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Steps to Becoming Certified Organic

Thank you for your interest in certifying with MOFGA Certification Services (MCS). We are an accredited certification agency established in 2002 by the Maine Organic Farmer’s and Gardener’s Association (MOFGA) to provide certification services to producers in the State of Maine. In 2018, MCS certified over 530 operations to the USDA National Organic Program standard. We strive to make the process of certification clear, open and transparent. Feel free to contact us at any time.

What are the steps to Organic Certification?

  • Step 1 ~ Start with the MCS Practice Manual for information on organic standards, the certification process and requirements specific to your operation.  You should also read the relevant sections of the National Organic Standards.  We provide easy access to all of this information from our website.  See the Resources and Certification menus at the top of the page.
  • Step 2 ~ Download the application forms you need from our website; look under the Certification menu for the appropriate production category.  Call us with any questions you have.
  • Step 3 ~ Complete and submit the application forms and fee. If you have questions please contact MCS at certification@mofga.org or call 207-568-6030.
  • Step 4. ~ Application review – we review your application for compliance with the National Organic Standards and notify you if any further information is needed. When your application is complete, we will send confirmation.
  • Step 5. ~ Organic inspection – After application review is complete an inspector will contact you to schedule an on-site inspection. The inspector observes how your operation and records conform to your organic system plan (application paperwork). The inspector writes a report that is returned to MCS (you will also receive a copy).
  • Step 6. ~ Inspection report review – If additional information is needed before a certification decision can be made, you will be given time to provide it.
  • Step 7. ~ Certification – MCS then makes the certification decision. The decision letter may include conditions for changes that you need to implement. We mail and send electronically your organic certificate and product verification (PV); at this point you may then sell products as certified organic.  Sometimes we cannot grant certification because certain aspects of your operation do not conform with the organic standards.  We follow the denial of certification procedure described in the federal regulation.
  • Step 8. ~ Continuing certification – Certification is maintained with an annual update of your organic system plan and an annual fee and inspection. If any compliance issues are not corrected, your certificate can be suspended or revoked.
  • Please note that at any time you may withdraw your application for certification or surrender your organic certificate. This must be done in writing.