Fraud with organic certification of goldenberries

Goldenberries from Colombia are increasingly making their way into the US. Although the majority are sold as conventional, there is one company, Andes Fruits Colombia, that sells fresh organic goldenberries in the US market. “We grow them in Boyacá, Colombia and receive the organic USDA National Organic Program (NOP) certification by CERES,” says Matt Aaron of Andes Fruits Colombia.

“However, yesterday morning I woke up with the news that another company is selling organic goldenberries under our certification,” shared Aaron. “I just found out about this, so I am still in the process of investigating. A representative from a certification company in the U.S. saw certified organic goldenberries under the brand "pichuberry" in a retail store and didn’t trust it. He contacted our organic certifier, CERES, who contacted USDA and informed us as well. We have never sold any organic goldenberries to this company named Pichuberry®,” added Aaron.

"On March 1, I was informed by a representative from OnceCert in Nebraska who had seen the suspicious organic goldenberries in a retail store," says Albrecht Benzing with CERES Gmbh. "We have forwarded the issue to the NOP Compliance department and to our NOP certifier forum." It is up NOP to take legal action. "We will publish the false certificate on our website. My advice is for buyers to always cross check the integrity of a certificate with the USDA," concluded Benzing.

For more information:
Matt Aaron
Andes Fruits Colombia®
Tel: (+1) 832-632-7600

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