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Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions

Voluntarily enroll in an organic fraud prevention program to help minimize or eliminate organic fraud.

For the past two years, the Organic Trade Association has prioritized significant time and resources into organic fraud prevention solutions that will help mitigate and prevent the occurrence of organic fraud inside and outside of the United States. Our work to address organic fraud is taking place on several fronts ranging from our farm bill priorities to a major private-sector initiative that has evolved into an industry-wide program called Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions. The new program is based on the Organic Trade Association’s tested and completed Organic Fraud Prevention Guide that provides businesses engaged in organic trade with a risk-based process for developing and implementing an organic fraud prevention plan. It also provides detailed information on what to do when you suspect or detect fraud and the process for filing a complete and effective complaint to USDA’s National Organic Program.

NEWS ALERT: Organic Trade Association’s online fraud-fighting training course goes live

GET STARTED WITH 3 SIMPLE STEPS

  1. Find out if you’re eligible
  2. Register for the program
  3. Start your training online
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Executive Summary
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Participant Handbook
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Take Action to eliminate organic fraud: Enroll Now

To enroll in the program, a company must be either USA-NOP certified organic, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified, or listed with a USDA recognized Material Review Organization such as OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute) or the WSDA Organic Materials Registration Program. Eligible operations include farmers, handlers, processors, distributors, traders, retailers and input manufacturers. There are also opportunities for accredited certifiers, consultants and advisors that would like to partner in the program. *Enrollment initiates the eligibility process and qualifies the company for the required training course that is offered on-line in partnership with the Food Fraud Prevention Academy.

BEGIN ENROLLMENT BY COMPLETING THE ELIGIBILITY FORM       

*If you are eligible to participate in the program, our staff will reach out directly and assist you with registration and payment, and all of the resources you need to complete the Enrollment process.

Developing an Organic Fraud Prevention Plan MOOC Training

A required component to completing the organic fraud prevention program is a required training titled, “Developing and Implementing an Organic Fraud Prevention Plan.” The course provides detailed background and instruction on how to carry out an organic fraud vulnerability assessment and develop an effective organic fraud prevention plan. Developed in partnership with Michigan State University, the 4-hour on-line, self-paced training is offered through the Food Fraud Prevention Academy and its Massive Open Online Courses for Food Fraud (MOOC). The Food Fraud Prevention concepts are based on the research by Dr. John Spink of Michigan State, the recommendations of the Food Fraud Think Tank* as adopted by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and the Organic Fraud Prevention Guide.

The training is available on FoodFraudMOOC.com

 

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Everything you need to know

If you missed the educational webinar about Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions, we've recorded it for you. Organic Trade Association members and non-members can register to view this recording and learn more about Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions. 

Complimentary registration for OTA members
Not-yet OTA members: Register for $149

REGISTER TO WATCH NOW

Frequently Asked Questions
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What is Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions?

Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions is a quality assurance program that organic businesses may voluntarily enroll in to help minimize or eliminate organic fraud. The program is based on buyer responsibility and supplier verification, and provides companies with a risk-based process for developing and implementing organic fraud mitigation measures. The goal of the program is to assure authenticity of organic products and maintain and grow consumer confidence in the USDA Organic seal.

Why is it important?

Organic fraud cannot be tolerated in the organic supply chain, inside or outside the United States. Anytime there is fraud anywhere in organic in the organic system, it takes value out of the organic label. Everyone plays a role in preventing organic fraud. It is critical that organic businesses have robust systems and measures in place that adequately support the promise of providing organic products that people can trust. Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions, as adopted by businesses engaged in organic trade, will become the industry standard reference for excellence and achieving integrity across complex organic global supply chains.

Why should I enroll?

To strengthen your supplier verification systems and prevent organic fraud. Organic companies that want to prevent organic fraud in their supply chain and be publicly recognized for having implemented an Organic Fraud Prevention Plan need to successfully complete the program. Leadership and commitment from organic businesses will drive adoption of the program. The more companies that join, the stronger the organic supply chain will become.

Who can participate in the program?

Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions is currently open for enrollment! To enroll, a company must be either certified organic or listed with a USDA recognized Material Review Organization such as OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute) or the WSDA Organic Materials Registration Program. Eligible operations include, farmers, handlers, processors, distributors, traders, retailers and input manufacturers. There are also opportunities for accredited certifiers, consultants and advisors that would like to partner in the program.

How do I enroll?

The most efficient method is to enroll online. If you have questions, please contact Gwendolyn Wyard, Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs, at gwyard@ota.com.

How much time and resources will it take?

Time and resource commitment depend on the size, scope and complexity of the organic business. The program is designed to foster continuous improvement and provide each company with a reasonable entry point. Companies should expect to form a multi-disciplinary organic fraud prevention team with a designated and qualified lead to carry out a vulnerability assessment. Each company will be required first perform a prefilter or initial screening assessment followed by a more detailed assessment on high-risk ingredients or products. Quality departments are best positioned to take the lead in conducting the pre-filter and vulnerability assessment, but will be best supported by procurement, legal, and Human Resources. The program requires ongoing annual management.

What does the enrollment process involve?

Eligible companies who want to prevent organic fraud in their supply chain and be recognized for having implemented an organic fraud prevention plan need to successfully complete a nine-step enrollment process: 1) Registration; 2) training; 3) pre-filter and vulnerability assessment; 4) vulnerability assessment review; 5) developing and implementing organic fraud mitigation measures; 6) implementing an Organic Fraud Prevention Plan; 7) updating your existing Organic System Plan; 8) obtaining confirmation from your certifier; and 9) enrollment completion and public recognition. The process is integrated into the organic certification cycle and maintained annually.

How much does it cost?

Enrolling companies’ annual fees are based on a sliding organic sales income scale to reflect the market value the enrollment represents for a company. Organic Trade Association members receive a 20% discount. Program fees range from $320 - $6,000. However, 99% of members would pay between $320-$1,280. Initial pricing is competitive with other food safety quality assurance programs.

When will trainings begin and how much do they cost?

The training titled “Developing an Organic Fraud Prevention plan is available, open and free. However, to access the fundamental training Guide that supports the training, you must be an eligible company enrolled in Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions.

The training can be accessed through the Food Fraud Prevention Academy on FoodFraudMOOC.com

Why do I need another seal or certification/verification?

The program is not a certification or verification program, and it does not involve a consumer-facing label. The program serves as a business-to-business marketing advantage designed to improve internal quality assurance programs. Companies that successfully complete and maintain annual enrollment will be publicly recognized.

But wait, isn’t enforcement USDA’s job?

USDA’s National Organic Program is, in fact, responsible for oversight and enforcement of the organic regulations. However, the Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions is designed to complement and reinforce USDA’s organic standards and the work of the accredited certifying agencies.

How do I access the Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions Guide to Best Practices?

The Organic fraud Prevention Solutions Guide forms the basis of the program and is available at no charge to companies that enroll. Please check out the Executive Summary to learn more about the Guide.

Does OTA certify or endorse companies or products as free of organic fraud?

No. The Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions program is intended to assist enrolled companies and partners in developing a risk-based approach to implement an organic fraud prevention plan. This program relies on participating companies to perform self-assessments using OTA’s recommended framework. OTA does not endorse or certify participating companies or products as being free of organic fraud. OTA does verify that companies have completed trainings, conducted Vulnerability Assessments, and updated their Organic System Plan to include an Organic Fraud Prevention Plan.

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RESOURCES

Download Q & A  Executive Summary Participant Handbook
 

Rulemaking on Strengthening Organic Enforcement

The USDA National Organic Program is planning to publish a major proposed rule on Strengthening Organic Enforcement in early 2020. The proposed rule is expected to be largest single piece of rulemaking since the implementation of NOP regulations and will that will fundamentally transform the regulations in regard to oversight and enforcement.

Join our Enforcement Rulemaking Task Force     

 

AlertTrade Alerts

May 9, 2019: Black Sea Region Alert and Reporting Requirements & Updated Grain Directive

NOP Letter to Certifiers List of Impacted Operations


Contact

Gwendolyn Wyard
Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs
(503) 798-3294