About Organic


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About Organic Certification

Program Manager: Brenda Book
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What is organic?

Organic is a labeling term that indicates an agricultural product has been produced by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Use of sewage sludge, irradiation, genetic engineering, and most synthetic fertilizers or pesticides is prohibited. Organic certification allows a farm or processing facility to sell, label, and represent their products with the organic claim. The National Organic Program ensures the integrity of the organic label by regulating all products certified to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic standards. In order to sell, label, or represent their products as organic, operations must follow all of the specifications set out by the USDA organic regulations. 

WSDA's role

With very limited exceptions, any operation that wishes to represent their crops or products with an organic claim must be certified as an organic producer or handler. While the USDA National Organic Program is responsible for maintaining the organic standards, they do not provide certification services. Instead, USDA accredits various certification agencies, such as WSDA organic program, to certify businesses on their behalf. As a certification agent of the National Organic Program, WSDA Organic Program's role is to inspect and certify organic operations; verifying they are meeting all of the requirements of USDA organic standards.

Our Mission

The mission of the WSDA Organic Program is to provide access to the organic market and ensure the integrity of the organic label by:

  • Certifying organic producers and handlers,
  • Registering inputs for use in organic production, and
  • Providing technical assistance on the USDA organic regulations.


Organic Advisory Board

In 1987, a stakeholder board was established to advise WSDA Organic Program. Consisting of organic farmers, processors, handlers, and other interested parties; the Organic Advisory Board supports WSDA Organic Program in accomplishing our mission.


 

Washington Organic Agriculture Statistics

Washington State University develops annual reports on the organic sector in Washington state, and maintains extensive historical data about the industry and trends.

WSDA has developed a convenient flyer [PDF 5.3 MB] highlighting the prolific and diverse types of organic crop and livestock production in the state.


List of Certified Operations

Each business is issued an organic certificate once they achieve initial organic certification. This certificate can be used to demonstrate compliance with the USDA organic regulations. Organic certification does not expire and remains valid until the operation voluntarily surrenders their certification, or their certification is suspended or revoked in response to a compliance action. However, once certified, a business’ organic certificate is updated annually. It is important to note that updated certificate paperwork will typically not be issued on the same day each year. 

There are several resources available to verify the current certification status of a business. 

WSDA Certified Operations

WSDA maintains online lists of the businesses we certify. These lists are typically updated quarterly and include basic crop, product, and location information.

Name of document Printable form
WSDA certified producers - crop and livestock PDF 600 KB
WSDA certified processors and handlers PDF 320 KB

Note that the certified operation lists are sorted by certification number and may be searched using keyword. While the exact method to search will depend on the application you are using to view a PDF document; typically it will be Ctrl+F for Windows users and Cmd+F for Apple users.

The Organic Integrity Database

Each USDA accredited certification agency is required to provide a list of all businesses they certify in accordance with the USDA organic regulations. While each certifier is currently only required to submit this list once a year, on January 2nd, many certifiers provide more frequent updates; WSDA Organic Program attempts to provide quarterly updates to The Organic Integrity Database.


 

Questions or Complaints

WSDA Organic Program is dedicated to organic integrity and professional service. If you have concerns that a farm or business that we certify is not meeting the requirements of the USDA organic regulations, of if you notice a business making organic claims while not being certified, please let us know.

We do our best to ensure that complaints from applicants for certification, certified operations, and the public are addressed in a timely manner. When submitting a complaint, providing complete and accurate information allows us to review or investigate the issue successfully.

Helpful details include:

  • Date
  • Time and location of alleged infraction
  • Pictures of noncompliant signage or product labels
  • Any other details that help follow up on the complaint
Your name and contact information is required so that we may follow up with you regarding the details of the complaint.

Complaints against a WSDA-certified party should be submitted to the WSDA Organic Program.

Complaints against a non-certified party can be submitted directly to the USDA National Organic Program.

Complaints against a WSDA Organic Program Employee should be submitted to the WSDA Organic Program.