USDA Publishes Strengthening Organic Enforcement Final Rule
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the final Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) rule. This rule is an important step toward tackling fraud in organic supply chains by increasing market traceability and strengthening enforcement of regulations.
“By combatting fraud and increasing oversight, the Strengthening Organic Enforcement rule is a welcome step forward. It builds greater confidence in the organic label among farmers and eaters alike. Ensuring the legitimacy and integrity of organic feed and grain also levels the playing field for our honest organic producers. As these new standards are put in place over the coming year, NOFA-NY remains committed to supporting the organic community through any required record keeping, documentation, or other changes.” – Bert J. Olechnowicz, NOFA-NY Certification Director
The newly published rule requires certification of brokers and traders, increases oversight of organic imports, and adds authority and uniform training for inspectors and certification staff among other measures to increase transparency, standardization, and enforcement. As part of our long-time advocacy for fair and consistent standards in organic, NOFA-NY submitted comments on the draft rule in 2020 supporting its intent and suggesting areas in need of further clarification.
Thank you for your ongoing support for NOFA-NY and strong organic standards!