SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — CCOF—the nation’s leader in organic certification, advocacy, and education—announced today that April Crittenden has been named chief certification officer for CCOF Certification Services, LLC effective April 16.
CCOF is a nonprofit organization governed by the people who grow and make our food. Founded in California more than 40 years ago, today our roots span the breadth of North America and our presence is internationally recognized. We are supported by an organic family of farmers, ranchers, processors, retailers, consumers, and policymakers. Together, we work to realize a future where organic is the norm.
Crittenden previously served as CCOF’s director of farm certification where she led major initiatives to support natural resource conservation in organic systems and enhance certification processes for organic growers. She has a wealth of knowledge on the National Organic Program (NOP) and environmental stewardship in farming systems.
Crittenden began her career with CCOF over 10 years ago as a farm certification specialist, where she gained an understanding of the organic regulations for both growers and livestock producers. She was integral in the implementation of improved client communication systems and the development of content for the CCOF website. After moving into the role of quality and compliance supervisor, Crittenden was responsible for overseeing all complaints, investigations, and CCOF’s pesticide residue and GMO sampling programs. She helped shape CCOF’s policy on interpreting GMO sample results and the overall management of the residue results review process. In 2016, Crittenden worked with SC Labs to develop and implement the Envirocann Certification Program, which offers certification services to cannabis producers.
Prior to her years devoted to organic certification, Crittenden studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she completed a double major in environmental studies and anthropology. She also holds a certificate in permaculture design, certificates from National Organic Program and Accredited Certifier Association trainings, and has completed International Organic Inspectors Association inspection certifications for crop, basic post-harvest handling/processing, and sample collection.
Kelly Damewood, chair of the CCOF Certification Services, LLC Management Committee and CEO of CCOF, said: “April is uniquely qualified to lead CCOF Certification Services, LLC. She steps into her new role with a proven ability to oversee complex certification issues and a long track record of upholding organic integrity across the supply chain. Moreover, April is a compassionate and articulate professional whose leadership skills align with our collaborative culture here at CCOF.”
“I could not be more thrilled to begin a new era in certification with April at the helm. Her commitment to CCOF and her wealth of experience give me great confidence in her leadership,” said Interim Chief Certification Officer Jody Biergiel Colclough.
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