand the rules underpinning your certifier’s action. After we get the Noncompliance corrected, we’ll work with you to put systems in place so they don’t occur again.
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