Organic Trade Association and International Fresh Produce Association Release Statements on USDA Strengthening Organic Enforcement Final Rule
WASHINGTON, DC - Upon recent news that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Organic Program (NOP) plan to publish the Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) Final Rule, both the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) have shared statements.
“The new regulation represents the biggest change to organic regulations since the creation of USDA’s National Organic Program. The rule closes gaps in current organic regulations and builds consistent certification practices to prevent fraud and improve the transparency and traceability of organic products,” the OTA wrote in its statement. “Fraud in the organic system—wherever it occurs—harms the entire organic sector and shakes the rust of consumers in organic.”
The SOE Final Rule establishes additional risk-based requirements that are intended to maintain the integrity of the organic supply chain through fraud prevention, a release explained. It will reduce the types of uncertified operations in the organic handling supply chain, require import certificates for all organic products entering the United States, and provide additional oversight authority to USDA NOP.
This regulation will work to deter and detect organic fraud. It becomes effective two months after it is published in the Federal Registry, on March 20, 2023. USDA has established an implementation date of March 19, 2024.
“USDA is undertaking this highly anticipated rule under the Organic Foods Production Act to more effectively regulate and protect the organic sector,” said Emily Griep, Vice President of Regulatory Compliance and Global Food Safety Standards at IFPA. “Organic fresh produce is highly valued by many consumers, and we hope this new rule allows for continued growth of the organic fresh produce industry while maintaining consumer trust in the USDA organic seal. IFPA is committed to working with the USDA NOP to help our members understand and comply with the requirements of the final rule, particularly organic produce importers who will be most impacted by the rule.”
As more details on the impacts of the SOE Final Rule become available, AndNowUKnow will report.
Organic Trade Association International Fresh Produce Association