Organic Trade Association fraud fighting program draws robust interest

The Organic Trade Association’s ground-breaking fraud prevention program is getting robust interest from organic businesses as the organic sector readies for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s upcoming new rules to strengthen oversight of organic imports and the organic supply chain.

Forty organic businesses are currently enrolled in the trade association’s Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions program, with another 125 companies beginning the process of enrolment in the benchmark program.

“The organic sector is committed to maintaining the integrity of organic, and we are glad to see companies taking advantage of the valuable tool we’ve developed to help them in their battle against fraud,” said Gwendolyn Wyard, Vice President of Regulatory & Technical Affairs for the Organic Trade Association. “Our program can get companies ready to comply with the USDA’s new rule once it is finalized and to safeguard the integrity of the USDA Organic seal on their products.”

USDA’s Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) Final Rule is slated for Spring 2022. This action -- the largest single piece of rulemaking since the implementation of the National Organic Program -- will have a game-changing impact on improving oversight of organic systems and reducing the chance of organic fraud.

The Organic Trade Association’s Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions, launched a year ago, is designed to meet the unique needs of the organic supply chain, and is based on buyer responsibility and supplier verification. Companies in the program are provided with the comprehensive Organic Fraud Prevention Guide, which lays out a risk-based approach for developing and implementing a written Organic Fraud Prevention Plan -- a requirement of the proposed SOE Rule. A Participant Handbook developed for interested and enrolled companies provides an overview of the program, and the steps required to complete the enrolment process.

In addition to the 40 organic businesses enrolled in the fraud-fighting program, two businesses -- Pipeline Foods and Naturepedic Organic Mattresses-- have completed the nine-step enrolment process, and submitted their organic fraud prevention plan to their certifier.


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