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Good Organic Retail Practices 2022 Guide

What do I do if I suspect fraud?

As retailers you are in a unique position to see and detect fraud or misrepresentation of organic products. Are those nuts just too inexpensive to be true or is the labeling of an organic product obviously faulty? The first place to check out the legitimacy of a product is to look on the USDA Organic Integrity Database. Here you can reference any company or farm and quickly check their certification status and the kinds of products under their certification, as well as who does their certification. If your supplier isn’t listed in the database, the best practice is to follow up with them to confirm their certification status. 

Anyone who suspects fraud can and should report it, as it is important to safeguard the integrity of organic products in the marketplace. The National Organic Program welcomes complaints and is committed to following up on them to ensure the integrity of the organic system. If fraud is suspected, reports can be made here. 

When you report fraud, provide as much information as possible to help ensure a thorough investigation. The Organic Trade Association has developed a helpful template that provides guidance on what to do if you suspect or detect fraud. It will also help you collect and organize the necessary information to be shared in order to submit an actionable complaint. You can access the template here

To learn more about what you can do help mitigate and prevent the occurrence of organic fraud, check out the Organic Trade Association’s Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions.

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