Organic Systems Plan

What is it?

Your Organic System Plan is your written record or contract that states how you plan to produce an organic product. It outlines exactly what inputs, practices and preventative actions you plan on using to ensure the organic integrity of your product. As well as the records that you will maintain and procedure you have established.

How do I make it?

Most organic certifiers have forms that new applicants fill out which when thouroughly completed establish the clients organic system plan. The organic regulation requires at all organic producers have a written organic system plan, it can take any form that you want it to as long as it contains all the required information.

Try to think through your production system starting from the most basic input you purchase through every step of your system. Keep track of every inputs including those that are used only to aid in the process but are not part of the final product, cleaning products and pest control products. A flow chart may be a beneficial tool in this process to ensure that steps in the process or inputs are not missed.

Why do I need it?

The organic system plan acts as a contract between the client and the certifiers with the client (you) stating you’re intentions in order to produce an organic product according to the standard. The certification process that follows ensures that the submitted plan is consistent with the requirements and that the actions carried out on your site are consistent with the plan.

What are the requirements?

According to the Canadian Organic Standard the requirements are :

4.1 The operator shall prepare an organic plan outlining the details of transition, production, preparation and management practices.

4.2 The organic plan shall be updated annually to address changes to the plan or management system, problems encountered in executing the plan, and measures taken to overcome such problems.

4.3 The organic plan shall include a description of the internal record-keeping system, with documents sufficient to meet traceability requirements as specified in 4.4.2 and other record-keeping requirements.

Can I use my X instead?

Environmental Farm Plan: No, your environmental farm plan is not a complete organic system plan.

Food Safety Protocol (HACCP,GMP,BRC,GAP,etc): No, your food safety procedure are not a complete organic system plan.

Standard Operating Procedures: Your standard operating procedure if properly written and specific enough to organic requirements may be a complete organic system plan.