Organic Trade Association’s Fraud Fighting Program Endorsed by USDA

A recent news release from the Organic Trade Association (OTA) stated that, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recognized the [OTA’s] Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions as an example of an effective private initiative to prevent fraud in the organic supply chain.

“In the department’s Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) Proposed Rule, which [was published earlier this month] in the Federal Register, USDA noted ‘private initiatives in the organic sector to develop best practices for organic operations to detect and prevent organic fraud’ and said, ‘a good example [of those initiatives] is the Organic Trade Association’s Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions project.’ USDA continued that ‘these best practices will provide organic operations with practical tools to assess, monitor, and mitigate organic fraud risks within their organic supply chains.’

“‘The [OTA] applauds USDA’s and the National Organic Program’s commitment to the integrity of organic, and we thank them for their important endorsement of our Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions,’ said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association. ‘Protecting the integrity of organic requires the efforts of all organic stakeholders, both public and private. This historic rulemaking by USDA will do much to protect organic from fraud through tougher enforcement and oversight, as our program helps organic companies put into place on-the-ground systems to deter and prevent fraud.'”

The OTA update added that, “The USDA’s proposed rule also requires that an organic fraud prevention plan be included in a certified organic operation’s Organic System Plan. Certified operations will be required to develop an organic fraud prevention plan to describe how they are preventing fraud and verifying suppliers. The Organic Trade Association applauds this requirement and its alignment with the association’s initiative.”

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