Organic Trade Association Kicks Off Pilot Project to Deter Organic Fraud

An update last week from the Organic Trade Association (OTA) indicated that, “The [OTA] on Thursday [May 24th] announced the kick-off of a groundbreaking pilot project by the organic industry to prevent and detect fraud in the global organic system.

“The far-reaching three-month pilot project was initiated by the Global Organic Supply Chain Integrity (GOSCI) Task Force of the Organic Trade Association. This group of 48 members of the trade group was formed last year to develop a fraud prevention program designed specifically for the organic industry that organic companies will be able to voluntarily enroll in. As the first step toward this program, a comprehensive ‘best practices’ guide was created by the task force to facilitate the industry-wide implementation of systems and measures to preserve the integrity of organic, both inside and outside of the United States.”

Last week’s update noted that, “‘Organic now operates in a global market. Fraud is one of the biggest threats to that market, and it cannot be tolerated in the organic system,’ said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association, in announcing the initiative at the association’s Annual Policy Conference in Washington.’Everyone has a role and responsibility to detect and deter fraud. I commend the Organic Trade Association members participating in the pilot for the commitment to doing everything in their power to address the problem and taking the lead in finding constructive and workable solutions.’

“Participating in the pilot project are 11 members of the GOSCI Task Force, representing the entire organic supply chain, from farm to retailer and a diverse range of products, services and commodities including fresh produce, grain, spices, dairy, eggs, meat, beverages, packaged and prepared foods, importers and consulting services. Pilot participants are:

Clarkson Grain Company, Inc. (handler/processor/feed grains/oilseeds)

Egg Innovations, LLC (producer/handler/eggs, livestock feed)

Global Organics Ltd. (handler/importer)

Grain Millers, Inc. (handler/processor/grains)

I Was Thinking (importer/handler/co-packer, grains, seeds, legumes, sweeteners)

MOM’s Organic Market (retailer)

Organically Grown Company (distributor/produce)

Organic Valley CROPP Cooperative (producer/handler/livestock/dairy/meat)

Pipeline Foods, LLC (handler/supply chain solutions/feed grains/oilseeds)

J.M. Smucker Company (processor/multi-ingredient)

True Organic Products, Inc. (manufacturer/fertilizer)

“The pilot will run from June to September. It is designed to be an intensive-focused exercise in which participants will ‘test drive‘ in their specific businesses the fraud prevention and detection strategies developed by the GOSCI Task Force.”
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