Local report

The Ashland Food Co-op has again passed its Certified Organic Retailer inspection, marking 10 years with the designation.

As a Certified Organic Retailer, the Ashland Food Co-op has all the documentation, systems and training in place to ensure its organic products meet specifications. This includes receiving, storage and handling procedures to prevent contamination or commingling with non-organic products. 

Oregon TILTH conducts the inspection, with the certification evaluated on the following criteria: organic integrity of sources, truth in labeling, prevention of contamination, prevention of commingling and verification that cleaning and pest control procedures do not leave residues or compromise organic integrity.

"This certification and the annual inspection is one way we're held accountable for our handling practices in every department, and especially in our produce department," Barry Haynes, produce manager, said in a release.

For retailers, organic certification is voluntary. According to the release, Ashland Food Co-op is Southern Oregon's first and only Certified Organic Retailer.