Christie Organic Consultants is the culmination of Lois Christie’s lifelong love affair with all things organic. Her mother introduced her to the organic methods of Steiner and Rodale as a young girl, and her family always maintained a two-acre vegetable garden, 10 acres of avocados, and had sprouts growing on the window sill. In fact, it was Lois’ job not to feed the dog, but to feed the worms!
Later in life after working as a paralegal for 16 years, Lois decided to give up the 9 to 5 grind and opted instead for the 18 hour-a-day, 7 days-a-week lifestyle of a farmer. Her herb farm, Fiesta Farms, which was located in the Guadalupe Valley just northeast of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, became world renowned for its high quality medicinal and culinary herbs, as well as for the beautiful decorative items which she and her crew manufactured on-site. In those early days Lois strived to produce products that were “natural”. The word “organic” was just that – a word, on whose meaning very few people could agree, and in which the U.S. government had little or no interest. That was just fine with Lois because, as a passionate counter-culture farmer, she was against the government having any control over the way she farmed. In retrospect, Lois realized that many of the substances and methods she employed would not have been allowed by today’s strict standards, but at that time there was nothing in place to guide her or the thousands of other early organic farmers.
Fast-forward to today. The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP), now governs every aspect of the organic industry. Instituted in 2002, it is a complex set of documents, rules and regulations that dictate precisely what may and may not, what must and must not be done in every step of the process from seedling to retail shelf in order for a product to be USDA Certified Organic. If you are a newcomer to the organic industry, or even a seasoned pro just trying to stay abreast of changes in these regulations, it can be enough to make your head spin!
Fortunately, in the years that have ensued since leaving the farm, Lois has devoted herself to learning everything she can about organics (please see “About Us“). Having worked both for major Organic Certification agencies as an inspector, reviewer and certification representative, and as an independent organic consultant with a prominent consulting firm, anything from the most humble farm to the most complex multi-ingredient processing and packing operations, Lois Christie has seen it all from both sides, making her and the highly-trained and well-organized staff at Christie Organic Consultants uniquely qualified to assist you with all things organic.
From the time a seed goes into the ground until the time it blooms and is harvested, processed, packed, shipped and sold in retail stores, Christie Organic Consultants will be there every step of the way to ensure that your Organic System Plans and methods are in compliance with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), as well as many international standards such as Canada, the EU, Japan and Switzerland.
Do you need guidance in the setup and/or management of your organic program? Are you growing, processing, handling, packing/co-packing, shipping or selling organic products? Or do you perhaps need assistance with responses to difficult review letters you have received? Do you have notices of suspension, appeals, mediations, or settlements pending? For these or any other needs within the organic industry, you have come to the right place! Christie Organic Consultants – “Bringing health & sustainability to the world’s table.”