COVID-19 Virus Pandemic Response Plan
Pro-Cert’s Senior Management Team is meeting regularly to evolve and implement plans for response to the COVID-19 Virus Pandemic. This is the first in a series of communications to keep you informed on measures taken to ensure continuity of service and your certification status during and following this difficult period. We are currently in discussion with regulatory authorities in both Canada and the United States, addressing potential impacts and steps which may be taken to mitigate the same. For now, we can provide you with the following information:
In light of the current situation, Pro-Cert’s physical offices are closed to public access for your protection and that of our staff. However, Pro-Cert is remaining open so we may continue providing you service in the completion of your certification and all necessary trade documentation to keep your products moving in the supply chain.
Arrangements are in place to continue live service via our phones and electronic access to our certification team. As the COVID-19 response develops we expect some if not all our staff will need to self isolate and work from home. To ensure timely response to your inquiries we request you direct your communications via email wherever possible.
If you are already in contact with one of our team members on your file, please continue to work with them. If you are uncertain of whom to contact with your certification needs, please use the following contacts as applicable to your operation:
To avoid possible delays in response we are strongly encouraging clients to submit any required paperwork, applications or payments electronically. At this time, mail, couriers and other physical deliveries continue to be received but continuity of such services in the coming weeks is out of our control.
Please forward electronic documents in a Word or PDF format to ensure our access. Electronic payments may be made via our secure online portal at www.pro-cert.org/payment
We wish to remind you that products certified under the USDA National Organic Program and Canada Organic Regime (COR) bear non-expiring certificates. This also applies to Pro-Cert’s Gluten Free, Gluten Free Purity, Grass-Fed, and Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) Grass Fed programs.
COR certified operators with an Attestation of Compliance, or Packaging and Labelling Certificate, as well as certificates issued under the Organic Plus Trust (OPT) Grass Fed program, do bear expiring certificates. This also applies to products Approved via our Input Program.
We are receiving updates daily from our Accreditors for these certification programs. Right now, we understand that certification can be maintained, however some continued diligence will be required to do so. Certification Applications and updates/changes to System Plans must still be reported as normal to Pro-Cert. We are investigating possibilities of virtual inspections or unannounced audits that can be conducted remotely to maintain your continued compliance during this time. We will provide further information as this develops.
All scheduled physical inspections have been put on hold at this time until such time as the risk to your staff and our inspection team has diminished. As noted above, we anticipate the need for virtual inspections or audits to be conducted. Once we have more guidance from the CFIA and USDA as to their expectations, we will provide additional updates.
In this uncertain time, we remain committed to working with you to minimize the impact on your compliance and certification. Our thoughts are with all of you, as we know this virus impacts each of us on various levels. While it’s been said many times in the last weeks, we say it again – Stay Safe, Stay Healthy and if you are able, in the tradition of our movement – help those that may need it.
We Believe …
… in using qualified inspectors and evaluators.
… in having real people at the end of your phone line.
… in providing an affordable, cost-effective certification program.
… in providing clients with access to all international markets.
Gluten Free Certification
Grass Fed Certification
Who is Pro-Cert?
What is organic?
“Organic” is a claim referring to methods of agricultural production and food processing that minimize disruption of the natural environment, encourage the health and vitality of the soil, promote humane animal management and preserve ecological integrity.
This system is governed by federally mandated standards and regulations and prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, synthetic hormones, genetic engineering, sewage sludge, and irradiation during crop production. These standards also forbid artificial food colours, flavours and sweeteners as well as many preservatives and processing aids used during processing or handling of organic products.
Organic is …
… No synthetic pesticides
… No chemical fertilizers
… No hormones or antibiotics
… No genetically modified organisms (GMO’s)
… Humane treatment of animals
… No synthetic preservatives
… No artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners
… Preservation of ecological integrity