Complaints & Appeals
The integrity of the organic movement and it’s oversight is a fundamental value upon which Pro-Cert’s operations were founded. In maintaining this integrity we welcome any feedback, including complaints regarding Pro-Cert and/or operators under our oversight. We also welcome appeals from Pro-Cert certified operators who feel their certification decision may have been made in error.
Pro-Cert takes complaints seriously and will investigate all legitimate complaints in a timely fashion and take appropriate action to ensure the integrity of the organic claim. Parties wishing to make a complaint about Pro-Cert or any of our certified operators should submit the complaint in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
To ensure a successful resolution, complainants should provide as much detail as possible (Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?). We request complainants provide their contact information where possible so that we may follow up with them if additional clarification or details are required.
Upon receipt of the complaint, Pro-Cert will initiate an investigation to determine the validity of the complaint and whether corrective action is required. On completion of the investigation, where the complaint pertains to Pro-Cert’s staff or activities directly, a Corrective and Preventative Action will be developed and implemented. Alternatively, where the complaint pertains to actions taken by a certified operator, then a Notice of Non-compliance or other additional adverse actions will be taken in keeping with the requirements of the certification program. Complainants will be notified of the resolution of the complaint.
If the complaint is related to an organic operations not certified by Pro-Cert, complaints may be directed to:
- In Canada: the Canadian Food Inspection Agency https://www.inspection.gc.ca/organic-products/file-a-complaint/eng/1518546270126/1518546271092
- In the United States: the USDA National Organic Program https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/enforcement/organic/file-complaint
A complete list of operations certified by Pro-Cert may be found in our Client Directory https://www.pro-cert.org/client-directory/
Certified operators who disagree with the certification decision issued by Pro-Cert have the right to appeal the decision. Operators may choose to appeal adverse certification decisions, including Denial of Certification, Notice of Proposed Cancellation, Notice of Proposed Suspension, or Notice of Proposed Revocation, as applicable to the program under which they are seeking certification. All other certification decisions by Pro-Cert are not subject to appeal.
Operators may appeal if they believe the decision was: (1) incorrect based on the information and/or corrective actions they submitted; or (2) not made in accordance with the applicable program regulations, policies and/or procedures. All appeals will be heard by persons not connected to the certification decision in question.
All appeals must be submitted in writing within the deadline specified on the applicable certification document – normally within 30 days of receipt. The appeal must include a copy of the adverse certification decision and a statement of the operator’s reason(s) to believe the decision was not correct or made in accordance with applicable regulations, polices or procedures, along with any evidence supporting these claims.
Appeals shall be submitted to:
- Canada Organic Regime and all other Pro-Cert Certification Programs: to the applicable Pro-Cert regional office responsible for the adverse certification decision.
- USDA National Organic Program (NOP): USDA-AMS-Administrator, c/o NOP Appeals Team – NOPAppeals@ams.usda.gov.
USDA NOP Certified Operators may also wish to consult the NOP 4011
https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/4011.pdf with respect to Appeals under the program.